Arnold Franchetti

Arnold Franchetti (1906 – 1993) was born in Lucca, Italy. He first majored in science, then turned to music. From 1937 to 1939 he lived in Munich, where he came under the influence of Richard Strauss. During his studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum, he was awarded its top distinction, the Lilli Lehman Prize, for his opera Bauci. In addition to his degrees earned in Munich and Salzburg, he studied with his father, Alberto Franchetti, a celebrated opera composer.

He emigrated to the United States in 1947 and taught at The Hartt School from 1948 until 1979, chairing the Theory and Composition department until his retirement. His style was distinguished by contrapuntal mastery, interest in wind ensembles, in the solo saxophone, and an abiding love for percussion batteries with special attention to xylophones, vibraphones, and marimbas. His highly idiosyncratic compositional process of manipulating melodic and rhythmic cells by repetition, intervallic expansion, transposition and contrapuntal combination with contrasting fragments resulted in an imaginative, improvisatory style or in a pointillist miniaturist texture.