Bruno Maderna
Bruno Maderna was an Italian conductor
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

 and composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. For the last ten years of his life he lived in Germany and eventually became a citizen of that country.


Maderna was born in Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

. At the age of four he was taught violin in Chioggia
Chioggia is a coastal town and comune of the province of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy.-Geography:...

, and his grandfather recognized the child's brilliance. So began his career as a child prodigy. He was known in Italy and abroad as "Brunetto" (Italian for Little Bruno).

He continued his studies in Milan (1935), Venice (1939) and in Rome (1940), where he finally took his degree in composition and musicology at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is one of the oldest musical institutions in the world, based in Italy.It is based at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, and was founded by the papal bull, Ratione congruit, issued by Sixtus V in 1585, which invoked two saints prominent in Western...

. At Rome he was instructed by Alessandro Bustini, but he also took a course of instruction from Antonio Guarnieri
Antonio Guarnieri
Antonio Guarnieri was an Italian conductor and cellist.After playing cello in the Martucci string quartet he turned to conducting in 1904, being engaged by the Vienna Court Opera in 1912.He succeeded Toscanini at La Scala in 1929 and stayed there until shortly before his death...

 in Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 in 1941, and he then studied composition with Gian Francesco Malipiero
Gian Francesco Malipiero
Gian Francesco Malipiero was an Italian composer, musicologist, music teacher and editor.-Early years:Born in Venice into an aristocratic family, the grandson of the opera composer Francesco Malipiero, Gian Francesco Malipiero was prevented by family troubles from pursuing his musical education in...

 in Venice in 1942-43.

During World War II he was drafted into the army, but soon after he voluntarily joined the antifascist Partisan Resistance. After the War, 1947-1950, he taught composition at the Venice Conservatory at the invitation of Malipiero. In those years he taught a large class which included Luigi Nono
Luigi Nono
Luigi Nono was an Italian avant-garde composer of classical music and remains one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century.- Early years :Born in Venice, he was a member of a wealthy artistic family, and his grandfather was a notable painter...

, who had previously studied law.

In 1948 (through Malipiero) he met Hermann Scherchen
Hermann Scherchen
Hermann Scherchen was a German conductor.-Life:Scherchen was originally a violist and played among the violas of the Bluthner Orchestra of Berlin while still in his teens...

, and Maderna and Luigi Nono both attended a course of instruction with him at Venice. Scherchen set Maderna's direction towards dodecaphonic method. He was invited to conduct at the (1951) Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik
Darmstadt New Music Summer School
Initiated in 1946 by Wolfgang Steinecke, the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt , held annually until 1970 and subsequently every two years, encompass both the teaching of composition and interpretation and include premières of new works...

 in Darmstadt, where he took a founding initiative in the Internationales Kranichsteiner Kammer-Ensemble, a chamber-group which was newly re-convened every year as an ad-hoc-Ensemble. Here he met (among others) Boulez
Pierre Boulez
Pierre Boulez is a French composer of contemporary classical music, a pianist, and a conductor.-Early years:Boulez was born in Montbrison, Loire, France. As a child he began piano lessons and demonstrated aptitude in both music and mathematics...

, Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex ; harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations...

, Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

, Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde...

, Pousseur
Henri Pousseur
Henri Pousseur was a Belgian composer.-Biography:Pousseur studied at the Academies of Music in Liège and in Brussels from 1947 to 1953. He was closely associated with Pierre Froidebise and André Souris...

 and the most important performers of the neue Musik, who inspired him to compose new pieces.

Maderna was a versatile conductor, capable of switching between different musical styles. He directed Purcell's
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

 Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell to a libretto by Nahum Tate. The first known performance was at Josias Priest's girls' school in London no later than the summer of 1688. The story is based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid...

, Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

's Parsifal
Parsifal is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the 13th century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival and his quest for the Holy Grail, and on Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, the Story of the Grail.Wagner first conceived the work...

, many works by Debussy
Claude Debussy
Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions...

 and Ravel
Maurice Ravel
Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects...

, classical and romantic symphonies. Together with Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian composer. He is noted for his experimental work and also for his pioneering work in electronic music.-Biography:Berio was born at Oneglia Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (October 24, 1925 – May 27, 2003) was an Italian...

, he founded the Studio di Fonologia Musicale of the RAI
RAI — Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A. known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane, is the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Ministry of Economic Development. Rai is the biggest television company in Italy...

