Luciano Berio

A major force in the development of postwar-era experimental music, avant-garde composer and theorist Luciano Berio brought a sense of lyricism and personal expression to even the most complex techniques of electronic and aleatoric music, his modernist approach lending itself to a variety of idioms while incorporating resources including folk traditions, choreography, mime, and acrobatics. Born into a musical family on October 24, 1925 in Oneglia, Italy, Berio studied composition and conducting at Milan's Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi, and in 1952 travelled to the U.S. to study under the influential composer Luigi Dallapiccola. A year later, he composed his first major work, Chamber Music for Mezzo-Soprano, Clarinet, Cello, & Harp (After James Joyce). Upon returning to Milan in 1954, he teamed with another famed Italian composer, Bruno Maderna, to found the Studio di Fonologia Musicale; under Berio's direction, it emerged among the top electronic music centers in Europe.