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Carmine Coppola

For the Italian footballer, see Carmine Coppola (footballer).
Carmine Coppola
Born (1910-06-11)June 11, 1910
New York City, New York
Died April 26, 1991(1991-04-26) (aged 80)
Northridge, California
Resting place
San Fernando Mission Cemetery
Spouse(s) Italia Coppola
Children Francis Ford Coppola
August Coppola
Talia Shire

Carmine Coppola (June 11, 1910 – April 26, 1991) was an American composer, flautist, editor, musical director, and songwriter who contributed original music to The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, and The Godfather Part III, all directed by his son Francis Ford Coppola.[1]

Personal life

Coppola was born in New York City, the son of Marie (née Zasa) and Agostino Coppola. His brother is Anton Coppola. He was the father of August Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola,[1] and Talia Shire, and grandfather of Nicolas Cage, Sofia Coppola, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Robert Schwartzman. His wife, Italia, died in 2004 in Los Angeles. Coppola died in Northridge, California at the age of 80. Both Coppola and his wife are buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery. Upon his death, Coppola's grandson Robert Schwartzman changed his last name to 'Carmine' in his grandfather's honor.


Coppola played the flute. He studied at Juilliard, later at the Manhattan School of Music and privately with Joseph Schillinger. During the 1940s, Coppola worked under Arturo Toscanini with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Then in 1951, Coppola left the Orchestra to pursue his dream of composing music. During that time he mostly worked as an orchestra conductor on Broadway and elsewhere, working with his son, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, on additional music for his Finian's Rainbow.[citation needed] Carmine contributed to the music performed in the wedding scene in The Godfather (1972).[citation needed] Later, his son called on him to compose additional music for the score of The Godfather Part II (1974), in which he and his father received an in-movie tribute with the characters Agostino and Carmine Coppola, who appear in a deleted scene from the young Vito Corleone flashback segments. Principal score composer Nino Rota and Carmine together won Oscars for Best Score for the film.[1] He also composed most of the score for The Godfather Part III (1990).[1] He made cameo appearances in all three Godfather films as a conductor.

Carmine and Francis together scored Apocalypse Now (1979), for which they won a Golden Globe Award for best original score. He also composed a three and a half hour score for Francis' 1981 reconstruction of Abel Gance's 1927 epic Napoléon. Carmine composed the music for The Black Stallion (1979), on which Francis was executive producer, and four other films directed by his son in the 1980s.

In his audio commentary on The Godfather Part III DVD, Francis said that he knew his father was close to death during the shooting of that film's opening reception, which featured Carmine as an orchestra conductor. Carmine missed a cue—something he never did in his prime; at that point, Francis realized that his father didn't have much time left. As it turned out, Carmine died less than four months after Part III premiered.[citation needed]


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Saxon, Wolfgang (April 27, 1991). "Carmine Coppola, 80, Conductor And Composer for His Son's Films". The New York Times. 

External links

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