Ottorino Respighi was an Italian violinist, composer, and musicologist, born (in Bologna) on July 9, 1879. Although making a living by playing the violin for many years, today, he is known for his very popular tone poems – The Pines of Rome, The Fountains of Rome, and The Roman Festivals among others. He also composed at least eight operas which are not as popular. Respighi was very prolific and his music still sounds modern, even 80 years after his death. His father was his first teacher of both violin and piano. Respighi later entered the Music Lyceum in Bologna where he studied violin with Federico Sarti. He graduated in 1899. He was 19 years old. He then traveled to Saint Petersburg, Russia to play principal viola in the Russian Imperial Theatre. The Russian Revolution would not occur until seventeen years later. He took advantage of his stay there by studying composition with Rimsky-Korsakov. After returning to Bologna, he took a degree in composition, perhaps from the same institution. However, his principal income came from playing violin. Until 1908, he was first violinist of the Mugellini Quartet. He also spent time playing in Germany. Upon returning from Germany, he turned his attention, almost completely, to composition. He settled in Rome in 1913 and used it as his base of operations for the rest of his life. He also began teaching composition at the Rome Conservatory that year. Whether he ever gave violin lessons is unknown to me. By 1917, he had become famous as a composer. In 1923, he was appointed Director of the Conservatory. Here is Heifetz’ rendition of Respighi’s violin sonata in B minor – first movement. Respighi died on April 18, 1936, at age 56.