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Einaudi, Ludovico

Ludovico Einaudi was born in Turin on 23rd November 1955.

He took a diploma in composition at the Milan Conservatory under Azio Corghi and went on to do advanced studies under Luciano Berio.
His first compositions took the form of a number of chamber music and symphonic works. These were performed almost immediately in a range of highly prestigious international venues and concert series, including the Teatro alla Scala, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Tanglewood Festival, IRCAM in Paris, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concert season (USA), Settembre Musica, the UCLA Centre for Performing Arts and the Budapest Music Festival. In 1982 he won a scholarship that gave him the opportunity to attend the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. In the course of the 80s he set out in search of a freer language, one that was capable of absorbing various cultures and influences, including rock music, drawing on its immediacy, emotional charge and sonoric impact.

The outcome, in 1988, was the opera Time Out, a multimedia music theatre work conceived together with the writer Andrea De Carlo. Produced by the American dance company the ISO Dance Theatre, it was a huge success in Italy, the United States and Japan. In this work Einaudi proposes an idea of time as an abstract entity whose every variation is a source of life for music and theatrical action. “In Time Out – says Einaudi – I was thinking about the independent rhythms that circulate in the universe: human, vegetal and planetary, parallel stratifications that run along paths that perhaps will never meet, the presence of which we may every now and again intuit”. After Time Out the composer continued his relationship with dance in The Wild Man (1990) for the Oregon Dance Company, and Emperor in 1991, again with the ISO Dance Theatre, premiered at the Lincoln Centre in New York and subsequently performed in Tokyo and in Israel.

In 1990 he released his album Stanze, made up of a series of 16 pieces interpreted by Cecilia Chailly on the electric harp; of this work Einaudi says: “Every room has its own distinct character and a complete sense, like a song…” and continues… “it is a diary of a journey towards the essential, with the objective of obtaining the maximum in expressive intensity using the minimum necessary resources”.

In 1995 the Arena di Verona commissioned him to write the music theatre work Salgari, based on the life and works of the Verona writer; the choice of the texts was entrusted to Andrea De Carlo, the choreography to Daniel Ezralow and the scenery and video projections to Jerome Sirlin. In this work we see a combination of words, music, gestuality and images, presented in a circular movement that creates the illusion of dramaturgy by way of musical and visual echoes, but nonetheless constantly maintaining a very abstract character.
With his album Le Onde (The Waves) (1996) Einaudi confirmed his earlier success interpreting the piano pieces of a collection inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same name; this album reveals the salient traits of the composer’s musical language: profoundly evocative melodies, close to the language of rock and pop, captivate the listener with their dreamlike and serene line and their sweet and intimately reflective character.

Still in 1996 he wrote Chatrang Ouverture, for band and orchestra and the concerto for trumpet and orchestra Selim, inspired by Miles Davis.
In 1998 the film director Nanni Moretti chose some pieces from Le Onde for the sound track of his film Aprile. Since then the composer has collaborated in a very fruitful manner on a series of films.
As an interpreter Einaudi has played the piano both as a soloist and together with a range of internationally renowned artists and groups, including the Einaudi Electric Ensemble, a group that he himself founded.

Image: photo_2013 © Ludovico Einaudi - All Rights Reserved