Please do not confuse with Otto Nicolai, composer of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Italian composer, conductor and keyboardist (organ, piano). Notably the composer and director of numerous film and television scores. He also served as musical director for other composers' film scores, prevalently those of Ennio Morricone, Carlo Rustichelli and Luis Enriquez Bacalov.
Born May 20th, 1926 in Rome, Italy, died August 16th, 1991 in Rome, Italy.
Bruno Nicolai studied piano, organ and composition at Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, studying piano under Aldo Mantia, and composition and organ under Goffredo Petrassi. Whilst at the conservatory, he met fellow student Ennio Morricone who also studied under Petrassi. A friendship began that would last many years.
The first film Nicolai scored was the 1951 film "Il naufrago del Pacifico", scored in collaboration with Fernando Candia and conducted by Nino Bonavolonta.
Throughout the 60's and 70's, Nicolai scored a number of films, working several times with directors such as Jess Franco, Tinto Brass and Alberto De Martino for their giallo and exploitation films. During this time, he also composed library music, primarily for his own labels Gemelli and Edi-Pan, but also for other labels like RCA.
His big break came in 1965, when he was musical supervisor for the Sergio Leone film "For a Few Dollars More", scored by Ennio Morricone. In 1966, he reprised this role for "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".
Nicolai's last score was for the 1988 TV series "La coscienza di Zeno", directed by Sandro Bolchi.