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profiles - performers - conductors - luciano chailly - biography


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Luciano Chailly
Luciano Chailly - Biography
Ferrara, 1920 - Milano, 2002

Sonata tritematica n. 3 (1952)
for orchestra
© Rugginenti Editore

In 1941 he took his violin diploma in his home city, and in 1943 he took his degree in Literature at Bologna University. In 1945, after the war during which he served in the Alpine troops, he took his diploma in composition at the Milan Conservatory, after studying with Carlo Righini in Ferrara and Renzo Bossi in Milan. In 1948 he attended an advanced course held by Paul Hindemith in Salzburg.

Chailly has composed thirteen operas, including Una domanda di matrimonio, Procedura penale and Il mantello (with librettos by Dino Buzzanti), L'idiota, Sogno (ma forse no), and La cantatrice calva. He has also written ballets (including L'urlo and Anna Frank), orchestral works (including the Sonata tritematica no. 3, Sequenze dell'artide, Contrappunti a quattro dimensioni, Es-Konzert), choral-symphonic works (including Missa Papae Pauli and Kinder-Requiem) and chamber music.
From 1951 to 1967 Chailly worked as an organizer of music programmes for RAI-TV (first in the Milan offices, then at the head office in Rome). In 1968 he was nominated artistic director of the Teatro alla Scala, where he remained until 1971. In 1972 he was appointed consultant to the Teatro Regio in Turin, where he contributed to the inauguration of the rebuilt opera house. From 1973 to 1975 he was artistic director of the Angelicum Orchestra and Chorus in Milan, and in 1975/76 he occupied the same post at the Verona Arena. After returning to La Scala in 1977 as organizational director he once again assumed the role of artistic director, but this time at the Genoa Opera (1983/1985).
In addition to working as an arts administrator he has taught composition- first at the Perugia Conservatory, then from 1969 at the Milan Conservatory.

Since 1980 he has been a member of the board in the administrative offices of the S.I.A.E (Italian Society of Composes, Authors and Publishers, opera section), while from 1986 to 1989 he has taught at the Department of Musical Palaeography of the University of Cremona. He then became artistic director of the Orchestra and Chorus of the RAI in Turin.
Chailly has also written musical criticism, contributing to newspaperr, magazines and encyclopedias. He has published the following books: I personaggi (Florence, 1972), Cronache di vita musicale (Rome, 1973), Buzzati in musica (Turin, 1987), Le variazioni della fortuna (Milan, 1989).

He has received the following awards for his artistic archievements: Le Muse (1968), Leonardo (1977), San Francesco d'oro (1977), San Giorgio (1981), Frescobaldi (1983), Una vita per la lirica (1984), Scuola, cultura e arte, with the gold medal of the President of the Republic (1984) and Lorenzo il Magnifico (1987). Chailly is a member of the Academy of Santa Cecilia (Rome) and of the Medicea Academy of Florence.