17th December 1857
21st August 1898
Niccolò van Westerhout was an Italian composer. Of Flemish origin, the family van Westerhout settled in Apulia in the seventeenth century, first in Bari and then in Monopoli. Nicola van Westerhout, grandfather of Niccolò, moved to Mola di Bari, where the composer himself and his father, Onofrio Augustine, were both born. At the age of 13, van Westerhout composed an opera on the subject of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, showing a remarkable musical talent. He was then helped, by the City Council of Mola di Bari, to move to Naples and attend the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella, where he studied composition with Nicola De Giosa, Nicola D'Arienzo and Lauro Rossi. In Naples, he lived all his life.