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profiles - composers - sylvano bussotti - biography


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Sylvano Bussotti
Sylvano Bussotti - Biography
Firenze, 1931

Lo studiolo di Luca Signorelli
for piano (2002)
© RAI Trade Musical Editions
Solo (1966) da "La Passion Selon Sade"
version for bassoon and piano
Paolo Carlini bassoon
Mauro Castellano piano
© Materiali Sonori

He began to study violin (with Margherita Castellani) when he was about five years old. He studied harmony and counterpoint at the Conservatoire "Luigi Cherubini" of Florence with Roberto Lupi and piano with Luigi Dallapiccola, but he had to interrupt his studies because of the outbreack of the war, without taking any degree. His brother Renzo and his uncle Tono Zancanaro, both painters, and later the meeting with the poet Aldo Baibanti were fundamental for his education. From 1949 to 1956 he studied as autodidact composition thoroughly. From 1956 to 1958 he attended in Paris the private courses of Max Deutsch, met Pierre Boulez and Heins-Klaus Metzger, which will conduct him to Darmstadt, where he knew John Cage. In 1958, in Germany, he began his public activity, with the execution of his compositions by the pianist David Tudor, followed by the presentation in Paris of compositions performed by Cathy Berberian under the guidance of Pierre Boulez.

The Universal Edition and, later, the editors Moeck and Bruzzichelli published in those years some of his scores. From 1956 he eventually strengthened with Casa Ricordi a wider editorial relationship. He lived in the USA from 1964 to 1965, invited by the Foundation Rockfeller in Buffalo, New York, after having held three prizes from SIMC respectively in 1961, 1963 and 1965. In 1967 he got the prize "All'Amelia" of the Biennale di Venezia, in 1974 the prize "Toscani d'Oggi" and in 1979 the Prize Psacaropulo in Turin.

He resided in 1972 in Berlin for a year, guest of the DAAD for the Ford Foundation. He's collaborator of the magazines "Discoteca", "Musica/Realtà" and "Piano Time". He published texts and he's been interviewed by many international newspapers. He published the literary text " I miei teatri", the poems "Letterati ignoranti" and on his dramatic work, the illustrated text "Moda e Musica", he published the text "L'Opera di Sylvano Bussotti" too. He's been artistic director of the Teatro La Fenice of Venice and of the Festival Pucciniano of Torre del Lago. From 1980 he taught history of the musical theatre in the Accademia delle Belle Arti of L'Aquila. He's been teacher of composition and analysis at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. He's been working in the field of musical composition since he was a child but he's interested also in drawing and painting; some of his art exhibitions are organised in various countries all over the world. Starting from the concert activity he developed the theatre activity which led him to be interested also in cinema and television. From 1965 the fundamental aspect of his activity is organising spectacles of musical theatre, in which he realises the syntesis of his creative experience; spectacles, named today BUSSOTTIOPERABALLET (B.O.B.). It is the SpectacleSchool he founded in 1974 in Genazzano and its aim is organising concerts, spectacles, art exhibitions and meetings; it has represented for many years an international reference arousing considerable interest.

He also realises various equipping and productions of lyrical works in the ambit of the "Maggio Musicale Fiorentino", at La Fenice of Venice, at the Regio of Turin, at Massimo of Palermo, at Liceo of Barcelona, at Festival of Torre del Lago; at Caracalla; at the Arena of Verona, and at the Scala of Milan.

The main pieces of the composer are the works: La Passion selon Sade (Palermo, 1965), Lorenzaccio (Venice, Biennale 1972), Nottetempo (Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 1976), Le rarità, Potente (Treviso, 1979), Le Racine (Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 1980), Furioso (Vienna, Konzerthause, 1994), Fedra (Rome, Teatro dell'opera, 1988), L'ispirazione (Florence, Teatro Comunale, 1988), Tieste (Genazzano, Festival BOB 1993), Intégrale Sade (Paris, Opéra Comique, 1989), Bozzetto siciliano (Catania, Teatro Bellini, 1990). I balletti Bergkristall (Rome, 1974), Phaidra/Heliogabalus (Turin, 1981), Le Bal Mirò (Venice, Biennale 1981), il film Rara film (Paris, cinemathèque Française, 1968), e le composizioni Due voci (Cologne, 1960), Sette fogli (New York, Carnegie Hall, 1965), The Rara Requiem (Venice, Biennale 1969), I semi di Gramsci (Rome, Rai, 1972), Il catalogo é questo: (Venice, Biennale 1990), Lingue Ignote (Rome, Goethe Institut 1994).Sylvano Bussotti has been the director of the Musical section. He is academician of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Cavaliere of the rank of Mark Twain and of Mickey Mouse; Commandeur dans l'ordre des arts et des lettres of France. He's academician at the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Updated to 01/2014