- Walter G. Simmons
Mennin, Peter (17 May 1923–17 June 1983), composer and educational administrator, was born Peter Mennini in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of Attilio Mennini, a restaurant owner, and Amelia Bennaci. The elder Mennini was an avid record collector, and music was a central feature of the family environment. (Peter’s older brother Louis Mennini also became a professional composer. Peter later changed his name to avoid confusion between the two.) Peter began formal musical study at age five and started to compose at the age of seven. He entered the Oberlin College Conservatory in 1940 but left to join the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. By this time he had already completed his First Symphony, a large work nearly an hour in duration. On completion of his military service in 1943, Mennin entered the Eastman School of Music, where his major teachers were ...