Sunday, April 1, 2018

Who Are Those Composers? ~ Manuel De Sica

Manuel De Sica was born in Rome, Italy on February 24, 1949, the son of Vittorio De Sica and María Mercader, elder brother of Christian De Sica and father of the director Andrea De Sica.

Simultaneously during his studies at the classical high school, at the Nazareno Institute in Rome, Manuel De Sica attended courses of theory at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, where he studied with Bruno Maderna. He forms, with some of his friends, the band “The Ancients” with whom he makes some television appearances (including one at Studio Uno, a television program hosted by Lelio Luttazzi) and releases two 45’s. His first chamber compositions are published by Casa Ricordi upon the interest of Renzo Rossellini, artistic director of the Montecarlo Symphony Orchestra. In 1968 he composed his first soundtrack for the film “Amanti”, directed by his father Vittorio. Immediately after he composes the musical score for the television series of “Ugo Tognazzi FBI - Francesco Bertolazzi Investigator”.

He then scores soundtracks for various television works and for films such as “Io e Dio”, the film debut of the director Pasquale Squitieri, “Cose di Cosa Nostra” by Steno, “I Do Not See, You Do Not Speak, He Does Not Hear” by Mario Camerini and continues his collaboration with his father, for whom he composes the soundtracks of the following “The Garden of the Finzi Contini” (for which he earns a Grammy nomination), “We Will Call Him Andrea”, “A Short Holiday” and “Il Viaggio”. At the same time he devoted himself to the composition of symphonic music and chamber music with harp sonatas, clarinet, and other solo instruments.

In 1974 he also directed a television film, ‘L'eroe’, which highlights his father as a performer. The composer of soundtracks continues with films directed by Dino Risi and his son Marco, Carlo Verdone, Enrico Oldoini, Carlo Vanzina and many others, including his brother Christian. In 1989 Manuel De Sica was awarded the Globo d'Oro by the Foreign Press for the soundtrack of “Ladri di Saponette” by Maurizio Nichetti. In 1992 he won the Nastro d'Argento for “Al lupo, al lupo” by Carlo Verdone, followed in 1996 by the David di Donatello for the soundtrack for “Celluloide” by Carlo Lizzani.

Manuel De Sica was also president of the "Friends of Vittorio De Sica" Association for the restoration of his father's works, editor of publications on each restored film and founder of the "Associazione Musica Retrovata" for the recovery of unpublished or unknown musical works. His music has been performed by artists such as Dino Asciolla, Salvatore Accardo, Flavio Emilio Scogna, Enrico Dindo, Danilo Rossi, Floraleda Sacchi, the Ensemble Wien Berlin, his songs have been interpreted by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Dee Dee Bridgewater. In 2012 he was awarded a special prize at the Alabarda d'oro festival, while he was awarded for the essay section for the book "Da figlio a padre" at the Premio Nazionale Vincenzo Padula in 2013.

He died in Rome on the morning of December 5, 2014 at the age of 65 struck down by a heart attack and was buried in the Verano Cemetery.

The documentary Sciuscià 70 by Mimmo Verdesca was dedicated to his memory.

De SICA, Manuel [2/24/1949, Rome, Lazio, Italy - 12/5/2014, Rome, Lazio, Italy (heart attack)] – director, writer, songwriter, composer, conductor, musician son of producer, director, assistant director, writer, composer Vittorio DeSica [1901-1974], actress María Mercader (Maria de la Asuncion Mercader Fordada) [1918-2011], nephew of actor Ramon Mercader [1914–1978], brother of director, writer, actor, singer Christian De Sica [1951-    ], half-brother of  Emi DeSica. Manuel, married to producer Tilde Corsi (1977-19??), father of director, assistant director, writer, cameraman, composer Andrea De Sica [1981-    ], married to Maria Lucia Langella (19??-2014), uncle of producer, director, assistant director, writer, actor Brando De Sica [1983-    ], member of the musical group ‘The Ancients’, honored with the title of Commendatore of the Italian Republic [2005].
They Call Him Veritas* – 1972
Undead Men (TV) – 2011

* Available on CD

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