Bruno Maderna

born on 21/4/1920 in Chioggia, Veneto, Italy

died on 13/11/1973 in Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany

Bruno Maderna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Bruno Maderna (21 April 1920 – 13 November 1973) was an Italian conductor and composer. 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. At the age of four he was taught violin in Chioggia, 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).[1]

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. At Rome he was instructed by Alessandro Bustini, but he also took a course of instruction from Antonio Guarnieri in Siena in 1941, and he then studied composition with Gian Francesco Malipiero in Venice in 1942-43.[2]

During World War II he was drafted into the army, but soon after he voluntarily joined the antifascist Partisan Resistance.[3] 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, who had previously studied law.[4]

In 1948 (through Malipiero[5]) he met Hermann Scherchen, and Maderna and Luigi Nono both attended a course of instruction with him at Venice.[6] Scherchen set Maderna's direction towards dodecaphonic method.[7] He was invited to conduct at the (1951) Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik 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.[8] Here he met (among others) Boulez, Messiaen, Stockhausen, Cage, Pousseur 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 Dido and Aeneas, Wagner's Parsifal, many works by Debussy and Ravel, classical and romantic symphonies. Together with Luciano Berio, he founded the Studio di Fonologia Musicale of the RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) in 1954[9]: they also organized the Incontri Musicali ('Musical Encounters') music review[10] and concert series.

In 1957-58 he taught dodecaphonic technique at the Milan Conservatory: in this period he also taught composition seminars at the Dartington International Summer School. 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 and afterward became a German citizen.[11][12]

He died in 1973 at Darmstadt, when he was about to rehearse Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande., and during rehearsals for his own opera, Satyricon.[13] Pierre Boulez wrote his Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna the following year and Luciano Berio wrote "Calmo" for voice and orchestra in homage to his friend. His notable students include Norma Beecroft and Rocco Di Pietro.


Among the early works is the Concerto per due pianoforti e strumenti (194748), influenced by the music of Bartók, which has a special approach towards difficult sonorities. In 1948 he composed his first serial work, the Liriche greche.[14] The Quartetto per archi in due tempi (of 1955) is an even more intensively serial piece.[15]

The flautist Severino Gazzelloni inspired Maderna during the Darmstadt 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 in 1969). A recording of this work, coupled with the composer's Aura and Biogramma, was made by the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra under Giuseppe Sinopoli in 1979 and issued by Deutsche Grammophon.[16] 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.


  1. Dalmonte 2001.
  2. Ircam-Centre Pompidou 2011; Biographie of Maderna: Short Biography in Madeleine Shapiro's Modernworks website (external links).
  3. Stated in the Bach-cantatas Biography (external link).
  4. Ircam Biographie of Luigi Nono (External links).
  5. Sitsky 2002, 329.
  6. Ircam Biographie of Luigi Nono (external links).
  7. Sitsky 2002, 329: Ircam-Centre Pompidou 2011.
  8. Zender, Diry, and Laurentius 2007, [page needed].
  9. Ircam-Centre Pompidou 2011.
  10. Anon. 2011.
  11. Gagné 2012,[page needed]
  12. Ircam-Centre Pompidou 2011.
  13. Ircam-Centre Pompidou 2011.
  14. Dalmonte 2001.
  15. Dalmonte 2001.
  16. (CD catalogue number 423 246-2 GC).


