- Berio, Luciano
born Oct. 24, 1925, Oneglia, Italydied May 27, 2003, RomeItalian composer.He was an important innovator in electronic music, the combining of live and taped music, aleatory music, graphic notation, musical "collage" using borrowed material, and (perhaps most significantly) in musical "performance pieces." His wife, the singer Cathy Berberian (1925–83), was his principal collaborator. His best-known works include Omaggio a Joyce (1958), Visage (1961), Sinfonia (1968), Opera (1970), and his series of Sequenze (1958–2002).
* * *▪ 2004Italian composer (b. Oct. 24, 1925, Oneglia, Italy—d. May 27, 2003, Rome, Italy), drew on serialism, aleatoric practices, electronic sounds, musique concrète, and other sources to create a complex musical language. He received his first music lessons from his father and grandfather and beginning at age 20 studied at the Milan Conservatory. In 1952 he studied with Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, Mass. Later in the 1950s he participated in the summer sessions in Darmstadt, then in West Germany, the centre of the European avant-garde. In the mid-1950s, with Italian composer Bruno Maderna, he founded an electronic music studio in Milan, and during this time he also published the journal Incontri Musicali. Berio spent much of the 1960s teaching and conducting in the U.S. and from 1965 taught at the Juilliard School, New York City, where he founded the Juilliard Ensemble. Returning to Europe in 1972, he taught at the centre for experimental music established by Pierre Boulez in Paris, and in 1987 he founded an Italian counterpart, Tempo Reale, in Florence. In 2000 he became the president and artistic director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Berio wrote in many forms, from solo pieces to chamber and orchestral works to operas. Several early works for voice were written for performance by his first wife, Cathy Berberian. The Sequenza series (from 1958) was written for solo instruments, including the voice. His best-known work was perhaps Sinfonia (1968–69), which included texts taken from James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and the scherzo from Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, among other borrowings, illustrating the range of Berio's influences and interests. Operas included Una vera storia (1977–81) and Un re in ascolto (1979–84), both collaborations with the writer Italo Calvino. Berio's completion of the final act of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot was debuted in 2002.
* * *▪ Italian composerborn Oct. 24, 1925, Oneglia, Italydied May 27, 2003, RomeItalian musician, whose success as theorist, conductor, composer, and teacher placed him among the leading representatives of the musical avant-garde. His style is notable for combining lyric and expressive musical qualities with the most advanced techniques of electronic (electronic music) and aleatory (aleatory music) music.Berio studied composing and conducting at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, and in 1952 he received a Koussevitzky Foundation scholarship at Tanglewood, Mass., where he studied under the influential composer Luigi Dallapiccola (Dallapiccola, Luigi). With another leading Italian composer, Bruno Maderna, he founded (1954) the Studio di Fonologia Musicale at Milan Radio. Under Berio's direction until 1959, it became one of the leading electronic music studios in Europe. There he attacked the problem of reconciling electronic music with musique concrète (i.e., composition using as raw material recorded sounds such as storms or street noises rather than laboratory-created sounds). Berio and Maderna also founded the journal Incontri Musicali (1956–60; “Musical Encounters”), a review of avant-garde music.In all his work Berio's logical and clear constructions are considered highly imaginative and poetic, drawing elements of style from such composers as Igor Stravinsky (Stravinsky, Igor) and Anton Webern (Webern, Anton). Serenata I (1957), his last major serial piece, was dedicated to Pierre Boulez (Boulez, Pierre). Différences (1958–59, rev. 1967) contrasts live and prerecorded instruments. His Sequenza series (1958–2002) includes solo pieces for flute, harp, female voice (Sequenza III  was written for performance by his former wife, soprano Cathy Berberian), piano, and violin that incorporate aleatory elements. Other compositions include Laborintus II (1965) and Sinfonia (1968), which incorporate a wide range of literary and musical references. Sinfonia also gathers a large performance force using an orchestra, organ, harpsichord, piano, chorus, and reciters. Berio's Coro (1976) is written for 40 voices and 40 instruments. Among his later pieces are the orchestral work Formazioni (1987) and the operas Outis (1996) and Cronaca del luogo (1999). In addition to composing, Berio also taught at a number of institutions, including Juilliard in New York City (1965–71) and Harvard University (1993–94) in Cambridge, Mass. In 2000 he became president and artistic director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, posts he held until his death.
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