- Roberta Costa
(b Naples, March 3, 1887; d Naples, Jan 18, 1972). Italian composer and pianist. At Naples Conservatory she studied the piano with Beriamino Cesi, Fromesco Simonetti and Costantino Palumbo and composition with C. De Nardis and Nicola D’Arienzo. She began her career as a concert pianist in Italy and abroad, later working as a music administrator with her husband, the composer Franco Michele Napolitano. In 1918 she founded the Associazione Musicale A. Scarlatti in Naples with the aim of promoting knowledge of early Italian music and musical culture more generally. She established the symphony orchestra there and directed the associated choir school. From 1914 to 1957 she taught theory and solfeggio at Naples Conservatory.
Most of her compositions are large-scale. Her piano concerto is a prime example of the way she took a lead from the late Romanticism of Martucci, with its sound grasp of orchestral technique and its Wagnerian and Brahmsian reminiscences. Her chamber music and songs, including settings of poems by Sergio Corazzini, have a simple clarity of structure and are more lyrical and spontaneous in their inspiration. She also transcribed and arranged a good deal of 17th- and 18th-century vocal music....