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(1925 - 2003)

The Italian composer Luciano Berio was born in Oneglia into a musical family. His father and grandfather were organists and composers and he studied music with them both. Although he developed an interest in the piano, the idea of any possible career as a pianist was ended by an injury to his hand sustained during military service in the army, for which he had enrolled in 1944. From 1946 to 1951 he was a student at the Milan Conservatory where he studied counterpoint with Giulio Cesare Paribeni, composition with Giorgio Ghedini, and conducting with Antonino Votto and Carlo Maria Giulini. In addition he worked as an accompanist and subsequently as a conductor in several provincial opera houses. In 1950 he met and married the singer Cathy Berberian, whose vocal virtuosity was to inspire several of his early works.

In 1952 Berio was awarded a Koussevitzky Foundation Scholarship that enabled him to study serialism with Dallapiccola at Tanglewood. While in the USA he also attended the first American concert of electronic music, given in New York by Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky. Between 1953 and 1960 Berio worked for the Italian Broadcasting Corporation (RAI) in Milan. Here in 1955 he established an electronic music studio with Bruno Maderna, acting as its director until 1959. In addition he and Maderna also founded a journal, Incontri Musicali, and a series of concerts devoted to contemporary music, both of which Berio directed between 1956 and 1959.

During the early 1960s Berio developed a career that saw him living in both Italy and the United States. He taught at Mills College in Oakland, California; Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the Juilliard School in New York City. These posts were combined with periods at the Dartington Summer School in England, and at Darmstadt in Germany. In 1972 he returned to Europe and worked with the French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez in establishing IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris, where he was head of its electro-acoustic section until 1980.

During this period he also took an active interest in conducting, serving as artistic director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra (1975), the Accademia Filarmonica Romana (1975–1976), the Orchestra Regionale Toscana (1982), and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1984). In 1987 he founded the Tempo Reale, a centre for live electronics in Florence, of which he was artistic director. Here he worked with musicians and computer experts in developing new forms and techniques of musical composition. In 1993–1994, he was Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard University, which was followed by a five-year appointment as Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at Harvard. In 1999 he took over as interim director of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and was elected its President and Artistic Director in 2000. Berio was a pioneer in the use of electronics in composition and applied advances in digital processing to his creative explorations of the human voice, in combination with solo instruments and orchestra.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Conductors, Naxos 8.558087–90).

View by Role: Classical Composer | Lyricist | Arranger | Conductor
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BERIO, I.: Sinfonia / Calmo / Ritirata notturna di Madrid (Räisänen, Finnish Radio Symphony, Lintu) Ondine
Vocal Ensemble, Vocal, Vocal Ensemble
BERIO, L.: Sequenzas I-XIV (Shulman, Goodman, Arnold, B. Berman, Trudel, Dann, Sarc, Wood, Valdepenas, Few, Sainz Villegas, Munday, Petric, Adkins) Naxos
Instrumental, Vocal, Instrumental
BERIO: Linea / Sequenza VIII / Chamber Music / MADERNA: Serenata per un satellite / Giardino Religioso / Oboe Concerto No. 2 Dynamic
Vocal, Chamber Music, Vocal, Instrumental
BERNSTEIN, L.: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Suite / Slava! / CBS Music / A Bernstein Birthday Bouquet (São Paulo Symphony, Alsop) Naxos
BERNSTEIN, L.: Orchestral Music (Complete Naxos Recordings) (Baltimore Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony, Alsop) (8-CD Box Set) Naxos
Biber, H.I.F.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 3, 5, 6 / BERIO, L.: 34 Duets (excerpts) / Sequenza VIII (Arditti, Lyriarte) Oehms Classics
Cello Recital: Rosselet, Frederic - BACH, J.S. / BERIO, L. / DUTILLEUX, H. / LIGETI, G. Yarlung Records
Chamber Music - COGGIOLA, P. / BOCCADORO, C. / BERIO, L. / GALANTE, C. / MONTALBETTI, M. / ANTONIONI, F. (Zingiber) (Sentieri Selvaggi) Cantaloupe Music
Clarinet Recital: Bosi, Sergio - BERIO, L. / BETTINELLI, B. / BUCCHI, V. / DIONISI, R. / GABUCCI, A. (20th-Century Italian Clarinet Solos) Naxos
Clarinet Recital: Brunner, Eduard - WIDMANN, J. / BERIO, L. / JOLIVET, A. / DENISOV, E. / GOEHR, A. / HOSOKAWA, T. / REIMANN, A. Naxos
Clarinet Recital: Cirigliano, Josè Daniel - DE ROSSI RE, F. / GOTTARDO, A. / AZAROVA, S. / TESTI, F. / LUPPI, G.P. (Contemporary Clarinet Works) Tactus
FRIEDRICH, Reinhold: Trumpet Collection (The) (10-CD Box Set) Capriccio
Guitar Recital: Garcia, Thibaut - BACH, J.S. / BERIO, L. / REGONDI, G. (Demain dès l'aube) Contrastes Records
KURTAG / LIGETI / BERIO / SCRIABIN / LUTOSLAWSKI: Piano 4-Hands and 2 Piano Works Dynamic
Chamber Music
NONO, L.: Polifonica - monodia - ritmica / MADERNA, B.: Serenata No. 2 / BERIO, L.: Differences (Maderna, Berio) (1961) Naxos Classical Archives
Chamber Music
ODEONSPLATZ CONCERT 2013 (THE) - Verdi and Wagner (Villazón, Hampson, Nézet-Séguin) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
Classical Concert
ODEONSPLATZ CONCERT 2013 (THE) - Verdi and Wagner (Villazón, Hampson, Nézet-Séguin) (NTSC) C Major
Classical Concert
PUCCINI / BERIO: Turandot (Salzburg Festival, 2002) (PAL) TDKDVD
Opera DVD
SACHER, Paul: Resonanzen (1961-1987) Musiques Suisses
Chamber Music
Saxophone and Accordion Recital: Xu, Yueming / Krenn, Michael - BURKALI, T. / BERIO, L. / BACH, J.S. / TAKEMITSU, Toru / MARCELLO, A. (Distance) Gramola Records
SCHWANTNER, J.: Consortium I / In aeternum / IVES, C.: Largo for Violin, Clarinet and Piano / DAVIDOVSKY, M.: Synchronisms No. 3 (Boston Musica Viva) Delos
Trumpet Recital: Friedrich, Reinhold - ZIMMERMANN, B.A. / BERIO, L. / RIHM, W. / SCELSI, G. / KILLMAYER, W. Capriccio
Viola Recital: Watras, Melia - ROCHBERG, G. / ARAD, A. / BERIO, L. / RAN, S. (ispirare) Dorian Sono Luminus
Chamber Music, Vocal
Violin Recital: Barenboim, Michael - SCIARRINO, S. / TARTINI, G. / BERIO, L. / PAGANINI, N. Accentus Music
Violin Recital: Dodds, Daniel - BACH, J.S. / YSAYE, E. / BERIO, L. / ROCHBERG, G. / ERNST, H.W. / BRAM, T. / MESSIAEN, O. (Time Transcending) Oehms Classics
Vocal Recital: Shirai, Mitsuko - SCHOECK, O. / BERG, A. / HINDEMITH, P. / NUMMI, S. / BRITTEN, B. / WEBERN, A. / RESPIGHI, O. / BERIO, L. Capriccio
Role: Lyricist 
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Catalogue No  Work Category 
Role: Arranger 
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Role: Conductor 
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