Born in Palermo, Italy, composer and conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio is heir to the Italian neo-classical orchestral tradition. He has been hailed “a lyrical musical spirit, following in the footsteps of Ottorino Respighi” – Luigi Verdi, Philharmonic Academy of Bologna. He was first noticed when Italian chamber orchestras programmed his works alongside Respighi, and later gained considerable attention with his completion of the first Violin Concerto (in A) and other works by commission of the Bolognese composer’s great nieces and archive curator. Di Vittorio is founding Music Director of Chamber Orchestra of New York, which debuted in 2007 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.
He has worked with numerous orchestras, including San Diego Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Teatro Massimo Opera Palermo, Orchestra Vivaldi, Sinfonia Varsovia, Orchestra Regionale Filarmonica Veneta, Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina, Orchestra Sinfonica della Calabria, Orchestra of the Swan of Stratford-upon-Avon, Vancouver Island Symphony, Orquesta de Cámara Bellas Artes, and Santa Rosa Symphony.
Di Vittorio is fascinated with the world of storytelling, and best known for his symphonic poems – full of poignant, romantic lyricism and magnificent orchestrations. His upcoming Sinfonia N. 4 “Metamorfosi” will highlight the magical stories in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, with each movement drawing inspiration from an Italian painting related to the stories. A strong interest with the Italian Renaissance and Baroque is often the inspiration for his original compositions.
Under his baton, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia world premiered his Ode Corelliana in 2017, after the successful premiere of Venus and Adonis in 2016. “Di Vittorio’s Venus was an orchestral song, and often a beautiful one.” – Philadelphia Inquirer. “Venus…recalls Respighi, and is infused with Di Vittorio’s original imagination and ability to build musical architecture that ultimately fades, like Venus’s own loveliness. There is an appealing heft to this work, [influenced by] Bach and Ravel.” – Broad Street Review. In 2015, San Diego Symphony world premiered his orchestral Fanfara del Mare “Su un Tema di Monteverdi”, commissioned for the centennial of Balboa Park at Copley Symphony Hall.
In 2012, Di Vittorio made his conducting debut with Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana at Teatro Politeama Garibaldi with the world premiere of his Sinfonia N. 3 “Templi di Sicilia” and European premieres of his Overtura Respighiana and Respighi’s Violin Concerto (in A). Giornale di Sicilia praised the evening “From Pines of Rome to the Temples of Sicily”, depicting Di Vittorio’s third symphony as “a commemorative memorial with a dimension of insularity, which during great peaks reveals suggestions of an international musical palette.” La Repubblica acknowledged Di Vittorio’s neo-classical works and in particular his third symphony, presented alongside Fountains of Rome, as “his first composition to capture Respighi’s impressionism, together with [influences of] Berlioz and Richard Strauss.” Mayor Leoluca Orlando awarded Di Vittorio the Medal of Palermo, recognizing “the great importance of Di Vittorio’s work as a promoter of the Palermo around the world” – Il Moderatore.
Di Vittorio’s Naxos recordings have been airing worldwide, receiving much critical praise. “Top billing goes to Di Vittorio’s completion of [Respighi’s] Violin Concerto” – Gramophone Magazine; “Unabashedly tonal, traditional, and Italian, his style employs a swelling lyricism” – American Record Guide; “A brilliant and sparkling overture and two symphonies, which are pictorial-philosophical, approachable works distinguished by his Respighian sense of orchestral color” – Records International; “[Di Vittorio] is a composer of beautiful music extraordinaire” – Fanfare Magazine; “[The Violin Concerto] sounds like genuine Respighi, with anticipations of characteristic moments in Pines of Rome” – Classics Today; “his transcriptions and completions are sensitive to Respighi’s Neo-Baroque style” – Music Web International; “di Vittorio proves more and more to be an important Italian composer…one can also find hints of Scarlatti and Rossini – Qobuz; a modernism resolutely neo-romantic, also verismo, even cinematographic…without concerns of criticism from the avant-garde…Respighiana, entwined with Rossini crescendos and fanfares alla Pines, a contemporary music entirely timeless” – Abeillemusique; “a musician of remarkable attainment…, a composer of prodigious imagination and talent” – Houston Public Radio/NPR.
Di Vittorio began his musical studies at an early age with his father Giuseppe, who introduced the operas of Verdi and Puccini – forever influencing his musical destiny. He studied composition with Giampaolo Bracali (later, conducting) and Ludmila Ulehla at Manhattan School of Music, and philosophy at Columbia University. He is a protégé of such esteemed conductors as Piero Bellugi (of Florence). His compositions are published by Panastudio/Casa Ricordi (Universal Music), recorded on Naxos Records, and listed in David Daniels’ Orchestral Music.
With La Villa d’Este a Tivoli in 2016, Di Vittorio reached a significant milestone when he became the first composer to dedicate a work to The Morgan Library & Museum, and the first Italian composer during his lifetime to be invited to donate an autograph manuscript to the museum’s world-renowned music archive.