Franco Alfano

From Wind Repertory Project
Franco Alfano


Franco Alfano (8 March 1875, Posillipo, Naples – 27 October 1954 Sanremo, Italy) was an Italian composer, pianist and educator.

Alfano attended piano lessons given privately by Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition respectively under Camille De Nardis (1857–1951) and Paolo Serrao at the conservatory San Pietro a Majella in Naples. In 1895, after graduating, he pursued further composition studies with Hans Sitt and Salomon Jadassohn in Leipzig. While working there he met his idol, Edvard Grieg, and wrote numerous piano and orchestral pieces.

In 1896, he settled in Berlin, where he embarked upon a career as a pianist and had his debut as a composer for the theatre with the opera Miranda (1898). In Breslau (Wrocław, Poland) his opera La fonte di Enschir (1898) did not meet with success, and so Alfano decided to move to Paris, where in 1899 he managed to have two of his ballets, Napoli and Lorenza, performed at the Les Folies Bergère. After the favourable reception accorded to these works by Parisian audiences Alfano began to work on what would turn out to be his most successful opera, Resurrezione.

In 1916, he joined the faculty of the Liceo Musicale Rossini, teaching composition. From 1918 he was director of the Conservatory of Bologna, from 1923 director of the Turin Conservatory, and from 1947 to 1950 director of the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro.

Alfano is best known today for his opera Risurrezione (1904) and for having completed Puccini's opera Turandot in 1926. He had considerable success with several of his own works during his lifetime. In addition to his operas, he composed orchestral works, chamber music, and songs. 

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