Riccardo Nova was born in Milan (October 22, 1960). He contemporaneously studied both flute and composition at the G. Verdi Conservatory of Milan, with Giuliano Zosi and Giacomo Manzoni, respectively. He went on to advanced studies with Franco Donatoni in Milan and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, where he earned a diploma of merit in 1989.
He has been working with all main European ensemble such as Ictus Ensemble, Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Arditti string quartet, Ensemble L'Itinéraire, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Ensemble Musiques Nouvelle, Alter Ego, Icarus Ensemble, Quintetto Bibiena etc.
His music has been performed on important concert series, including Ars Musica Festival in Brussels, Wien Modern Festival, Festival Présences sponsored by Radio France, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Festival Archipel in Genève, Festival Agora in Paris, Tokyo New Music Festival, Saison musicale IRCAM in Paris, Milano Musica and Società del Quartetto in Milan, Biennale di Venezia, Festival Ultrashall in Berlin, ECLAT Festival in Stuttgart, REC festival in Reggio Emilia (Italy).
Since early 90s he has been living periodically in India where he studied South Indian music with M.T. Raja Kesari (a former student of K.R. Mani, from Madras).
Since 1998 Riccardo Nova is active in the field of "hard core/avantgarde techno". He is the founder with Massimiliano Viel of the group Overclockd
, and with Massimiliano Viel and Maurice/P, Articoolaction
He composed the music for Ma
, the world wide acclaimed production of the young Asian/British coreographer Akram Khan. Since its première in Singapore in May 2004, Ma has had more than 150 performances in all the most important theatres in the world (Sydney Opera House, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Théatre de la Ville, etc.).
In 2006 he composed the music for Portopalo: nomi su tombe senza corpi
, a theatrical Requiem dedicated to the memory of the 276 victims of Portopalo tragedy.
Several of his chamber works and works for percussion, reflections of his studies on polyrhythm, have been recorded on two CDs for Stradivarius label, in performances respectively by the Caput Ensemble of Reykjavik and the Symbola Percussion Ensemble. His composition Ma's sequence 7
has been recorded for Karnatic Lab Records. Eleven 420:11@destruction generating deity
has been recorded for Impossible Records. Always in 2006 he composed the Thirteen/13x8@terror generating deity
trilogy, which ended in a work for seven soloists (Alter Ego&DGD), two Techno Musicians (Pan Sonic from Helsinki) and orchestra, a coproduction of Orchestra RAI Turin, and Ictus Ensemble from Brussels.
Thirteen 13x8@terror generating deity (the ultimate reality)
was selected at the 2007 International Rostrum of Composeres. In the frame of Ultraschall festival 2009 Arditti Quartet and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart world premiered Seventeen Mantras of Victory
, work commissioned by Deutschlandradio Kultur.
A portrait concert dedicated to Nova's latest production was performed by the Ictus ensemble in occasion of the 17th edition of Milano Musica in Milan (2008). For the ballet company of the Accademia della Scala he wrote the ballet Ipnos
, on a choreography by Davide Bombana, staged in Milan in October 2008, and the video-opera Nineteen Mantras
(performed in Rome in January 2012), for which he collaborated with the director Giorgio Barberio Corsetti and the choreographer and dancer Shantala Shivalingappa. On 4th October 2012 at the festival deSingel in Antwerp the Blindman Octet performed the world premiere of Ottetto
for 4 saxophones and 4 percussionists.
Riccardo Nova's music is published both by Casa Ricordi and Suvini Zerboni.