Nicolas Flagello was born in New York City in 1928. After receiving a Master's Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where his principal teacher was Vittorio Giannini, he won a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Rome, where he earned the "Diploma di Studi Superiori" in 1956 from the Academy of Santa Cecilia, under the tutelage of Ildebrando Pizzetti. Flagello rejected the academic formalism that dominated musical composition for several decades after World War II, although this defiance in the face of prevailing dogmas prevented him from winning acceptance from the reigning arbiters of taste for many years. Nevertheless, despite such pressure, he has preferred to trust his intuition and let his work speak for itself. Today Flagello's music is finding a growing number of admirers, as more and more musicians discover his catalogue of some 75 works, including six operas, two symphonies, eight concertos and numerous orchestral, choral, chamber and vocal works. In addition to composing, Flagello has concertized widely as a pianist and has appeared as guest conductor of many of the world's leading orchestras and opera companies. He has also held teaching positions at both the Curtis Institue of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. In 1985 a deteriorating illness brought his musical career to an end prematurely. He died in 1994 at the age of 66.