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profiles - composers - luciano berio - biography


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Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio - Biography
Oneglia, 1925 - Roma, 2003

opus number zoo (1975)
for wind quintet
© Universal Edition, London
Folk Songs - Black is the color
for voice, flute, clarinet, harp, percussion, viola and cello
Luisa Castellani soprano
Logos ensemble

He was one of the principal protagonists of the present avant garde achieving decisive results not only in the field of electronic music, but also in the new music theatre and the new conception of vocalism (assisted by the singer Cathy Berberian) and of instrumental music; characteristic of his style is a sense of phonic "concreteness" and a close attention to the particular properties of the sound medium. 

Berio studied with his father before attending composition classes at the Milan Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Paribeni and Ghedini. In 1954 he founded with Maderna the Studio di Fonologia at the Milan Radiotelevision station, the first Italian studio for electronic music which he directed until 1961. In 1956 he started the periodical "Incontri Musicali" and was responsible until 1960 for concert events promoted by the magazine.

He taught extensively in the United States and in Europe, holding courses of composition at Tanglewood (1960, 1962), at Dartington Summer School (1961, 1962), at Mills College, Oakland in California (1962, 1963), at Darmstadt, at Köln, at Harvard University and - from 1965 to 1972 - at The Juilliard School of Music of New York. From 1974 to 1979 he collaborated with IRCAM of Paris. In 1980 he received an honoris causa degree from the City University of London; he was also awarded the Edison and Wolf Foundation Prizes and, in 1989, the Ernst von Siemens-Musikpreis of Munich. In addition he was honorary member of the Salzburg Mozarteum Hochschule. Nominated Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University for the academic year 1993/94, in 1996 Berio was awarded the "Imperial Premium", the prestigious prize for music of the Japanese Art Association, the first Italian in the field of music to receive this important prize. He conducted leading orchestras in America and in Europe. In 2000, he was elected President and Artistic Director of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome and in 2001 received the "Luigi Vanvitelli" International Prize (Caserta).

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Updated to 01/2014