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 1946–51 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 uvre 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 1967–71. He later served as artistic director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra in 1975, of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana in 1975–76, of the Orchestra Regionale Toscana from 1982–2003, and of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino from 1984–2003.
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 1944–45 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 1953–61. 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 1956–60. He served as director of the electroacoustic department at IRCAM from 1974–80 and founded the center for live electronics Centro Tempo Reale in Florence in 1987 and served as its artistic director from 1987–2003. 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 1961–62, at Mills College in 1962 and in 1963–64, and at the Juilliard School of Music from 1965–71. He later lectured as Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard University in 1993–94. He served as interim director of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome in 1999–2000 and as its president and artistic director from 2000–03.
He was married to the mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian from 1950–65, to the psychologist Susan Oyama from 1966–72 and to the musicologist Talia Pecker from 1977–2003.
Universal Edition publishes most of his music.
E-mail address for consulting scores: firstname.lastname@example.org
COMPLETE LIST OF WORKS
STAGE: Allez-hop! (racconto mimico, text by Italo Calvino), mezzo-soprano, 8 actors, dance troupe, orchestra, 1952–59, revised 1968; Passaggio (messa in scena, texts by Edoardo Sanguineti, the composer), soprano, 8 mixed voices, 5 choral groups (8 mixed voices, around hall), 2 flutes, 3 clarinets, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, 2 bassoons, French horn, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, harp, electric guitar, viola, cello, double bass, harmonium, 5 percussion, 1961–62; Laborintus II (azione scenica, text by Edoardo Sanguineti, after Dante Alighieri, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, François Villon), 3 female voices, male speaker, 8 actors, mixed chorus, flute, 3 clarinets (3rd + bass clarinet), 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 harps, 2 celli, 2 double basses, 2 percussion, tape, 1963–65; Per la dolce memoria di quel giorno (ballet, scenario by the composer, after Petrarch, choreography by Maurice Béjart), tape, 1974; Opera (music theatre work, texts by the composer, Umberto Eco, Alessandro Striggio, Susan Yankowitz, a Sicilian folksong), 2 sopranos, tenor, baritone, 8 mixed voices, children's chorus, 10 actors, on-stage ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, double bass, piano, percussion), large orchestra (70 players), tape, 1969–77 (four sections may be performed separately as concert works: Air; Melodramma; Agnus; E vó); La vera storia (2 act azione musicale, libretto by Italo Calvino, the composer), soprano, 2 mezzo-sopranos, alto, character tenor, tenor, baritone, bass, 8 mixed voices, minimum 60 mixed voices, 8 mimes, dance troupe, acrobats, on-stage ensemble (guitar, violin, bass guitar, pianola, accordion, tubular bells), small orchestra (piccolo, 2 flutes, 3 clarinets, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, 3 French horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, tenor horn, baritone horn, tuba, percussion), large orchestra (104 players), 1977–81 (one section may be performed separately as a concert work: Pas de quoi); Un re in ascolto (2 part azione musicale, libretto by the composer, after Italo Calvino, Wystan Hugh Auden, Friedrich Einsiedel, Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter, William Shakespeare), 3 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, bass-baritone, bass, mixed chorus, actor, mime, dance troupe, large