Bruno Maderna

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Bruno Maderna (21 April 1920 – 13 November 1973) was an Italian conductor and composer.


Bruno Maderna was born Bruno Grossato in Venice but later decided to take the name of his mother, Caterina Maderna.[1] At the age of four he began studying the violin with his grandfather. ‘My grandfather thought that if you could play the violin you could then do anything, even become the biggest gangster. If you play the violin you are always sure of a place in heaven.’[2] As a child he played several instruments (violin, drums and accordion) in his father's small variety band. A child prodigy, in the early thirties he was not only performing violin concertos, he was already conducting orchestral concerts: first with the orchestra of La Scala in Milan, then in Trieste, Venice, Padua and Verona.

Orphaned at the age of four,[3] Maderna was adopted by a wealthy woman from Verona, Irma Manfredi, who saw that he received a solid musical education. Later after taking private lessons in harmony and composition with Arrigo Pedrollo (1935–37) he studied with composition with Alessandro Bustini at the Rome Conservatory (1937–40).[4]

After Rome he returned to Venice, where he attended the advanced course for composers (1940–42) organised by Gian Francesco Malipiero at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory (his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra dates from this time). He also studied conducting with Antonio Guarnieri at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena (1941) and Hermann Scherchen in Venice (1948).[5] The meeting with Scherchen was fundamental to Maderna. Through him he discovered twelve-tone technique and the music of the Second Viennese School.

During the Second World War he took part in the partisan resistance. From 1948 to 1952 he taught music theory at the Venice Conservatory. During this period he collaborated with Malipiero on critical editions of Italian early music. Fellow composers he met at this time included Luigi Dallapiccola and, at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Boulez, Messiaen, Cage, Pousseur, Nono and Stockhausen.

In 1950 Maderna started an international career as a conductor, first in Paris and Munich, then across Europe. In 1955 he founded the Studio di Fonologia Radio in Milan with Luciano Berio[6] and Incontri musicali, a series of concerts disseminating contemporary music in Italy. In 1957–58, at the invitation of Giorgio Federico Ghedini, he taught at the Milan Conservatory and between 1960 and 1962 he lectured at Dartington International Summer School in England. From 1961 to 1966, Maderna and Pierre Boulez were the main directors of the International Kranichsteiner Kammerensemble in Darmstadt. Despite this heavy workload throughout these years Maderna found time to compose.

During the sixties and seventies he spent much time in the USA, teaching and conducting. In 1971–72 he was appointed director of new music at Tanglewood. In 1972–73 he became the principal conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica of RAI in Milan. Bruno Maderna died of cancer in Darmstadt in 1973.

A number of composers wrote pieces in Maderna's memory, including Pierre Boulez (Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna)[7] and Luciano Berio (Calmo for voice and orchestra).[8] Earle Brown's Centering, dedicated to the memory of Maderna, ends with a short quotation from Maderna's First Oboe Concerto.[9]


Bruno Maderna composed much music in all genres: instrumental, chamber, concertos and electronic, as well as large amounts of incidental music (for theatre and radio) and transcriptions and editions of early music.

At the heart of Maderna's output are a number of concertos, including one for violin, one for two pianos, two for solo piano and several for flute and orchestra. He was particularly drawn to the oboe, composing three concertos in all: the first in 1962-63 followed by two more in 1967 and 1973.[10]

Other major orchestral works include Aura and Biogramma (both 1967) and Quadrivium, for four percussionists and four orchestral groups (premiered at the 1969 Royan Festival). Giuseppe Sinopoli recorded all three of these pieces with the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979.

