Bruno Nicolai (1926 -1991)

June 13, 2008

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After watching CALIGULA — a film that for years I had avoided watching for some reason — I discovered a wonderful composer of so-called spaghetti westerns, Bruno Nicolai. He collaborated with Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota in the Italian cinema universe. He has a modest website that was put up by Bill Reynolds. He scored CALIGULA using a pseudonym (Paul Clemente), I can only assume he was nervous about the X-rated content in the film. Here is a brief bio that Reynolds supplies:

Born 1926: He studied piano, organ and composition at the Conservatory Of Santa Cecilia. His teacher for piano was Aldo Mantia, and for composition was Geoffredo Petrassi. While at the Conservatory he met Ennio Morricone who also was studying with Petrassi. A friendship began that would last many years.

He has composed for theatre, TV and movies. Between scoring movies he also conducted scores by Carlo Rustichelli, Luis E. Bacalov and Nino Rota. He conducted many of Morricone’s scores, and played the organ on some of them and also co-scored some with him. Many of his scores have and are still being released on his Edi-Pan label.

He gained popularity with his scores for spaghetti westerns, and wrote music for other types of films. He died in 1991 leaving behind his wife and three daughters.

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[Here are some of the album covers from his various films.

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