6th August 1860
26th July 1939
Francesco Paolo Frontini was an Italian composer. He studied music with his father, composer Martino Frontini; he also studied the violin with Santi D'Amico, playing a concert with him at the town concert hall at the age of 13. At 15 his first composition, a Qui tollis, was played at the city cathedral, under the direction of Pietro Antonio Coppola. In 1875 Frontini matriculated at the conservatory in Palermo, where he studied with Pietro Platania; from there he passed to the conservatory in Naples, where he received his diploma in composition under the tuition of Lauro Rossi.
Among his first substantial compositions was a funeral Mass in honor of Pietro Coppola. In 1881 came the premiere of a three-act melodrama, Nella; further operas followed, beginning with Sansone in 1882, Aleramo (based on the legend of Adelasia and Aleramo) in 1883, Fatalità in 1890, Malia (on a libretto of Luigi Capuana) in 1891, and Il Falconiere in 1899. At the same time his lyric poem Medio-Evo received favorable notice from Jules Massenet. He wrote music for the one-act play Vicolo delle belle by Saverio Fiducia, as well as for Antonino Russo Giusti's comedy U Spiridu, which was shown in 1920 at the communal theater under the direction of Gaetano Emanuel Calì. He also wrote a number of religious and secular choral compositions at this time. Frontini also wrote numerous songs, melodies, serenatas and romances; the most popular of these were his Serenata araba, Il piccolo montanaro, and a Triumphal March. In addition to his activities as a composer, he taught music and counterpoint at the Ospizio di Beneficenza.