Ottorino Respighi was an Italian composer from the first half of 20th Century. After his studies in Bologna (violin, viola and composition) he moved to St. Petersburg where played for several years for the Imperial Opera. There he also met Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who became his mentor in composition and orchestration.
From 1903 until 1908 he played viola in the Mugellini quintet in Bologna. In 1908, he stayed in Berlin for a short period to study under Max Bruch. In 1913, he became a teacher himself at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, of which he became its director in 1924. Two years later, he already left the position to be able to dedicate himself completely to composing.
While Respighi did compose nine operas, he is mostly known for his instrumental works. In particular his orchestral triptych of symphonic poems, Fontane di Roma, Pini di Roma and Feste Romane (also known as the Roman Trilogy) became quite famous. His style was a continuation of the French impressionism, and of Rimsky-Korsakov's technique. He also applied early composition techniques by applying melodies from early lute music (Antiche arie e danze per liuto) or harpsichordpieces from the Baroque era (Gli uccelli).