Carlo Giorgio Garofalo


Carlo Giorgio Garofalo was born on 5th August 1886 in Rome, where he studied composition, organ, and other disciplines with Stanislao Falchi, Cesare de Sanctis, Remigio Renzi, and Salvatore Saija, with the last of whom he shared a position as organist in the main synagogue in Rome for 22 years. Immediately after his graduation from the conservatory, he spent two years in the United States as the music director of one of Boston?s cathedrals. Like many of his Italian contemporaries, Garofalo directed his efforts mainly to composing sacred music for both choir and organ. His Masses were performed in the principal cathedrals of Rome, Milan, Bergamo, Monza and other Italian cities, but apart from that he left a considerable body of work composed in all secular musical genres. The circumstances of his life, however, did not permit him to reach either a wide audience, or the attention of the critics, although he was highly respected by colleagues and other artists. Biography from Until recently, Carlo Gorgio Garofalo (1886-1962) was a relatively obscure Italian composer and organist: “The shadow of oblivion hung over him so tightly that even the name of this musician could not be found in any of the better known music dictionaries or encyclopedias.” (from a review in Musical Life October 1994, Moscow, Russia). He was born in Rome on August 5, 1886 and died there on April 6, 1962. He studied with Stanislao Falchi, Cesare De Sanctis, Remigio Renzi and Salvatore Saija, with whom he shared the position of organist at the Roman Synagogue for twenty-two years. Garofalo excelled in every form of music, from the strictly liturgical to large orchestral forms, chamber music, and opera. His opera The Juggler recently premiered in the US. He also wrote four movement symphonies, one of which, the Romantic Symphony was performed partially in Rome in 1914, under Tullio Serafin, and in Vienna in 1948 under Carlo Zecchi. It was performed in its entirety in 1915, in St. Louis, under Max Zach, to universal acclaim from audience and critics. Although the outbreak of the First World War prevented Garofalo from returning to the United States to enjoy his success, his music is now being rediscovered, and is being broadcast here and throughout the world. Critics have predicted that he will one day be recognized as one of the outstanding composers of the twentieth century.


Scroll to Top