Child prodigy whose talents blossomed in adulthood and whose educational career influenced numerous young Italian musicians.
He was studying piano, violin, and composition by the time he was four. He entered Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia when he was 10.
He became Head of the Composition department at the Conservatorio at the Santa Cecilia in Rome in 1984.
He often toured with his wife, the well-known mezzo soprano Patricia Adkins Chiti.
He and legendary film composer Ennio Morricone were contemporaries.