La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema

(Rochester, NY) – Dawning in the dark aftermath of World War II, the fertile mid-century decades of Italian cinema delighted international movie audiences with an eclectic mix of movie classics from groundbreaking directors including Frederico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Sergio Leone and many more.  A major component of Italian cinema’s enduring popularity continues to be a lush selection of sweeping film scores by composers like Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone. Featuring Josh Groban, Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell, Great Performances partners with the New York Philharmonic and music director Alan Gilbert for a concert of memorable movie themes with music from Amarcord, Cinema Paradiso, Il Postino, and more. La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema, a Great Performances presentation, airs Friday, February 27, 2015 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Presented in collaboration with Sugarmusic, the concert – taped in September -- includes video projection combining animated graphics and film clips designed by visual artist Giuseppe Ragazzini, under the direction of Giampiero Solari, and historical footage from Istituto Luce Cinecittà.

The program features suites and famous songs, many newly arranged and orchestrated by music consultant William Ross, from Academy Award–winning films including Federico Fellini’s and La Dolce Vita; Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West; and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso. For the program’s creation, Sugarmusic made available its catalog of more than 2,000 Italian film sound tracks.

Together, Joshua Bell and Josh Groban previously performed and recorded the title song from Cinema Paradiso as well as Mi Mancherai from Luis Bacalov’s Academy Award–winning score to Michael Radford’s Il Postino. Ms. Fleming is featured in the Sony album We All Love Ennio Morricone, and has appeared on numerous sound tracks, including Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin as a comical Italian opera diva, Immortal Beloved, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Closer, and Rise of the Guardians. 



WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.


WXXI Media Contact:

Kristin Tutino

Creative Services Department



Go to the NPR Pressroom

Go to the PBS Pressroom

Get logos for Media Use

Read our Media Policy

Radio Archives

TV Archives