Pirrotta, Nino (actually, Antonino)

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Pirrotta, Nino (actually, Antonino)

Pirrotta, Nino (actually, Antonino), eminent Italian musicologist; b. Palermo, June 13, 1908; d. there, Jan. 15, 1998. He studied at the Cons. Vincenzo Bellini in Palermo; then received a diploma in organ and organ composition at the Florence Cons. (1930) and a liberal arts degree at the Univ. of Florence (1931). He was a lecturer in music history and a librarian at the Palermo Cons. (1936–48); was chief librarian at the Santa Cecilia Cons. in Rome (1948–56); was also a visiting prof. at Princeton Univ. (1954–55), the Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles (summer, 1955), and Columbia Univ. (1955). He then was a prof. at Harvard Univ. (1956–72), where he also was chairman of the music dept. (1965–68); subsequently was prof. of music history at the Univ. of Rome (1972–83). He was made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1967) and an honorary member of the American Musicological Soc. (1980). An erudite scholar of wide interests, Pirrotta greatly distinguished himself in the study of Renaissance polyphony and Baroque opera. In addition to his important books, he ed. The Music of Fourteenth- century Italy in the Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae series (1954–64), and contributed valuable articles to music journals and other publications.


With E. Li Gotti, II Sacchetti e la tecnica musicale del trecento italiano (Florence, 1935); II codice estense lat.568 e la musica francese in Italia al principio del ’400 (Palermo, 1946); Li due Orfei: Da Poliziano a Monteverdi (Turin, 1969; 2nd ed., 1975; Eng. tr., 1981); Music and Culture in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Baroque: A Collection of Essays (Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1984); Musica tra Medioevo e Rinascimento (Turin, 1984); Scelte poetiche di musicisti: Teatro, poesia e musica da Willaert a Malipiero (Venice, 1987); Don Giovanni’s Progress: A Rake Goes to the Opera (N.Y., 1994).


F. Delia Seta and F. Piperno, eds., In Cantu et in sermone: For N. P. on His 80th Birthday (Florence, 1989).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire