Flagello, Nicolas (Oreste)

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Flagello, Nicolas (Oreste)

Flagello, Nicolas (Oreste), American composer and conductor, brother of Ezio (Domenico) Flagello; b.N.Y, March 15, 1928; d. New Rochelle, N.Y., March 16, 1994. He began piano lessons at the incredible age of 3, and played in public at 5. At 6, he began taking violin lessons with Francesco di Giacomo. He also learned to play the oboe, and was a member of the school band, performing on these instruments according to demand. In 1945–46 he played the violin in Stokowski’s Ail-American Youth Orch. in N.Y. In 1946 he entered the Manhattan School of Music (B.M., 1949; M.M., 1950), studying with a variety of teachers in multifarious subjects (Harold Bauer, Hugo Kortschak, Hugh Ross, and Vittorio Giannini). He also took conducting lessons with Mitropoulos. It was with Giannini that he had his most important training in composition (1935–50), and it was Giannini who influenced him most in his style of composition—melodious, harmonious, euphonious, singingly Italianate, but also dramatically modern. After obtaining his master’s degree, Flagello took lessons with Pizzetti at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome (Mus.D., 1956). He taught composition and conducting at the Manhattan School of Music from 1950 to 1977. He also appeared as a guest conductor with the Chicago Lyric Opera and the N.Y. City Opera, and toured as accompanist to Tito Schipa, Richard Tucker, and other singers.


DRAMATIC Opera : Mirra (1953); The Wig (1953); Rip Van Winkle (1957); The Sisters (1958; N.Y., Feb. 23, 1961); The Judgment of St. Francis (1959; N.Y., March 18, 1966); The Piper ofHamelin (1970); Beyond the Horizon (1983). ORCH.: Beowulf (1949); 4 piano concertos (1950, 1956, 1962, 1975); Symphonic Aria (1951); Overture giocosa (1952); Flute Concerto (1956); Missa sinfonica (1957); Concerto for Strings (1959); Capriccio for Cello and Orch. (1962); Lautrec (1965); 2 syms. (1968, 1970); Serenata (1968); Credendum for Violin and Orch. (1974); Odyssey for Band (1981); Concerto sinfonico for Saxophone Quartet and Orch. (1985). CHAMBER: Divertimento for Piano and Percussion (1960); Harp Sonata (1961); Burlesca for Flute and Guitar (1961); Piano Sonata (1962); Concertino for Piano, Brass, and Timpani (1963); Violin Sonata (1963); Suite for Harp and String Trio (1965); Electra for Piano and Percussion (1966); Declamation for Violin and Piano (1967); Ricercare for Brass and Percussion (1971); Prisma for 7 Horns (1974); Diptych for 2 Trumpets and Trombone (1979). VOCAL: The Land for Bass-baritone and Orch. (1954); 5 songs for Soprano and Orch. (1955); Tristis est anima mea for Chorus and Orch. (1959); Dante’s Farewell for Soprano and Orch. (1962); Contemplazioni for Soprano and Orch. (1964); Te Deum for All Mankind for Chorus and Orch. (1967); Passion of Martin Luther King, oratorio for Bass-baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1968); Remembrance for Soprano, Flute, and String Quartet (1971); Canto for Soprano and Orch. (1978); Quattro amori for Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1983).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire