Universal Edition - Luciano Berio

Luciano Berio

Luciano Berio

The Composer

Luciano Berio’s biography begins like the story of many Italian (and German, and French…) composers of the past: his ancestors were all musicians ever since the 18th century. He was born in a small town, Oneglia, where his grandfather and his father played the organ in a local church and also composed. (Universal Edition has published some of their works in the volume Berio Family Album where Luciano’s pieces are printed along with Adolfo and Ernesto Berio’s).

While Ernesto Berio was an ardent admirer of the Duce, his son was an equally ardent antifascist – ardent and furious: he could not forgive Mussolini for falsifying music history by suppressing the works of the ...


About the Music

The past as future: Luciano Berio

In the aftermath of the Second World War, many composers of Luciano Berio’s generation felt obliged to wipe the slate clean. To a composer with roots as deep in the achievements of the past four centuries as Berio, this was never an option.

His work constantly re-invented continuities where others saw only the possibilities of rupture. Not that he was ever tempted by the assorted nostalgias that haunted some part of the music of the last century. On the contrary, he maintained an insatiable curiosity about the explorations of his contemporaries – musical or otherwise. But his dialogues with literature, with linguistics, with structural anthropology, ...


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