  • Anon. 2011. "Bruno Maderna." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online (Accessed 22 November 2011).
  • Baroni, Mario (2003). "The Macroform in Post-tonal Music: Listening and Analysis". Musicæ Scientiæ: The Journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music 7, no. 2 (Fall): 21940.
  • Clark, Philip (2011). "Thoroughly Modern Maderna". Gramophone (January): 4445.
  • Dalmonte, Rossana (2001). "Maderna [Grossato], Bruno [Brunetto]". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Dalmonte, Rossana, and Mario Baroni (1985). "Bruno Maderna, Documenti". Milan: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni.
  • Dalmonte, Rossana, and Mario Baroni (1989). Studi su Bruno Maderna. Milan: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni.
  • Dalmonte, Rossana, and Marco Russo (2004). Bruno Maderna Studi e Testimonianze. Lucca: LIM.
  • Drees, Stefan (2003). "Renaissance-Musik als Inspirationsquelle für das Komponieren Bruno Madernas und Luigi Nonos". In The Past in the Present: Papers Read at the IMS Intercongressional Symposium and the 10th Meeting of the Cantus Planus, Budapest & Visegrád, 2000, 2 vols., edited by László Dobszay, 1: 545-558. Budapest: Liszt Ferenc Zenemvészeti Egyetem. ISBN 963-7181-34-2
  • Fabbi, Roberto (2002). "Cena sociale. Satyricon e il 'politico'". Musica/Realtà, no. 67.
  • Fearn, Raymond (1990). "Bruno Maderna". [Chur]: Harwood Academic Publishers.
  • Fearn, Raymond (2003). "'Luft von anderem Planeten...': The presence of the Epitaph of Seikilos in Bruno Maderna's Composizione no. 2 (1950)". In The Past in the Present: Papers Read at the IMS Intercongressional Symposium and the 10th Meeting of the Cantus Planus, Budapest & Visegrád, 2000, 2 vols., edited by László Dobszay, 1:55968. Budapest: Liszt Ferenc Zenemvészeti Egyetem. ISBN 963-7181-34-2
  • Gagné, Nicole V. (2012). Historical Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Classical Music. Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6765-9 (cloth); ISBN 978-0-8108-7962-1 (ebook).
  • Ircam-Centre Pompidou (2011). "Bruno Maderna". Resources.ircam (Accessed 22 November 2011).
  • Luzio, Claudia di (2006). "Traumnahe Weltenweltnahe Träume: Zum Verhältnis von Traum und Wirklichkeit im Musiktheater von Luciano Berio und Bruno Maderna". In Traum und Wirklichkeit in Theater und Musiktheater: Vorträge und Gespräche des Salzburger Symposions 2004, edited by Peter Csobádi, Gernot Gruber, and Jürgen Kühnel, 342-356. Wort und Musik: Salzburger akademische Beiträge 62. Salzburg: Mueller-Speiser. ISBN 3-85145-099-X
  • Mathon, Geneviève (2003). "À propos du Satyricon de Bruno Moderna". In Musique et dramaturgie: Esthétique de la représentation au XXème siècle, edited by Laurent Feneyrou, 57193. Esthétique 7. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne. ISBN 2-85944-472-6
  • Mila, Massimo (1999). Maderna musicista europeo, nuova edizione. Piccola biblioteca Einaudi, nuova serie 17. Turin: Einaudi Editore. ISBN 88-06-15059-6
  • Neidhofer, Christoph (2005a). "'Blues' through the Serial Lens: Transformational Process in a Fragment by Bruno Maderna". Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, no. 18 (March): 1420.
  • Neidhofer, Christoph (2005b). "Bruno Madernas flexibler Materialbegriff: Eine Analyse des Divertimento in due tempi (1953)". Musik & Ästhetik 9, no. 33 (January): 30-47.
  • Neidhofer, Christoph (2007). "Bruno Maderna's Serial Arrays". Music Theory Online 13, no. 1 (March).
  • Poel, Piet Hein van de (2003). "Bruno Maderna sur le Satyricon: Pop art en musique". In Musique et dramaturgie: Esthétique de la représentation au XXème siècle, edited by Laurent Feneyrou, 599601. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne.
  • Sitsky, Larry (Ed.) (2002). Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: A Biographical Sourcebook. Westport Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press.
  • Suvini-Hand, Vivienne (2006). "Bruno Maderna's Ausstrahlung". In Sweet Thunder: Music and Libretti in 1960s Italy. Legenda Italian Perspectives 16, 15178. London: Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing. ISBN 1-904350-60-7, ISBN 978-1-904350-60-6 (See extracts at [1])
  • Verzina, Nicola (2003). Bruno Maderna: Etude historique et critique. Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 2-7475-4409-5
  • Zender, Hans, with Roland Diry and Suzanne Laurentius (2007). "Neue Musik erwartet Selbstandigkeit". Ensemble Modern Newsletter no. 24 (January):[page needed].

External links

  • Madeleine Shapiro's Modernworks website, short biography
  • Biography from the Bach-cantatas website
  • Ircam Biography of Luigi Nono
  • Notes on Bruno Maderna from the Avant Garde Project webpage, derived from various record sleevenotes
  • Naxos biography of Maderna
  • Liking Bruno Madera
This page was last modified 20.09.2012 05:24:02

This article uses material from the article Bruno Maderna from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.