Born: July 11, 1892; Cuneo
Died: March 25, 1965; Nervi
Regarded within Italy as a highly significant twentieth century composer, Ghedini never achieved equal acclaim elsewhere in the world, perhaps because his music is so difficult to peg stylistically. Ghedini began with a very conservative style by the standards of the time, highly influenced by the music of Ravel and, closer to home, Pizzetti. By the 1930s he had entered a neo-Classical or, more specifically, neo-Baroque phase, rather in theRead more manner of Stravinsky's music during that time, but even more closely adhering to old Italian models in a more modern harmonic idiom. Ghedini shifted into a cold mysticism in the 1940s, and soon was toying with serialism, although he never fully adopted its techniques. Yet in almost every work he retained elements of his previous manners, sometimes to the detriment of a composition's stylistic unity. Through most of his career, in varying ways, Ghedini was particularly interested in timbral effects and "walls of sound"; indeed, it has been said that some of his later works for strings, which work brilliantly in their intended instrumentation, seem meaningless when played in piano reduction.
As a youth, Ghedini studied piano, organ, cello, and composition at the Turin Conservatory and later at the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, from which he graduated in 1911. After trying without great success to launch himself as a conductor, based again in Turin, he turned to teaching. While working on his first, not especially original mature compositions in Turin's conservative climate, he taught at the Turin Conservatory from 1918 to 1937. He switched to the Parma Conservatory from 1938 to 1941, and ended up at the Milan Conservatory, where he served as director from 1951 to 1962. Read less