 (Radiotelevisione Italiana) in 1954: they also organized the Incontri Musicali ('Musical Encounters') music review and concert series.

In 1957-58 he taught dodecaphonic technique at the Milan Conservatory
Milan Conservatory
The Milan Conservatory is a college of music which was established by a royal decree of 1807 in Milan, capital of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. It opened the following year with premises in the cloisters of the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Passione. There were initially 18 boarders,...

: in this period he also taught composition seminars at the Dartington
Dartington is a village in Devon, England. Its population is 1,917. It is located west of the River Dart, south of Dartington Hall and about two miles from Totnes...

 Summer School of Music (UK). From 1967 to 1970 he taught conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum and also at the Rotterdam Conservatory. In 1963 he relocated to Darmstadt in the then West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 and afterward became a German citizen.

He died in 1973 at Darmstadt
Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area.The sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation, prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat...

, when he was about to rehearse Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande
Pelléas et Mélisande (opera)
Pelléas et Mélisande is an opera in five acts with music by Claude Debussy. The French libretto was adapted from Maurice Maeterlinck's Symbolist play Pelléas et Mélisande...

., and during rehearsals for his own opera, Satyricon. Pierre Boulez wrote his Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna
Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna
Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna is a composition for large chamber ensemble in eight groups by the French composer Pierre Boulez. It was first performed in London, 2 April 1975, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Boulez....

the following year and Luciano Berio wrote "Calmo" for voice and orchestra in homage to his friend. His notable students include Norma Beecroft
Norma Beecroft
Norma Marian Beecroft is a Canadian composer, producer, broadcaster, and arts administrator. A member of the Canadian League of Composers and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre, she twice won the Canada Council's Lynch-Staunton Award for composition...

 and Rocco Di Pietro
Rocco Di Pietro
Rocco Di Pietro is an artist whose work as composer-pianist, essayist, educator and habilitationist, has crossed multiple disciplinary boundaries. Starting in January 2009 Di Pietro will be SICA Composer in Residence. He will undertake a variety of projects in a campus wide initiative including...



Among the early works is the Concerto per due pianoforti e strumenti (1947–48), influenced by the music of Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

, which has a special approach towards difficult sonorities. In 1948 he composed his first serial work, the Liriche greche. The Quartetto per archi in due tempi (of 1955) is an even more intensively serial
In music, serialism is a method or technique of composition that uses a series of values to manipulate different musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as one example of...


The flautist Severino Gazzelloni inspired Maderna during the Darmstadt
Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area.The sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation, prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat...

 experience. In 1961 he composed Honeyreves for flute and piano: this piece was built on complex flute melodies and on unusual piano sound effects (clusters, playing on the strings, etc.). In the Studio di Fonologia Musicale, with the help of sound technician Marino Zuccheri, he wrote some electroacoustic works: Musica su due dimensioni (Music in two dimensions, 1952, rev. 1957 and 1963) for flute and magnetic tape, Notturno (1956) and Continuo (1958) both for magnetic tape.

In 1962-63 Maderna wrote his First Oboe Concerto (Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Ensemble). In 1967 he wrote his Second Oboe Concerto, and in 1973 his Third.

One of his works is Quadrivium for four percussionists and four orchestral groups (played for the first time at the Royan Festival
Royan Festival
The Royan Festival was held in Royan from 1964 to 1977. It was a multi-disciplinary annual event, bringing together:* an important contemporary music festival;...

 in 1969). A recording of this work, coupled with the composer's Aura and Biogramma, was made by the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
The North German Radio Symphony Orchestra is a German orchestra, the symphony orchestra of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg....

 under Giuseppe Sinopoli
Giuseppe Sinopoli
-Biography:Sinopoli was born in Venice, Italy, and later studied at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice under Ernesto Rubin de Cervin and at Darmstadt, including being mentored in composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen...

 in 1979 and issued by Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical record label which was the foundation of the future corporation to be known as PolyGram. It is now part of Universal Music Group since its acquisition and absorption of PolyGram in 1999, and it is also UMG's oldest active label...

. Among various other compositions are an electro-acoustic divertimento Le Rire (1964), a "work in progress" called Hyperion, and an opera Satyricon.

Maderna was versatile: he also produced scores for five Italian movies released between 1946 and 1968.

External links

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