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Berio, Luciano

music composition univ composer

Berio, Luciano, eminent Italian composer, conductor, and pedagogue; b. Oneglia, Oct. 24, 1925. Following initial training from his father, Ernesto Berio, he entered the Milan Cons, in 1945 to study composition with Paribeni and Ghedini, obtaining his diploma in 1950. He married Cathy Berberian in 1950 (marriage dissolved in 1964), who became a champion of his most daunting vocal works. In 1952 he attended Dallapiccola’s course at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood. After attending the summer course in new music in Darmstadt in 1954, he returned to Milan and helped to organize the Studio di Fonologia Musicale of the RAI with Maderna, remaining active with it until 1961. In 1956 he founded the journal Incontri Musicali , and also served as director of the concerts it sponsored until 1960. He taught composition at the Berkshire Music Center (1960, 1982), the Dartington Summer School (1961–62), Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif. (1962–64), and Harvard Univ. (1966–67). From 1965 to 1972 he taught composition at the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y., where he also conducted the Juilliard Ensemble. From 1974 to 1979 he worked at IRCAM in Paris. He also gave increasing attention to conducting, eventually appearing as a guest conductor with leading European and North American orchs. In 1987 he became founderdirector of Tempo Reale in Florence, a research, educational, and composition center. During the 1993–94 academic year, he was the Charles Eliot Norton prof. of Poetry at Harvard Univ., and then served as its Distinguished Composer-in-Residence from 1994. In 1980 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the City Univ. of London. He received the Premio Italia in 1982 for his Duo . In 1989 he was awarded the Ernst von Siemens-Musikpreis of Munich. He won the Premium Imperiale of Japan in 1996.

From the very beginning of his career as a composer, Berio embraced the ideals of the avant-garde. His early use of 12-tone writing was followed by imaginative explorations of aleatory, electronics, objets trouvés, and other contemporary means of expression. As one of the principal composers of his era, Berio has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for infusing new life into established forms. The theatrical nature of much of his music has rendered his vocal scores among the most challenging and significant works of their time. These works, like most of his output, have set daunting hurdles of virtuosity for the performer while demanding a level of tolerance from both critics and audiences alike.

Berlin, Irving (originally, Ba√ľne, Israel) [next] [back] Berigan, Bunny (Rowland Bernard)

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