orchestra, 1979–83; Naturale (ballet), viola, tam-tam, tape, 1985; Compass (ballet-recital), large orchestra, 1994; Twice upon... (theatre without words), children's chorus, oboe, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, synthesizer, 1994; Vor, während, nach 'Zaide' (commentary on an unfinished opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, text by L. Arruga), orchestra (9 winds, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, trombone, harp, timpani [+ tam-tam], strings), 1995; Outis (2 part azione musicale, texts compiled by Dario Del Corno, the composer), 2 sopranos leggeri, 3 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, countertenor, 2 tenors, 3 baritones, bass-baritone, actor, 2 male mimes, 8 mixed voices, mixed chorus, on-stage ensemble (trumpet, trombone, violino piccolo, 2 pianos, accordion, cymbals [+ bass drum]), large orchestra (3 flutes [3rd + piccolo], alto flute, oboe, English horn, E-flat clarinet, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 4 saxophones, bassoon, contrabassoon, 11 brass, harp, piano, celesta, sampler, 3 percussion, strings), live electronics, 1995–96; Cronaca del luogo (azione musicale, text by Talia Pecker), soprano, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, 3 baritones, actor-speaker, 2 actors, trumpet, trombone, children's chorus, 24 mixed voices, 48 mixed voices, on-stage ensemble (clarinet, violin, accordion), orchestra (2 piccolos, 3 flutes, alto flute, oboe, 2 E-flat clarinets, 3 clarinets, 2 bass clarinets, 4 saxophones, bassoon, 11 brass, MIDI-keyboard, 2 percussion, 3 violins, 3 violas, 3 celli, double bass), tape, live electronics, 1998–99
ORCHESTRAL: Concertino, clarinet, violin, small orchestra (harp, celesta, strings), 1950, revised 1970; Due Pezzi, 1951 (version of chamber work); Variazioni, 1953–54; Nones, 1954; Divertimento, 1957 (collaboration with Bruno Maderna); Serenata, flute, small orchestra (oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass), 1957; Alleluja II, 5 orchestral groups (with 2 conductors), 1955–58; Tempi concertati, flute, violin, small orchestra (piccolo, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, 2 harps, 2 pianos [2nd + celesta], xylophone [+ glockenspiel], marimba [+ vibraphone], 2 percussion, violin, 2 violas, 2 celli, double bass), 1958–59; Chemins I, harp, large orchestra (76 players), 1965 (version of Sequenza II); Chemins III, viola, large orchestra (piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 12 brass, 2 harps, celesta, electronic organ, 4 percussion, strings), 1968, revised 1973 (version of Chemins II); Chemins IIb, orchestra (9 winds, 8 brass, electric guitar, piano, electronic organ, 3 percussion, violin, 6 violas, 4 celli, 3 double basses), 1969 (version of Sequenza VI; also vesion as Chemins IIc, bass clarinet, orchestra [9 winds, 8 brass, electric guitar, piano, electronic organ, 3 percussion, violin, 6 violas, 4 celli, 3 double basses], 1972); Bewegung, large orchestra, 1971, revised 1984; Concerto, 2 pianos, large orchestra, 1972–73; Eindrücke, large orchestra (81 players), 1973–74; 'points on the curve to find...', piano, small orchestra (3 flutes, oboe, English horn, 3 clarinets, alto saxophone [+ tenor saxophone], 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, trombone, bass tuba, celesta, viola, 2 celli, double bass), 1973–74; Chemins IV, oboe/soprano saxophone, 11 strings, 1975, revised 2000 (version of Sequenza VIIa); Il ritorno degli snovidenia, cello, orchestra (11 winds, 8 brass, piano, 11 strings), 1976–77; Pas de quoi, 1977 (section of La vera storia; may be performed separately as a concert work); Encore, large orchestra, 1978, revised 1981; Entrata, large orchestra, 1980; Accordo, 4 symphonic bands (minimum 400 players), 1980; Corale su 'Sequenza VIII', violin, small orchestra (2 French horns, 23 strings), 1981 (version of Sequenza VIII); Fanfara, 1982; Requies (in memoriam Cathy Berberian), orchestra (9 winds, 5 brass, harp, celesta, marimba, 27/30 strings), 1983–84; Voci (Folk Songs II), viola, 2 orchestral groups (5 winds, 3 brass, percussion, 12 strings; 6 winds, 4 brass, synthesizer, 2 percussion, 15 strings), 1984; Formazioni, large orchestra (93 players), 1985–86
