Giacomo Manzoni's 90th birthday

Giacomo Manzoni's 90th birthday

In his effort the composer is confronted, like never before, with seemingly limitless possibilities to treat the sound, to construct a musical form, to conceive his works beyond any traditional scheme
(Giacomo Manzoni – program notes, Festival MiTo 2012)

Giacomo Manzoni turns 90. Born in Milan on 26 September 1932, composer as well as music critic, translator (of Adorno, Hölderlin, Mann), writer and teacher, he began his versatile career as an orchestra player and chorus master.

In his reading across the musical language, Manzoni captures the discontinuities undermining the boundaries of compositional practice, and elaborates them in a very personal way. Following the path carved by Debussy, Schönberg, Ives, Varèse, and availing himself of the possibilities offered by the electronic synthesis and transformation of sounds, he explores new spaces of creative freedom, new formal possibilities, and innovative sound dimensions. The development of his own musical language is deeply rooted in his acute political and social awareness, and in the belief that music, as an art form, must elicit a critical consciousness in the composer, as well as in the public. This very consciousness transforms Manzoni’s creative path into a journey, a vital reality, an “uninterrupted self-questioning and self-transformation” (P. Petazzi).

Giacomo Manzoni

Giacomo Manzoni © Roberto Masotti / Lelli e Masotti Archivio

Selection of works from the Ricordi catalogue

Casa Ricordi published his works from 1952 to 2002. From Parole da Beckett (1971) and Hölderlin (1972), to Dieci versi di Emily Dickinson (1988), through his first stage work performed at La Scala (16 May 1989): Doktor Faustus – Scene dal romanzo di Thomas Mann, directed by Robert Wilson and preceded by Scene sinfoniche per il Doktor Faustus (1984). Later works are Il deserto cresce (1992), Moi Antonin A. (1997), Trame d'ombre (1998).

To be mentioned: Masse: Omaggio a Edgar Varèse, for piano and orchestra, dedicated to Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini.


Go to the composer's profile
Peruse the composer's digital scores on nkoda
Buy scores and chamber music on MSE


photo: Giacomo Manzoni © Roberto Masotti / Lelli e Masotti Archivio