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Cambissa, Giorgio

(May 17, 1921 - June 29, 1998)

Giorgio Cambissa was born in Bodio (Switzerland). He studied composition under Giorgio Ghedini and Vito Levi and orchestra conducting under Antonio Guarnieri (in Siena), Herbert von Karajan (in Salzburg) and Sergiu Celibidache. He also took a degree in letters. He undertook an intense career in composition and teaching - teaching at the music high schools in Trieste and Genoa and in the conservatories of Parma, Milan, Bolzano (from 1962 to 1980) and Rome (up until 1989) -, as well as conducting.
A member of Santa Cecilia, he served for about 20 years as artistic director and president of the Ferruccio Busoni Competition and of the Società dei Concerti in Bolzano.

Cambissa’s compositions have won numerous prizes and other forms of recognition in national and international competitions such as the first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium in 1961 in the category of chamber orchestra music. He edited a revision of Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater and published two teaching texts: Armonia complementare and Elementi di analisi formale. As a conductor, he won acclaim in many concerts, collaborating with famous soloists such as the pianists Wilhelm Backhaus, Alfred Cortot and Walter Gieseking and the violinist Arthur Grumiaux.

He participated in a number of governmental study missions abroad and from 1964 on took part in almost all the commissions dedicated to the reform of Italian conservatories. In 1975 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Services to Education, Culture and the Arts.
He was a member of numerous national and international juries (The Premio Musicale of the City of Trieste, in 1953; the Premio di Treviso, from 1963 to 1975; the Geneva Competition, in 1976; the Arthur Rubinstein Competition, in 1977; and the Rodolfo Lipizer Competition in 1990).

Cambissa died in Muravera (Cagliari) on 29 June 1998.