ORCHESTRAL: Concerto II (echoing curves), piano, 2 orchestral groups (13 winds, 7 brass, celesta, 3 violas, 3 celli, 3 double basses; piccolo, oboe, E-flat clarinet, alto saxophone, 6 brass, electronic organ, 34 strings), 1988; LB.AM.LB.M.W.D.IS.LB, large orchestra, 1988; Rendering (after sketches for Symphonie Nr. 10 by Franz Schubert), orchestra/large orchestra (8 winds, 7 brass, celesta, timpani, 32/58 strings), 1988–89; Festum, large orchestra, 1989; Continuo, large orchestra (66 players, around hall), 1989; Chemins V, guitar, orchestra (7 winds, 4 brass, 2 harps, accordion, marimba, 27 strings), 1992 (version of Sequenza XI); Re-Call, small orchestra (8 winds, 8 brass, 7 strings), 1995; Notturno, string orchestra, 1995 (version of Notturno [Quartetto III]); Kol od (Chemins VI), trumpet, orchestra (11 winds, 6 brass, celesta, accordion, 12 strings), 1996 (version of Sequenza X); Récit (Chemins VII), alto saxophone, orchestra (13 winds, 7 brass, harp, piano, celesta, strings), 1996 (version of Sequenza IXb; also version by Claude Delangle, alto saxophone, percussion, saxophone orchestra [3 soprano saxophones, 3 alto saxophones, 3 tenor saxophones, 2 baritone saxophones, baritone saxophone/bass saxophone], 2003); Ekphrasis (Continuo II), large orchestra (92 players, around hall), 1996; Alternatim, clarinet, viola, orchestra (13 winds, 5 brass, 32 strings), 1996–97; SOLO, trombone, orchestra (14 winds, 12 brass, 34 strings), 1999
CHAMBER MUSIC: Due Pezzi, violin, piano, 1951 (also version for orchestra); Quartetto, string quartet, 1955–56; Sequenza I, flute, 1958; Différences, flute, clarinet, harp, viola, cello, tape, 1958–59, revised 1967; Sequenza II, harp, 1963 (also version as Chemins I); Sincronie, string quartet, 1963–64; Sequenza V, trombone, 1966; Gesti, alto recorder, 1966; Sequenza VI, viola, 1967 (also version for cello, 1981; version as Chemins II, viola, ensemble [flute, clarinet, trombone, harp, viola, cello, electronic organ, 2 percussion], 1967 [also versions as Chemins III; Chemins IIb; Chemins IIc]); Sequenza VIIa, oboe, 1969 (also version as Chemins IV; version by Claude Delangle as Sequenza VIIb, soprano saxophone, 1993); Memory, electric piano, electric harpsichord, 1970, revised 1973 (version of work for 2 pianos); Autre fois (berceuse canonique pour Igor Stravinsky), flute, clarinet, harp, 1971; Linea, 2 pianos, vibraphone, marimba, 1973; Musica Leggera, flute, viola, cello, tambourine, 1974; Sequenza VIII, violin, 1976–77 (also version as Corale su 'Sequenza VIII'); Les mots sont allés..., cello, 1976–78; Sequenza IXa, clarinet, 1980 (also version as Sequenza IXb, alto saxophone, 1981 [also version as Récit (Chemins VII)]; version by Rocco Parisi as Sequenza IXc, bass clarinet, 1997); Duetti per due violini (34 duos), 2 violins, 1979–83 (10 sections may be performed separately as Zehn ausgewählte leichte Duos, 1979–81; also version by Eugenia Kanthou of 5 sections as Selected easy duos, guitar, 1987); Lied, clarinet, 1983; Sequenza X, trumpet, amplified piano, 1984 (also version as Kol od [Chemins VI]); Call (St. Louis Fanfare), French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, 1985, revised 1987; Terre chaleureuse, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1985 (incomplete); Gute Nacht, trumpet, 1986; Ricorrenze, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1985–87; Comma, E-flat clarinet, 1987; Sequenza XI, guitar, 1987–88 (also version as Chemins V); Psy, double bass, 1989; Notturno (Quartetto III), string quartet, 1986–93 (also version for string orchestra as Notturno); Brin, guitar, 1994 (version by Bruce Charles of piano work); Sequenza XII, bassoon, 1995; Sequenza XIII (Chanson), accordion, 1995–96; Glosse, string quartet, 1997; Korót, 8 celli, 1998; Sequenza XIV, cello, 2002 (also version by Stefano Scodanibbio as Sequenza XIVb, 2004)
