Berio, Luciano

Berio, Luciano lo͞ochä´nō bĕr´yō [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.

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