Berio-Sinfonia for orchestra and voces 2 of 3.wmv


Berio, Luciano (b. October 24, 1925, Oneglia, Imperia d. May 27, 2003, Rome). Italian composer of mostly stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a conductor. Mr. Berio studied initially with his grandfather Adolfo Berio (b. 1847 d. 1942) and father Ernesto Berio, who were both composers and organists, and he quickly developed an interest in the piano. He studied composition with Giorgio Federico Ghedini and counterpoint with Giulio Cesare Paribeni at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan from 194651 and received lessons on serialism from Luigi Dallapiccola at Tanglewood in 1952, on a scholarship from the Koussevitzky Foundation. He also holds honorary doctorates from universities in London (1980), Siena (1995) and Edinburgh and Turin (both 1999). He has received numerous awards, including the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis (1989), the Wolf Prize in Arts in Jerusalem (1991), the Leone d'Oro per la Musica at the Biennale di Venezia (1995), the Praemium Imperiale in Japan (1996), and the Premio Internazionale Luigi Vanvitelli in Caserta (2001). His œuvre has been prominently featured at numerous recent festivals, including ones in Genoa and London (both 1994), Milan (1996), Paris (1997), Schleswig-Holstein (1998), and Geneva, Gütersloh, Lisbon, and Salzburg (all 1999). Furthermore, he is the subject of several publications, including Luciano Berio: Two Interviews by Rossana Dalmonte and Bálint András Varga (1985, translated by David Osmond-Smith), Playing with Words: A Guide to Luciano Berio's 'Sinfonia' by David Osmond-Smith (1985) and Berio by David Osmond-Smith (1991). As a conductor, he has been active since the late 1960s. He founded the Juilliard Ensemble in New York City in 1967 and served as its conductor from 196771. He later served as artistic director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra in 1975, of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana in 197576, of the Orchestra Regionale Toscana from 19822003, and of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino from 19842003. Mr. Berio is also active in other positions. He worked as a pianist from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, but a right-hand injury suffered during service in the Italian military in 194445 curtailed his career. He worked as an accompanist, and on occasion as a timpanist, from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s. He co-founded with Bruno Maderna the Studio di Fonologia Musicale for electronic music at RAI in Milan in 1953 and served as its director from 195361. He also co-founded with Bruno Maderna the avant-garde journal Incontri Musicali in 1956 and served as both its editor and the organizer of its same-named concert series from 195660. He served as director of the electroacoustic department at IRCAM from 197480 and founded the center for live electronics Centro Tempo Reale in Florence in 1987 and served as its artistic director from 19872003. Moreover, he served as artistic director of the festival Musik im 21. Jahrhundert organized by Saarländischer Rundfunk in 2000 and of the L'arte della Fuga project in Den Haag, London, Lyon, and Spoleto in 2001. He taught at Tanglewood in 1960, at Dartington in 196162, at Mills College in 1962 and in 196364, and at the Juilliard School of Music from 196571. He later lectured as Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard University in 199394. He served as interim director of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome in 19992000 and as its president and artistic director from 200003. He was married to the mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian from 195065, to the psychologist Susan Oyama from 196672 and to the musicologist Talia Pecker from 19772003. Sinfonia is a composition by the Italian composer Luciano Berio that was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary. Composed in 1968-69 for orchestra and eight amplified voices, it is a musically innovative post-serial classical work, with multiple vocalists commenting about musical (and other) topics as the piece twists and turns through a seemingly neurotic journey of quotations and dissonant passages. The eight voices are not used in a traditional classical way; they frequently do not sing at all, but speak, whisper and shout words by Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose Le cru et le cuit provides much of the text, excerpts from Samuel Beckett's novel The Unnamable, instructions from the scores of Gustav Mahler and other writings. Leonard Bernstein states in the text version of his Charles Eliot Norton lectures from 1973 that Sinfonia was representative of the new direction classical music was taking after the pessimistic decade of the sixties (Bernstein 1976

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