A prolific composer of film and television music, Bill Conti remains most closely associated with his work on the successful Rocky films. Born April 13, 1942 in Providence, Rhode Island, he learned piano from his father, and later took up the bassoon. While studying composition at Louisiana State University, Conti also performed with the school's symphony orchestra, spending his evenings playing jazz in area clubs; he subsequently earned his Master's degree from Julliard before relocating to Italy in 1967. There he first broke into films, composing and arranging music for productions including Juliette de Sade and Candidate Per un Assassino. In 1971 Conti scored Vittorio de Sica's Oscar-winning Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini, bringing his music to the attention of international audiences; he subsequently returned to the U.S., where he composed the soundtracks for features including 1973's Blume in Love and 1974's Harry and Tonto.