Giorgio Battistelli was born at Albano Laziale (Rome). He graduated in composition in 1978 with Giancarlo Bizzi at the Conservatorio A. Casella of L’Aquila, also studying history of music with Claudio Annibaldi and piano with Antonello Neri.
In 1975 he attended the composition seminars held by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel in Cologne; and in 1978-79 he attended the courses of technique and interpretation in contemporary music theatre given by Jean Pierre Drouet and Gaston Sylvestre in Paris.
In the 80’s he makes his name as one of the most interesting composers of his generation. In 1983 he is awarded a grant at the radio studios of Baden-Baden. In 1985-86 he lives in Berlin on the invitation of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. In 1993 he is appointed by Hans Werner Henze to succeed him as head of the International Art Workshop of Montepulciano, where he has been artistic director since 1996. In the same year he is awarded the Premio Cervo for music.
From 1996 to 2002 he is the artistic director of the Orchestra della Toscana. He works at Luciano Berio’s Centro Tempo Reale in Florence and at the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale of the University of Padua. In 2003 he was appointed Chevalier dans l’Ordre des arts et des lettres.
Since 2004 he has also been an acting member of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. From 2000 to 2005 he was artistic director of the Società Aquilana dei Concerti. From 2005 to 2007 he was artistic director of Accademia Filarmonica Romana.
Since 2006 he has held a course on music theatre (part of a three-year project) for Aldeburgh Productions, together with playwright Ian Burton.
He was composer-in-residence of Antwerp Opera for the years 2005-2006.
He has been director of the Biennale Musica of Venice (in the period 2004-2007), artistic director of the Arena Foundation of Verona in the 2006/7 and 2007/8 seasons and composer-in-residence of Düsseldorf Opera for the two-year period 2007-2008. Since February 2009 he has been appointed President of Società Aquilana dei Concerti, based in L’Aquila.
Since March 2011 he is the new artistic director of Orchestra della Toscana, based in Florence. He has been appointed composer-in residence of Teatro San Carlo in Naples for the years 2012-2015. He has received an important commission for an opera by Teatro La Scala to be performed in 2015.