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Luigi Nono (29 January 1924 – 8 May 1990) was an Italian avant-garde composer of classical music. He remains one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century.Read More...
Born in Venice, Italy, Nono was a member of a wealthy artistic family, and his grandfather was a notable painter. Nono began music lessons with Gian Francesco Malipiero in 1941 at the Venice Conservatory where he acquired knowledge of the Renaissance madrigal tradition, amongst other styles. After graduating with a degree in law from the University of Padua, he was given encouragement in composition by Bruno Maderna.
In 1950, he attended the "Ferienkurse für neue Musik" in Darmstadt, where he met composers such as Edgard Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Works from this first period include: Polifonica-Monodica-Ritmica (1951), Epitaffio per Federico García Lorca (1952-1953), La victoire de Guernica (1954) and Liebeslied (1954). He increasingly rejected the analytical approach of serialism, as evidenced by the following works: Incontri (1955), Il canto sospeso, (1955-1956), et Cori di Didone (1958).
He married Arnold Schönberg's daughter Nuria in 1955.
Nono was committed to socialism. He joined the Communist party in 1952. His avant-garde music was also a revolt against bourgeois culture. As such, he avoided most normal concert genres in favor of opera and electronic music, and sought to bring music to factories. He made frequent recourse to political texts in his work. Many of his works are overtly political: Il canto sospeso (1956), based on the letters of victims of wartime oppression, which brought him international fame; Diario polacco (1958), Intolleranza, (1960), Intolleranza (1961), La fabbrica illuminata (1964), Ricorda cosa ti hanno fatto ad Auschwitz (1966), Non consumiamo Marx (1969), Ein Gespenst geht um in der Welt (1971), Canto per il Vietnam (1973), and Al gran sole carico d'amore (1975). From 1956 onward, he was increasingly interested in electronic music, first at the "Elektroakustische Experimentalstudio" at Gravesano (Scherchen). Electronic music is involved in works like Como una ola de fuerza y luz pour soprano, piano, orchestra and tape (1971-1972), ...sofferte onde serene... for piano and tape (1974-1977) and especially Al gran sole carico d'amore (1972-1975).
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