Gianfranco Monaldi

Born: October 5th, 1930, Urbino (Italy)
Died: February 9th, 2007, Urbino (Italy)
Nationality: Italian

Gianfranco Monaldi (sometimes credited as Franco Monaldi) taught himself to play the piano and started working as an orchestra musician at the age of twenty. Later onwards, he made a career in composing and arranging, becoming the artistic director of the Milan-based record company CGD. As such, he worked with many of the best known Italian pop artists of the 1960s and 1970s, including Betty Curtis, Lucio Battisti, Caterina Caselli, Gino Paoli, and Mina. Most notable among his arrangements are perhaps ‘Tanta voglia di lei’ for the band Pooh, ‘Sparring partner’ for Paolo Conte, and ‘Ti amo’ for Umberto Tozzi. Gianfranco Monaldi, however, is best-known for being the musical director of Gigliola Cinquetti for many consecutive years; he is responsible for the orchestrations to all her recordings in the 1960s and 1970s. Between 1964 and 1973, Monaldi was present as a conductor at every edition of the Sanremo Festival. He also penned many film scores.

In 1964, Gigliola Cinquetti won the Sanremo Festival with ‘Non ho l’età’, written by Nicola Salerno and Mario Panzeri, and arranged and conducted by Gianfranco Monaldi. Accompanied by Monaldi, Cinquetti travelled to Copenhagen, where she represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest with her winning Sanremo effort. At short notice, Monaldi had to change the arrangement of the song to fit it into the obligatory three minutes of a Eurovision entry. ‘Non ho l’età’ became the runaway winner of the 1964 contest and the first-ever Italian victory. Exactly ten years later, in 1974, Gigliola Cinquetti again represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest, this time with a song called ‘Sì’. At that time, Gianfranco Monaldi was still her arranger and he conducted his own magnificent orchestration to this song at the international final, staged in Brighton (UK). ‘Sì’ came second behind ABBA’s ‘Waterloo’.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Gianfranco Monaldi will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1964: Non ho l'età