The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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The music of Luigi Zaninelli is known to performers and audiences around the world for work that excites the senses and stimulates the mind. He has become known as a composer of great craft and powerful emotional statement.
Mr. Zaninelli was born in Raritan, New Jersey in 1932. At the age of 17, he played his music for renowned composer Gian-Carlo Menotti, who then accepted him as a student at the Curtis Institute of Music. Two years later, the Curtis Institute sent Mr. Zaninelli to study composition with the legendary Rosario Scalero, the teacher of Menotti and Samuel Barber. Upon graduation, Zaninelli joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute and in 1958 began his long relationship with Shawnee Press as composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor. Zaninelli returned to Rome, Italy in 1964 to compose film music for RCA Victor Italiana. In 1968, he was appointed Composer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Returning to the United States in 1973, he became Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Mr. Zaninelli's honors include a Steinway Prize and numerous awards from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Zaninelli is the first five-time recipient of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Music Award. With over 300 published works to his credit, he has received commissions to compose for virtually all mediums including opera, ballet, chamber music, orchestra, band, chorus, and solo voice. He has created several movie and television scores, including scores for the major Italian motion picture Una moglie Americana (An American Wife), and PBS documentaries The Islander , Passover , and The Last Confederates. Zaninelli's operatic works include the one-act opera Mr. Sebastian , first performed in 1995, and his first full-length opera Snow White , which premiered in March 1996. In 1999, Mr. Zaninelli's composition A Crown, A Mansion, and A Throne for solo soprano voice and symphonic wind ensemble was performed in Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C., commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of George Washington. As his music evolves, Zaninelli continues to find an ever-enlarging audience for his work.
"His music has the rare quality of being listenable and original."
--Valadimar Sokoloff, The Curtis Institute of Music
"His music is haunting, beautiful, and powerful. The sounds are mystical and magical and touches the listener deeply."
-- The Hattiesburg American
"The appeal of Zaninelli's work lies in a successful integration of intellectuality and emotion. So often contemporary works seem almost scientific, but in this case, honest sentiment was compatible with the contemporary idiom."
--Madeleine Bernier, The Tribune, Montreal
"Zaninelli's music is always original and provocative . introspective, ethereal, and at times, elusive. Free of pretensions, it is very personal music. Long, sustained, unhurried melodic lines with the sense of other things happening inside, outside and all about."
--Jamie Portman, Calgary Herald
"Luigi Zaninelli's compositions are unique among those of the 20th century composers writing for bands and wind ensembles. The originality of his musical language had its beginnings in his Italian heritage, his Catholicism, the church's centuries of music, and his remarkable skill at the keyboard. While he studied with many composers, his work belongs solely to him, demonstrating a continued growth through the constant avoiding of the familiar."
--Thomas Fraschillo, The University of Southern Mississippi
Contents of the Collection
Published Music Scores
This collection is comprised of a variety of materials concerning the music and career of Luigi Zaninelli, from his high school days in 1945 through his tenure as a USM Professor of Music in 2000 and beyond. The collection is divided into six series, and wherever possible, Mr. Zaninelli’s system of arrangement has been retained.
Music scores and parts make up a large portion of the collection and represent the great majority of the composer’s publications. Zaninelli also wrote in the realm of popular music under the pseudonym Lou Hayward. As Hayward, he arranged many works including traditional songs, sacred pieces, songs from musicals, and other popular songs. At least one score was published under the pseudonym Gian Luigi.
Series I: Published Music Scores, arranged alphabetically, consist of items published under the names of Luigi Zaninelli, Lou Hayward, and Gian Luigi.
Series II: Manuscript Music Scores contain common size and oversize scores by Luigi Zaninelli. Many of these materials are the inked or pencilled originals by Mr. Zaninelli and are unique. The manuscripts encompass score working drafts, polished drafts, unpublished pieces, orchestra full scores, music for PBS documentaries and Mississippi ETV series, film scores and parts, and works completed as a student.
Series III: Video Recordings include authorized VHS videocassette copies of PBS and Mississippi ETV programs in which Zaninelli wrote the television scores, as well as at least one televised interview with the composer, an awards acceptance speech, and a symphony orchestra performance of his selected works.
Series IV: Biographical and Personal Materials are comprised of numerous print items and images which document the career and musical life of Luigi Zaninelli. Within this series are several subseries. Subseries 1 covers career-related correspondence sent to Zaninelli each year from 1955 onward, and includes business-related letters from Shawnee Press, work contracts, commissions, USM correspondence, letters from performers, and other materials. Subseries 2 contains copies of correspondence replies from Mr. Zaninelli covering nearly every year from 1962 onward. Hundreds of printed concert programs spanning more than 40 years of performances of the composer’s works can be found in Subseries 3, as well as concert announcements and reviews. In keeping with the donor’s original order, the reviews are interspersed with concert programs, all grouped by date where possible. The subject files in Subseries 4 hold periodical articles, biographical sketches and interviews with Zaninelli, newspaper clippings, publication lists including pamphlets and advertisements, several professional vitae of the composer, various manuscript writings by Zaninelli, and photographs. Also included is a copy of Mr. Zaninelli’s instructional text for his university course in non-functional twentieth century harmony.
Series V: Scholarly Works include university dissertations that concentrate on certain aspects of Zaninelli’s music, with some of the research providing in-depth biographies of the composer and extensive work lists.
Series VI: Sound Recordings hold performances of selected compositions by Zaninelli on compact discs. One CD features the composer himself performing jazz-style improvisations of popular songs on piano.
Other Finding Aids:
AM 85-2 Berryman (Joe) Collection, 1945-1980
Provenance: Luigi Zaninelli
Given By: Transferred from the USM Music Resources Center by Kaylene Behm
Extent: 1 item
Inclusive Dates: ca. 1975
Form of Material:
Spiral-bound photocopy of the score of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Luigi Zaninelli, for narrator and symphony orchestra (story by Beatrix Potter, music by Luigi Zaninelli.