Ottavio de Rosa, the orchestra conductor for Miami City Ballet during the company’s early years, has died after a long illness at ages 91.
De Rosa had been living in Dunedin, according to his daughter-in-law. He died Wednesday at a hospice.
De Rosa played in and later conducted the orchestra at the New York City Ballet for choreographer George Balanchine. When former NYCB star Edward Villella founded the Miami ballet in 1986, de Rosa was his first choice for music director. De Rosa also held similar positions at the Pittsburgh and Boston ballets.
De Rosa remained at Miami City Ballet until his retirement in 2000. Praising de Rosa’s musicianship and sensitivity to the dancers performing on stage, Villella said Monday that de Rosa was “the delight of the whole company.”