Niccolò Castiglioni was born in Milan in 1932. He studied piano and composition at the Milan Conservatory, where later he taught composition. From 1958 to 1965 he took part in the Ferienkurse für neue Musik at Darmstadt. He spent the years from 1966 to 1970 in the United States, where he taught composition at the universities of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Washington (Seattle) and California (San Diego). The composer died in Milan on 7 September 1996.