Rosetta Samarotto Memorial Scholarship
Rosetta Samarotto was a homemaker, wife, mother, and friend.
Rosetta Samarotto was born in San Daniele, a small, hill-top,village in Friuli, Italy. The area was known for proscuitto and the strong character of its people, especially the women who run the household. Her love of travel first came from watching her father, Leo Scrosoppi, as he drove the local train from San Daniele to Udine, the closest city, often bringing young Rosetta along for the short journey. She left home as a young woman to see the world. Samarotto travelled to Rome and Florence, and later to Washington, D.C. and New York, her last home.
Samarotto grew up in the tumultuous period of post-war Italy, witnessing the ascent of fascism as a child, and the horror of war and occupation as a young adult who was responsible for the upbringing and safeguard of the children who belong to Italy's prominent aristocratic families in Rome and Florence. At age 20, she left San Daniele to Rome to become a nurse, and to fulfill a desire to evade the small town. This marked the beginnings of her travels as she became precious to families who entrusted her with the care of their children. In 1950, she would follow one of these families—a high-ranking British diplomat, his wife, and two kids—to America.
While in Washington, D.C., working for the British Diplomatic Corps, Samarotto met a young Italian saxophone player named Alessandro Samarotto. They would marry soon after and move to New York City where Alessandro worked. In NYC, Rosetta and Alessandro had two children, Frank and Alexa. Today, Frank carries on his parent's love for music as a Professor of Music Theory at the Jacobs School of Music.
Throughout the rest of her life, Samarotto would remain active in the Italian and Friulian communities in New York by helping fellow Italians to settle in the country. She continued to bring comfort and inspire many people in everyday life, friends, and strangers alike. Her incredible life and the account of Italian history it offers were the subject of a book entitled Dal Friuli a New York, which was published in 2008.
The Rosetta Samarotto Memorial Scholarship was established by Anna Danieli and Federico Manaigo in order to remember Rosetta and her life by supporting a young person as they embark on a journey from Italy to the United States to cultivate his or her passion for music. The Jacobs School of Music is honored to award this scholarship to international students with preference to those from Italy who study at the Jacobs School.