CHORAL: Magnificat, 2 sopranos, 6 mixed voices, orchestra, 1949; Sinfonia (texts by Claude Lévi-Strauss, the composer, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, student graffiti), 8 amplified mixed voices, large orchestra (83 players), 1967–69 (incorporates version of O King); Cries of London, 6 mixed voices, 1973–74 (also version for 8 mixed voices, 1975); Coro (texts by Pablo Neruda, songs from various cultures), 40 mixed voices, orchestra (15 winds, 11 brass, piano, electronic organ, 2 percussion, 3 violins, 4 violas, 4 celli, 3 double basses), 1975–76, revised 1977; Ofanim (texts from the Book of Ezekiel, Song of Solomon [Hebrew translations]), female voice, 2 children's choruses, 2 ensembles (3 flutes [3rd + piccolo], E-flat clarinet, clarinet, French horn, piccolo trumpet, trumpet, trombone, timpani [+ percussion]; 3 flutes [3rd + piccolo], E-flat clarinet, clarinet, French horn, piccolo trumpet, trumpet, trombone, MIDI-keyboard, timpani [+ percussion]), live electronics, 1988, revised 1997; Canticum novissimi testamenti (text by Edoardo Sanguineti, after the New Testament), 8 mixed voices, 4 clarinets, 4 saxophones, 1989; There is no tune (text by Talia Pecker), mixed chorus, 1994; Shofar (text by Paul Celan), mixed chorus, orchestra, 1995; Hör (text by Paul Celan), mixed chorus, large orchestra, 1995 (section of Requiem der Versöhnung, a collaboration with Friedrich Cerha, Paul-Heinz Dittrich, Marek Kopelent, John Harbison, Arne Nordheim, Bernard Rands, Marc-André Dalbavie, Judith Weir, Krzysztof Penderecki, Wolfgang Rihm, Alfred Schnittke–Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jōji Yuasa, György Kurtág); E si fussi pisci (text from a Sicilian folksong [Italian translation]), mixed chorus, 2002; Stanze (texts by Giorgio Caproni, Edoardo Sanguineti, Alfred Brendel, Paul Celan, Dan Pagis), baritone, 3 male choruses (6 voices total), large orchestra (piccolo, 3 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, E-flat clarinet, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 12 brass, piano [+ celesta], glockenspiel, 3 percussion, 52 strings), 2002–03
VOCAL: Opus Number Zoo (text by Rhoda Levine; all players speak text), flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1950–51, revised 1970; Quattro Canzoni popolari, female voice, piano, 1946–52, revised 1973 (versions of two songs incorporated into Folk Songs); El mar la mar (text by Rafael Alberti), soprano, mezzo-soprano, flute (+ piccolo), 2 clarinets (2nd + bass clarinet), harp, cello, double bass, accordion, 1952, revised 1969; Chamber Music (text by James Joyce), female voice, clarinet, harp, cello, 1953; Circles (text by E.E. Cummings), female voice, harp, 2 percussion, 1960; Folk Songs (texts from American, Armenian, French, Sicilian, Italian, Sardinian, Azerbaijani folksongs), mezzo-soprano, flute (+ piccolo), clarinet, harp/guitar, viola, cello, 2 percussion, 1946–64 (incorporates versions of two songs from Quattro Canzoni popolari; also version for mezzo-soprano, orchestra [7 winds, French horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, 2 percussion, strings], 1972); Sequenza III (text by Markus Kutter), female voice, 1965–66; O King (text by the composer), mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 1967 (version incorporated into Sinfonia); Air (text by Alessandro Striggio), soprano, orchestra (9 winds, 3 French horns, 2 pianos, electronic organ, 3 percussion, violas, celli, double basses), 1969 (section of Opera; may be performed separately as a concert work; also version for soprano, violin, viola, cello, piano, 1970); Melodramma, tenor, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, double bass, piano, electronic organ, percussion, 1970 (section of Opera; may be performed separately as a concert work); Agnus, 2 sopranos, 3 clarinets, obbligato electronic organ, 1971 (section of Opera; may be performed separately as a concert work); E vó (text from a Sicilian folksong), soprano, flute, oboe, 3 clarinets, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, electronic