Pivotal figure in Italian music history, reviving his native land's interest in non-operatic music and exposing the nation to English music. He conducted the first Italian performance of "Tristan und Isolde" in Bologna in 1888.
He was considered a child prodigy and entered Naples Conservatory when he was 11. He studied composition with the famed Paolo Serrao.
He bucked the norm among Italian composers and avoided writing any operas. Instead, he composed "Samuel," an oratorio.
His father Gaetano, a trumpet player, instructed his son in the basics of music theory. His son Paolo gained recognition as a skilled pianist.
He brought Richard Wagner's operas to Italy for the first time.