Stefano Gervasoni was born in Bergamo (July 26, 1962).
In 1980, following the advice of Luigi Nono, he began studies in composition and went on to graduate from Milano’s Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, where he studied under the guidance of Luca Lombardi, Niccolò Castiglioni and Azio Corghi. In 1990 he pursued specialization under György Ligeti in Hungary; in 1992 he attended IRCAM’s Course in Composition and IT Music. Gervasoni’s development was also heavily influenced by his encounters with Luigi Nono, Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös and Helmut Lachenmann.
Gervasoni’s career as a composer dates back to the early ’90s in Paris. He received numerous commissions from French cultural institutions and was named member of the French Academy in Rome, where he was composer in residence in 1995-1996. He was also composer in residence at the Lausanne Conservatory in 2005, and at the Yellow Barn Summer Academy in Vermont in 2016. He received grants from the Villecroze Acdemy of Music in Paris and SACEM. Gervasoni’s list of awards includes second prize at the 1989 G. Petrassi Competition in Parma; second prize at Kompositions-wettbewerb Mozart in Vienna; first prize at the University of Montreal’s Forum 91; and first prize at the Internationalen Kompositionswettbewerbs Kompositions-seminars Boswil 1995. In 2005 he received the DAAD Award, and in 2006 was artist in residence at the Berliner Künstlerprogramm.
In 2010 Gervasoni was the recipient of the Franco Abbiati Award, given by the National Association of Music Critics of Italy.
Gervasoni was visiting professor at ESMUC in Barcelona for the 2012-13 academic year. He has also lectured at Darmstadt Ferienkurse (Germany), Foundation Royaumont (Paris), Toho University (Tokyo), Festival de Internacional de Campos do Jordão (Brazil), the Shangai Conservatory (China), Columbia University (New York), Harvard University (Cambridge), and the Takefu International Music Festival (Japan).
Gervasoni had received commissions from the following prestigious musical institutions: Ensemble Intercontemporain, WDR-Köln, SWF-Baden-Baden, the Archipel Festival, the Paris Autumn Festival, the Berlin Biennale, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Radio France; and in 2017-18 from Münchener Kammerorchester (for his In die Luft geschrieben for mezzo-soprano, harp, celesta, percussion and orchestra); in 2018 from Gürzenich-Orchester Köln (for his Liebesverrat, for soprano, tenor, baritone and orchestra); also in 2018 from Swiss Chamber Concerts (for his Dunkler Lichtglanz, for contralto, flute, viola and cello).
Since 2006 Gervasoni has taught Composition at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP).
Musicologist Philippe Albèra called his 2008 release Antiterra, courtesy of the Aeon record label in France, “a very rich, delicate and charming musical universe that’s both expressive and introspective. It immediately captures your attention.” In 2015 Editions Contrechamps (Geneva) published Philippe Albèra’s study entitled "Le parti des sons. Sur la musique de Stefano Gervasoni".
Gervasoni’s music is published by Ricordi, and Suvini Zerboni (2000-2017).
Photo © Olivier Allard