organ, percussion, 1972 (section of Opera; may be performed separately as a concert work); Recital I (for Cathy) (text by the composer), mezzo-soprano, small orchestra (flute [+ piccolo], oboe, 2 clarinets [2nd + bass clarinet], alto saxophone, trumpet, bass trumpet, trombone, 3 pianos, electronic organ, percussion, violin, viola, cello, double bass), 1972; Calmo (in memoriam Bruno Maderna, text by Homer), mezzo-soprano, small orchestra (piccolo [+ flute], alto flute, E-flat clarinet, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, bassoon, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, harp, percussion, 3 violas, 3 celli, 2 double basses), 1974, revised 1989; Epiphanies (texts by Antonio Machado, Bertolt Brecht, Edoardo Sanguineti, James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Claude Simon), female voice, large orchestra (82 players), 1959–91; Altra voce (text by Talia Pecker), mezzo-soprano, alto flute, live electronics, 1999; Alois (text by Alfred Brendel), baritone, orchestra, 2001
PIANO: Petite Suite, 1947; Cinque Variazioni, 1952–53, revised 1966; Sequenza IV, 1965–66; Rounds, 1967 (version of harpsichord work); Memory, 2 pianos, 1970, revised 1973 (also version for electric piano, electric harpsichord); Six Encores, 1965–90 (each of its sections may be performed separately: Wasserklavier, 1965; Erdenklavier, 1969; Luftklavier, 1985; Feuerklavier, 1989; Brin, 1990; Leaf, 1990]; also version by Bruce Charles of Brin for guitar, 1994); Sonata, 2001
ORGAN: Fa-Si, 1975
HARPSICHORD: Rounds, 1964–65 (also version for piano)
ELECTROACOUSTIC: Ritratto di città, 1-track tape, 1954 (collaboration with Bruno Maderna); Mutazioni, 1-track tape, 1955; Perspectives, 2-track tape, 1957; Thema (Omaggio a Joyce), 2-track tape, 1958; Momenti, 4-track tape, 1960; Visage, 2-track tape, 1961; Chants parallèles, tape, 1974–75
RADIO PRODUCTIONS: a-ronne (radiophonic documentary, text by Edoardo Sanguineti), 8 actors, 1974 (also version for 5 actors, 1975); Il diario immaginario (radio opera, libretto by Vittorio Sermonti, Luigi Diemoz), mixed chorus, large orchestra, tape, 1975
ARRANGEMENTS: Variazioni (Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen) (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), 2 basset horns, string orchestra, 1956 (section of Divertimento für Mozart, a collaboration with numerous composers; may be performed separately); Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Claudio Monteverdi), soprano, tenor, baritone, 3 violas, cello, double bass, harpsichord, 1966; Le grand lustucru from Marie Galante (Kurt Weill), mezzo-soprano, 12 players, 1967, revised 1972, 1993; Surabaya Johnny from Happy End (Kurt Weill), mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, guitar, violin, viola, cello, double bass, percussion, 1967, revised 1972, 1993; Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit from Die Dreigroschenoper (Kurt Weill), mezzo-soprano, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, accordion, vibraphone, 1967, revised 1975, 1993; The Modification and Instrumentation of a Famous Hornpipe as a Merry and altogether Sincere Homage to Uncle Alfred (Henry Purcell), flute/oboe, clarinet, viola, cello, harpsichord, percussion, 1969; Quattro versioni originali della 'Ritirata Notturna di Madrid' (Luigi Boccherini), large orchestra, 1975; Siete canciones populares españolas (Manuel de Falla), mezzo-soprano, orchestra, 1978; Opus 120 No. 1 (Johannes Brahms), clarinet/viola, orchestra, 1984–86, revised 1990; Fünf frühe Lieder (Gustav Mahler), baritone, orchestra, 1986; Sechs frühe Lieder (Gustav Mahler), baritone, large orchestra, 1987; Wir bauen eine Stadt (Paul Hindemith), children's chorus, piano 4 hands/orchestra, 1987; Otto Romanze (Giuseppe Verdi), tenor, orchestra, 1990; Contrapunctus XIX from Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080 (Johann Sebastian Bach), small orchestra (23 players), 2001; Act 3, Final Scene from Turandot (Giacomo Puccini), 2001
(Last updated on May 4, 2008)