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Menotti, Gian Carlo

Menotti, Gian Carlo

Born in 1911


Inducted in 2002

Gian Carlo Menotti was born and raised in Italy, and, with his mother’s encouragement, he started composing songs at age seven. At age eleven, he wrote his first opera, and was soon enrolled in the Milan Conservatory. Shortly after the death of his father, Menotti’s mother brought him to Philadelphia where Gian Carlo entered the famous Curtis Institute of Music. Menotti finished a four-year program of formal studies in three years and was immediately marked for major achievements in the world of classical music. He was twenty-two years old at the time Among his early operas are Amelia Goes to the Ball (1937), The Old Maid and the Thief (1939), and The Island God (1942). He composed a huge body of diverse works in and out of the musical mainstream. His prolific talent reached out to the musical tastes of average American citizens with his most famous opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951), commissioned for television by NBC – and widely performed each Christmas season at high schools and colleges all over America. In 1958, Menotti founded the Spoleto Festival which has discovered many talented young artists. His music and his great love for the world’s “average folks” will long endure.