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profiles - composers - camillo togni - biography


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Camillo Togni
Camillo Togni - Biography
Gussago, 1922 - 1993
Du bleicher Geselle
for 11 instruments
© Ricordi - Fonit Cetra
He began studying piano at the age of seven years, firstly under the guidance of Alfredo Casella and Giovanni Anfossi and finally of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, achieving his diploma at the Conservatory of Parma in 1946.
He attended classical studies in Brescia, graduating in philosophy at the University of Pavia in 1948 with a dissertation on The Aesthetics of B. Croce and the Problem of Musical Interpretation.
At the same time he began studying composition in Brescia with Franco Margola, continuing with Alfredo Casella in Rome and Siena. He held concerts as a pianist till 1953; after this date he performed in concert only his own music.Having been strongly impressed in 1938 by a performance of Arnold  Schönberg's music, he ripened in the following years an always increasing interest towards the second Viennese school.
In 1940 he started a decisive approaching towards the methods of serial composition which attracted him, in the historical context of Expressionism, as a sort of vocation. For the knowledge of the movement of German music Expressionism and Schönberg's scores, Camillo Togni found during the first war years the precious help of his friend Luigi Rognoni. From 1951 through 1953 he attended the Darmstadt Ferienkurse. In 1953 the Congrès pour la liberté de la Culture in Paris invited him to write a composition (Ricerca, for baritone and five instruments) for the Festival La Musique du Xxe siècle held in the following year.
In 1954 the town of Darmstadt commissioned to him the cycle of Five Lieder for soprano and piano Helian, on a text by Georg Trakl.
The composition Rondeaux per dieci was awarded with the ISCM prize for chamber music in 1965 and was performed during the Madrid festival in the month of May of the same year.
From 1960 to 1961 he gave courses of contemporary music at the University for Foreigners in Florence. From 1977 to 1988 he hold the chair of the High Course of Composition at the Conservatory of Parma. Since autumn 1989 he teached at the special Courses of Composition at the Music School of Fiesole.
His works have been performed several times at the Festival of Venice and at the ISCM Festivals of Bruxelles, Cologne and Madrid, at the Contemporary music Weeks of Palermo, at the WDR of Cologne and during the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, where he has been honorary guest in 1990. He died in Brescia on 1993.