Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for operas "The Consul" from 1950 and "The Saint of Bleecker Street" from 1955. His Christmas opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" became a classic.
He began his formal musical training at the Milan Conservatory in 1923 after writing the libretto and music for "The Death of Pierrot," his first opera, when he was 11.
He was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor for achievement in the arts in 1984.
He was the sixth of eight children born to Alfonso and Ines Menotti. His father was a coffee merchant.
He was classmates with Leonard Bernstein at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music.