Luciano Berio

Biography

Born: October 24, 1925; Oneglia, Italy   Died: May 27, 2003; Rome, Italy  
Luciano Berio was one of the most important Italian composers of the second half of the twentieth century, a leader of the international avant-garde who has managed to write music that is communicative and pleasing to audiences. He received musical instruction from his father and grandfather, organists in Oneglia, and continued musical training through his school years. After World War II he went to Milan to study law but also became a Read more composition pupil with Ghedini, a composer known for his interest in many styles. He passed that interest on to Berio, who started his career as a neo-Classicist.

While in school Berio met met a remarkable American singer, Cathy Berberian. They married and went to the U.S. on their honeymoon. At Tanglewood, he met his famous countryman Luigi Dallapiccola, who was teaching there. From him, Berio learned to work with the 12-tone system and also absorbed an interest in working with sound as a musical parameter. He met the electronic music pioneers Ussachevsky and Luening, which furthered his interest in sound. This led him, on his return to Europe, to seek out Bruno Maderna, Henri Pousseur, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, leaders of the European avant-garde who were also interested in electronic music.

In 1955 Berio and Bruno Maderna founded a Studio di Fonologia at a Milan radio station; it was the first electronic music studio in Italy. Berio became very active there, organizing concerts and also publishing a new music journal, both under the name Incontri musicali. He resigned his position with the studio in 1961, worn out by overwork, red tape, and political infighting.

Berio explored the frontiers of sound, particularly vocal sound, thanks to his association with Berberian. She was willing and able to produce a remarkable variety of extended techniques with her voice, which she did with the utmost musicianship. But Berberian was also able to win audiences with her superior showmanship. Representative of Berio's vocal writing is Sequenza III for solo voice, which portrays 44 emotional states in seven and a half minutes and includes conventional singing, coughs, sighs, sobs, and a sound Berio called "girl-bird." The work Omaggio a Joyce used Berberian's voice as the source sounds for a tape music piece. The more traditional Folk Songs was a display piece for her facility with languages. Berio's noteworthy, ongoing series of solo instrumental works -- many in theSequenza series -- have often explored the timbral possbilities of a particular instrument.

