Italian Film Composer Armando Trovajoli Dies at 95

Armando Trovajoli - P 2013
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Trovajoli scored over 300 films and played piano alongside jazz giants Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt.

ROME – Prolific Italian composer Armando Trovajoli, whose music gave life to nearly 300 films and earned him four David di Donatello awards, died in recent days at the age of 95.

Trovajoli’s death was announced over the weekend by his widow, Maria Paola Trovajoli, who did not reveal the specific date or cause of the composer’s death. Trovajoli was born and died in the Italian capital.

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The news unleashed an outpouring of tributes in Italy, where Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said, “The voice of Rome has been extinguished.” Flags flew at half-mast at city hall.

Traveling throughout Europe, Trovajoli started out as a jazz pianist, appearing alongside many of the genre’s biggest names, including Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt.

But Trovajoli was best known for his career in film, which started in the 1950s. He was hired to write the scores for many of Sophia Loren’s biggest hits, including Vittorio De Sica’s La ciociara (Two Women) from 1960, Ieri, oggi, domani (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow) from 1963, and Matrimonio all’italiana (Marriage Italian Style) from 1964, as well as Una giornata particolare (A Special Day), directed by Ettore Scola in 1977. All four films earned Oscar nominations.

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His best-known scores also included work on C’eravamo tanto amati (We All Loved Each Other So Much) from 1974 and La terrazza from 1980, both directed by Scola. Trovajoli worked less starting in the 1990s, but he continued with smaller projects well into old age, and he recorded his last film score just three years ago at the age of 92, with Carlo Vanzina’s La vita e’ una cosa meravigliosa (Life is a Wonderful Thing).

In addition to De Sica and Scola, he worked with noted Italian directors Dino Risi and Luigi Comencini