Bruno Maderna also produced scores for eight films and two documentaries. The last of these was for Giulio Questi's thriller La morte ha fatto l'uovo (Death Laid an Egg) in 1968.[11]

Selected recordings

  • Luna Alcalay: Una strofa di Dante (Radio Sinfonie Orchester Wien; ORF Chor; AKM Orf; 1967)
  • Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Alfred Brendel; BBC SO; Stradivarius; 1973)
  • Alban Berg: Orchesterlieder nach Ansichtskartentexten von Peter Altenberg, Op. 4 (Halina Lukomska; Concertgebouw Orchestra; RCO Live; 1968)
  • Alban Berg: Drei Orchesterstücke, Op. 6 (Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks; Arkadia, 1969)
  • Alban Berg: Wozzeck (Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper; Orchester der Hamburgischen Staatsoper; Toni Blankenheim, Richard Cassilly, Peter Haage, Gerhard Unger; Art Haus Musik, 1970)
  • Alban Berg: Lulu (Orchestra della RAI di Roma; Ilona Steingruber, Eugenia Zareska, Luisa Ribacchi, Maria Teresa, Massa Ferrero; Live 1959; Stradivarius, 1959)
  • Alban Berg: Lulu Suite (Mary Lindsay, soprano; Süddeutsches Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester; Arkadia, 1969)
  • Konrad Boehmer: Position (WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, BVHaast, 1963)
  • Pierre Boulez: Le Marteau Sans Maître (Carla Henius, alto; Severino Gazzelloni, flute; Dino Asciolla, viola; Leonida Torrebruno, percussion. Stradivarius, 1961)
  • Pierre Boulez: Figures, Doubles, Prismes (Residentie Orkest, Stradivarius, 1968)
  • Pierre Boulez: Polyphonie X (Orchestra delle RAI, Stradivarius, 1953)
  • Earle Brown: Available Forms I on Panorama della musica nuova (RCA MLDS 61005, 1964)
  • Åke Hermanson: In Nuce, Op. 7[full citation needed]
  • Günter Kahowez: Plejaden No. 2 (Radio Sinfonie Orchester Wien; AKM Orf; 1966)
  • Włodzimierz Kotoński: Canto (Internationales Kranichsteiner Kammerensemble; Wergo, ? )
  • György Ligeti: Aventures/Nouvelles Aventures (Internationales Kammerensemble Darmstadt, Wergo, 1968)
  • Witold Lutosławski: Jeux Vénitiens (Concertgebouworkest, RCO Live, 1967)
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphonie No. 7 (Wiener Symphoniker, Hunt, 1967)
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphonie No. 9 (BBC SO, BBC, 1970)
  • Gian Francesco Malipiero: Sinfonia della Zodiaco (Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI di Torino; Ricordi, ? )
  • Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Symphonie No. 3 (Schottische) (Concertgebouworkest, RCO Live, 1965)
  • Claudio Monteverdi: L'Orfeo (Oralia Dominguez, mezzosoprano; Barry McDaniel, baritone; Koor van de Nederlandse Opera; Utrechts Symfonieorkest. Holland Festival, 1966)
  • Mozart: Symphonie No. 18, KV 130 (Orchestra della RAI di Milano, Stradivarius, ? )
  • Bo Nilsson: Szene No. 3, 1961 (Internationales Kranichsteiner Kammerensemble, Wergo)
  • Luigi Nono: Il Canto Sospeso (Chor und Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks, Stradivarius, 1960)
  • Krzysztof Penderecki: Tren Ofiarom Hirozimy (Orchestra della RAI di Roma; Stradivarius, 1963)
  • Goffredo Petrassi: Noche Oscura (Chor und Orchester des Hessischen Rundfunks; Stradivarius, 1952)
  • Henri Pousseur: Rimes pour différentes sources sonores [for ensemble and pre-recorded sound on magnetic tape] on Panorama della musica nuova RCA MLDS 61005, 1964
  • Maurice Ravel: L'Heure Espagnole (Suzanne Danco; Michel Hamel; John Cameron; André Vessières; Jean Giraudeau; BBC SO. Stradivarius, 1960)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Wiener Symphoniker, Arkadia, 1969)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5 (Sinfonie Orchester des Südwestfunks, Arkadia, 1960)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: 5 Orchesterstücke, Op. 16 (Orchestra della RAI di Torino, Stradivarius, ? )
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Serenade, Op. 24/Suite, Op. 29 (Melos Ensemble of London, Decca, 1962)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Variations for Orchestra, Op.31 (Sinfonie Orchester des Westdeutschen Rundfunks, Arkadia, 1961)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Violin Concerto, Op. 36 (Christiane Edinger, Sinfonie Orchester des Saarlandischen Rundfunks, Arkadia, 1971)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 38 (Sinfonie Orchester des Saarlandischen Rundfunks, Arkadia, 1970)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42 (Alfred Brendel, BBC SO, Stradivarius, 1973)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Genesis, Op. 44 (Coro e Orchestra della RAI di Roma, Stradivarius, 1960)
  • Arnold Schoenberg: A Survivor From Warsaw, Op. 46 (Goren Kubitzki, Orchestra della RAI di Torino, Stradivarius, ? )
  • de (Robert Schollum): Symphonie No. 4, Op. 74 (Radio Sinfonie Orchester Wien, AKM Orf, 1966/7)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gruppen für drei Orchester (Sinfonie Orchester des Westdeutschen Rundfunks, with Stockhausen and Michael Gielen; Deutsche Grammophon, 1968)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen: Kontra-Punkte on Panorama della musica nuova (RCA MLDS 61005, 1964)
  • Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps (Orchestra della RAI di Milano, Stradivarius, ? )
  • Edgard Varèse: Déserts (Concertgebouworkest, RCO Live, 1968)
  • Edgard Varèse: Ionisation (Concertgebouworkest, RCO Live, 1966)
  • Anton Webern: Sechs Stücke für Orchester, Op. 6 (Orchestre delle RAI di Torino, Stradivarius, 1961)
  • Anton Webern: Vier Lieder, Op. 13 (Halina Lukomska, Concertgebouw Orkest, RCO Live, 1968)
  • Anton Webern: Sechs Lieder, Op. 14 (Dorothy Dorow, Melos Ensemble, Stradivarius, 1961)
  • Anton Webern: Concerto, Op. 24 (Melos Ensemble, Stradivarius, 1961)



