The Kennedy Center

Nicholas Flagello



Biography

Composer Nicolas Flagello was considered one the last composers to develop a music expression based on the principles and techniques of European late-Romanticism.  He viewed music as a personal medium for emotional and spiritual expression.  In 1974 his oratorio, The Passion of Martin Luther King, was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. 
 
Mr. Flagello was born in New York City in 1928 and grew up in a musical family with deep roots in Old World traditions.  He was a child prodigy who was composing and performing publicly as a pianist before he was ten.  In his youth, he apprenticed with composer Vittorio Giannini, who further imbued him with the grand European tradition.  In 1949 and 1950 he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees respectively  from the Manhattan School of Music.  He was on the school’s faculty from graduation until 1977.  In the 1960s he also taught at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.  In 1955 he won a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Rome, and earned the Diploma di Studi Superiori in 1956 from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia.
 
Mr. Flagello was a prodigious composer, producing works that included six operas, two symphonies, eight concertos and numerous orchestral, choral, chamber and vocal works.  He also made dozens of recordings with repertoire that ranged from the Baroque period to the 20th Century.
 
In 1985 Mr. Flagello’s music career ended prematurely with a deteriorating illness.  He died in 1994 at the age of 66.
Nicholas Flagello

Compositions

  • Passion of Martin Luther King