Berio, Luciano (lōchäˈnō bĕrˈyō) [key], 1925–2003, Italian composer, b. Oneglia. After studying at the Milan Conservatory and working as a coach and conductor in Italian opera houses, Berio was introduced in 1952 to serial music by Luigi Dallapiccola, and a nondoctrinaire serialism subsequently pervaded his music. In 1954, he began working in electronic music at Milan Radio with Bruno Maderna, and founded the Studio di Fonologia Musicale, an important electronic music center. Despite the uncompromising modernism of his innovative and analytically avant-garde compositions, their richly sensuous sound colorings and dramatic power made them popular with concert audiences.
Among Berio's many works are Sequenzas I–XIII (1957–94), each a virtuoso piece for a different solo instrument and one (1966) for the soprano voice; Circles, settings of poems of E. E. Cummings for mezzo-soprano, harp, and percussion; several pieces with texts taken from James Joyce's work; Visage (1961), for electronically manipulated voice; Sinfonia (1968), for orchestra and voices; Opera (1970, rev. 1977), for mixed media; La vera storia (1982), an opera with acrobats and a wordless soprano; Ofanim (1988), for voices, instruments, and electronics; and two operas, Outis (1996) and Cronaca del Luogo (1999). In the late 1980s Berio, who was also an influential teacher, founded the Centro Tempo Reale, a Florence new music center for research, production, and training.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.