Wednesday 7 July 2021

More than just a film composer: Nino Rota's viola sonatas at Sands Films Music Room

Nino Rota: Viola Sonatas at Sands Films Music Room
Like many 20th-century film composers, Nino Rota has suffered the curse of having his non-film music (of which there is a significant quantity) disappear behind his film scores. Yes, he wrote music for The Godfather, La Strada and 148 other film scores, but there are also 11 operas, three symphonies, concertos and much much more. And two viola sonatas, one dating from the 1930s and the other from 1945, and there is a chance to hear these later this month, when Lorena Canto (viola) and Yvain Calvo (piano) perform them at Sands Films Music Room on 15 July 2021. 

Rota was a child prodigy and composed his first opera when he was eleven. Encouraged by Arturo Toscanini he studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia in the 1930s before returning to Milan where he graduated from the University in 1937. This is the period of the first viola sonata. Then during the 1940s, the period of the second sonata, he wrote scores for more than 32 films but it wasn't until 1952 that his collaboration with Federico Fellini began, with Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik).

Rota also had a personal connection to Sands Film Studios and would visit the studios when he was in London as well as writing the music for Richard Goodwin’s (director of Sands Films at the time) Romeo and Juliet.

Thus there will be a chance to renew this connection when Lorena Canto and Yvain Calvo perform Nino Rota's Viola Sonatas at Sands Films Music Room on 15 July 2021. Tickets are available either in-person or online, further details from EventBrite. Lorena Canto also has a fundraising page to help with the costs of the project.

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