Spinelli, Nicola, Italian pianist, conductor, and composer; b. Turin, July 29, 1865; d. Rome, Oct. 17, 1909. He studied with Sgambati in Rome and at the Naples Cons. under Serrao. In 1889 his opera Labilia took second prize in the famous competition instituted by the publisher Sonzogno, when Mascagni won the first prize with Cavalleria rusticana; Spinelli’s opera was produced in Rome on May 7, 1890, with indifferent success. His next opera, A basso porto, was more fortunate; after its initial production in Cologne on April 18, 1894 (in a German version), it was staged in Rome, in Italian (March 11, 1895), and then in Budapest, St. Petersburg, etc.; it was also produced in the U.S. (St. Louis, Jan. 8, 1900; N.Y., Jan. 22, 1900). He toured widely as a pianist from 1889 to 1894. He was then active as a conductor until becoming mentally ill.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire