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Bruno Maderna

His Life and Works

Rossana Dalmonte
Mario Baroni
Michael Webb, Translator
August 15, 2021

340 pp.

17 illustrations

ISBN: 978-1-57647-329-0

Price to be determined


Bruno Maderna was the oldest of the group of Italian composers born in the 1920s (Berio, Nono, Donatoni…) who began their career shortly before the Second World War and were able to exploit the opportunities offered by the new world that emerged in the post-war years. Maderna’s story is quite unique. He rose to fame early in life as a child prodigy and his exceptional talent was soon noticed by Gian Francesco Malipiero, who stimulated his interest in ancient music, a passion that remained constant even when the European avant-garde insisted that new music should start from year zero. After a first approach to the “classic” dodecaphony, his musical style tended toward the integral seriality and the “opera aperta”. In the last years he developed a particular interest for the theatre. Satyricon was born in Tanglewood in a short version, and later became a big success all over the world, particular after his death. His work as a conductor made him particularly sensitive to the reaction of the public, leading him to carefully calibrate his approach to composition, without being swayed by fashionable ideals or philosophies. Despite his warm and outgoing nature, Maderna rarely expressed his personal views in writing or in interviews. Many of the biographical details given here are taken from his correspondence and from reports of his travels and engagements across the world, which took him as far as the United States, but also to Persia, South America and Japan.


Rossana Dalmonte: Rossana Dalmonte began her academic career at Bologna University in 1972 as assistant professor of History of Music, and then as professor of “Forms of music and poetry”. From 1987 to 2008 she was full professor of Musicology at Trento University, where she also directed an international PhD in “Music sciences”. In 1997 she founded the Istituto Liszt in Bologna, and is director of the Institute’s periodicals Quaderni dell’Istituto Liszt and Rarità Lisztiane. Her principal fields of interest are Philology, Musical Theory and Analysis, and the History of Music. She is co-author of the book The rules of Music (with Mario Baroni and Carlo Jacoboni) and has published articles on the madrigal, Bruno Maderna, Luciano Berio and Franz Liszt.
Mario Baroni: Mario Baroni was formerly director of the Department of Music at Bologna University. He has now retired. In 1990 he founded the Italian association for the analysis and theory of music (GATM), and for three years was president of the European Society for the Study of Cognitive Aspects of Music (ESCOM). His main interests are music analysis, and the integration between analysis and the psychology of music. He has also published works on the social impact of music, music education and on historical aspects of twentieth century music.
Michael Webb, Translator:


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Lives in Music - No. 17