Further reading

  • 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): 219–40.
  • Baroni, Mario, and Rossana Dalmonte (eds.) (2015). Pour Bruno. Memorie e ricerche su Bruno Maderna. Lucca: Libreria Musicale Italiana.
  • Clark, Philip (2011). "Thoroughly Modern Maderna". Gramophone (January): 44–45.
  • Dalmonte, Rossana, and Mario Baroni (eds.) (1985). "Bruno Maderna, Documenti". Milan: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni.
  • Dalmonte, Rossana, and Mario Baroni (eds.) (1989). Studi su Bruno Maderna. Milan: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni.
  • Dalmonte, Rossana, and Marco Russo (eds.) (2004). Bruno Maderna. Studi e Testimonianze. Lucca: LIM.
  • De Benedictis, Angela Ida. n.d. "Biography", translated by Mark Weir. Centro Studi Luciano Berio website (accessed 8 January 2016).
  • 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 Zeneművészeti 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, 1:559–68. Budapest: Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem. ISBN 963-7181-34-2.
  • Feneyrou, Laurent, Geneviève Mathon, and Giordano Ferrari (eds.) (2007, 2009). À Bruno Maderna, 2 vols. Paris: Éditions de Basalte.
  • Ferrari, Giordano (2000). Les débuts du théatre musical d'avant-garde en Italie. Berio, Evangelisti, Maderna. Paris: L'Harmattan.
  • 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 Welten—weltnahe 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, 571–93. 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): 14–20.
  • 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).
  • Palazzetti, Nicolò (2015). "Italian Harmony during the Second World War. Analysis of Bruno Maderna's First String Quartet". Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale 21, no. 1: 63-91.
  • 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, 599–601. 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, 151–78. 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