In the 1960s Berio taught at Tanglewood, Dartington, Darmstadt, Harvard, Juilliard, and Mills College, Oakland, CA. By the end of the decade, his marriage to Berberian had ended, and he returned to Europe. One of his most remarkable "American" compositions was Sinfonia (1969), a striking work built on the principles of quotation and collage. Back in Italy, he produced a series of television programs to popularize modern music. He was appointed to the board of IRCAM in Paris and wrote other notable works, such as Voci and Coro. In 1987 he founded Tempo Reale, a research institute in Milan. One of his many important later works is Renderings, which utilizes the fragmentary posthumous sketches of Schubert's Tenth Symphony with clouds of sound that eventually coalesce into syntactic units. Berio died in Rome in 2003. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 158 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sequenza / Wawrowski
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 558280 Release Date: 11/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugčne Ysa˙e,  Bjarne Brustad,  Grazyna Bacewicz,  Krzysztof Penderecki  ... 
    Performer:  Janusz Wawrowski
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  • 2.
    In the Voice of the Labyrinth / Berberian
    Label: Symphonia   Catalog: ERM1036 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Anonymous,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Kurt Weill  ... 
    Performer:  Cathy Berberian,  Luciano Sgrizzi,  Bruno Canino,  Dario Muller
    Conductor:  Francis Travis,  Giorgio Bernasconi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RTSI Orchestra,  Gruppo Musica Insieme di Cremona
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  • 3.
    Dream Images / Ivanov
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: GD393 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb,  Alexander Scriabin,  Luciano Berio,  Galina Ustvolskaya
    Performer:  Svetozar Ivanov
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  • 4.
    Pascal Gallois Conducts Prague Modern
    Label: Alfi Records   Catalog: 37031 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gerard Grisey,  Luciano Berio,  Dai Fujikura
    Performer:  Pascal Gallois
    Conductor:  Pascal Gallois,  Tatsuya Shimono
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Modern,  Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Dieci minuti all'alba / Monarda
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 37043 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giorgio Gaslini,  Luis Enriquez Bacalov,  Jeffrey Levine,  Gilberto Bosco  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Monarda
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  • 6.
    Different Traces / Velten
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 16424 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Jodlowski,  Steve Reich,  Luciano Berio,  Gordon Kampe  ... 
    Performer:  Ruth Velten
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  • 7.
    Water / Helene Grimaud (Limited Edition)
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002483102 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Nitin Sawhney,  Toru Takemitsu,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud,  Nitin Sawhney
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  • 8.
    Water / Helene Grimaud [Deluxe Digipack]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002442702 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Nitin Sawhney,  Toru Takemitsu,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud,  Nitin Sawhney
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  • 9.
    Water / Helene Grimaud [Transparent Vinyl 2 LP]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002442901 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Nitin Sawhney,  Toru Takemitsu,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud,  Nitin Sawhney
    LP: $32.49
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  • 10.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 11.
    Distance
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99073 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Toru Takemitsu,  Benedetto Marcello  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo FugARTo
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  • 12.
    Ispirare / Melia Watras
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 70002 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Rochberg,  Atar Arad,  Luciano Berio,  Shulamit Ran
    Performer:  Melia Watras,  Winston Choi,  Galia Arad,  Valerie Muzzolini Gordon  ... 
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  • 13.
    Orbit: Music for Solo Cello (1945-2014) / Haimovitz
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186542 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Philip Glass,  David Sanford,  Osvaldo Golijov,  Luciano Berio  ... 
    Performer:  Matt Haimovitz
    SuperAudio CD: $39.99
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  • 14.
    Masterworks of the 20th Century
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875061902 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Pierre Boulez,  Toru Takemitsu,  Igor Stravinsky,  Gunther Schuller  ... 
    Performer:  Yvonne Minton,  Yuji Takahashi,  James Pappoutsakis,  John Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Danlee Mitchell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Musique Vivante,  New Philharmonia Strings,  Toronto Symphony  ... 
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  • 15.
    Opus 1
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 15368 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg,  Peter Eötvös,  Luciano Berio
    Performer:  Frank Dupree
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  • 16.
    Pascal Gallois: Solo
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 37020 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Olga Neuwirth,  Pierre Boulez,  Luciano Berio
    Performer:  Pascal Gallois
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  • 17.
    Mariss Jansons Live: The Radio Recordings, 1990-2014 [13-CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 15002 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Louis Andriessen,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Leo van Doeselaar  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $158.99
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  • 18.
    Nature
    Label: Ravello   Catalog: 7904 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Lang,  Luciano Berio,  Denys Bouliane,  Nate Evans
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The City of Tomorrow
    CD: $14.99
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  • 19.
    Pierre Boulez - Le Domaine Musical, 1956-1967 [10-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002287572 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Karlheinz Stockhausen,  Luciano Berio,  Pierre Boulez,  Olivier Messiaen  ... 
    Performer:  Severino Gazzelloni,  Georges von Gucht,  Jeanne Deroubaix,  Serge Collot  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Rudolf Albert,  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Domaine Musicale Orchestra,  Les Percussions de Strasbourg,  Parrenin string quartet  ... 
    CD: $98.49
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  • 20.
    Thomas Hecker: Oboe
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 15345 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Luciano Berio,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Isang Yun  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hecker,  Raphael Alpermann,  Michael von Schonermark,  Mischa Meyer  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    Demain Des L'aube
    Label: Contrastes   Catalog: 6201407 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luciano Berio,  Giulio Regondi
    Performer:  Thibaut Garcia
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  • 22.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Erato Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2564619048 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Pierre Boulez,  Luciano Berio  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Amoyal,  Peter Serkin,  Simon Estes,  Ann Murray  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ensemble InterContemporain,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $84.49
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  • 23.
    Variations / Benjamin Hochman
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2327 Release Date: 02/17/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Oliver Knussen,  Luciano Berio,  George Benjamin  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Hochman
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Liszt Inspections
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 13292 Release Date: 01/01/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Friedrich Cerha,  Kurt Weill,  György Ligeti  ... 
    Performer:  Marino Formenti
    CD: $29.99
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  • 25.
    Folk Songs - Berio, Nurulla-Khoja, Žuraj, Gentilucci, Ungureanu, Nikodijevic, Jazylbekova
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 11316 Release Date: 11/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Farangis Nurulla Khoja,  Vito Žuraj,  Marta Gentilucci  ... 
    Performer:  Noa Frenkel
    Conductor:  Detlef Heusinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Experimental,  Electronic Media
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