Encouraged by Eliodoro Sollima, Marco Betta (born in Enna, July 27, 1964) began studying composition, and under his guidance, graduated at the Conservatory of Music in Palermo. Afterwards Betta specialised with Armando Gentilucci, and with Salvatore Sciarrino. From 1994 until 2002, Betta was artistic director at Teatro Massimo in Palermo. He teaches Composition at the Conservatory in Palermo.
As composer, he made his debut in 1982 at the Festival Spazio Musica in Cagliari and since then the main elements of his approach to music began to define: melodies, suspended harmony and chord structures that merge with music of ancient Mediterranean cultures and the great classical tradition of our times. The concept of music, conditioned by the ancient literary and architectural cultures of Sicily and the Mediterranean areas, was the point of departure for Betta’s subsequent compositions, such as In ombra d’amore, ballata for viola (1988), Maiores umbræ for 5 instruments (1989), Cadentia sidera for piano and string orchestra (1989), Senti l’eco, for orchestra (1989) and Ballata for violin and piano (1990). His music was broadcast and performed in Europe, the United States, the ex-URSS, Argentina, and Brazil. In Italy, he began receiving invitations and commissions from theatres and festivals such as, the Teatro La Scala, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Accademia Chigiana in Siena, the Arena di Verona, the RAI Symphonic Orchestra, the Tuscan Regional Orchestra.
Betta also wrote many chamber operas. In 2001 he began the collaboration with the writer Andrea Camilleri and the director Rocco Mortelliti for the creation of a cycle of operatic works based on Le inchieste del Commissario Collura. The two one-act works, Il mistero del finto cantante and Che fine ha fatto la piccola Irene? (second part of the cycle) were premiered in 2003 at Accademia Chigiana, Siena.
In 2004, he was involved in a project with Placido Domingo who performed his composition Corone di pietra in MondoVision at the Arena di Verona. This work is an aria for tenor, chorus, and orchestra upon a text by Daniele Martino. In 2005 he wrote the incidental music for the drama by Ruggero Cappuccio Paolo Borsellino essendo stato which toured in the Italian theatres during the 2005/6 season. In the same year he wrote Sette storie per lasciare il mondo - opera for music and film in seven parts - by Roberto Andò and Marco Betta. The premiere took place at Teatro Bellini in Catania (September 2006).
In May 2010, the opera in one act Natura viva (libretto by Ruggero Cappuccio) was premiered in Florence, at 73° Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Betta is also prolific in the field of soundtracks.
His music is published by Casa Ricordi and Casa Musicale Sonzogno, Milan.