Maderna, Bruno, outstanding Italian-born German conductor, composer, and teacher; b. Venice, April 21, 1920; d. Darmstadt, Nov. 13, 1973. He commenced musical studies at 4, and soon took violin lessons; began touring as a violinist and conductor when he was only 7, appearing under the name Brunetto in Italy and abroad. He studied at the Verdi Cons, in Milan, with Bustini at the Rome Cons. (diploma in composition, 1940), and with Malipiero at the Venice Cons.; also took a conducting course with Guarnieri at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena (1941). He then served in the Italian army during World War II, eventually joining the partisan forces against the Fascists. After the war, he studied conducting with Scherchen in Darmstadt. He taught composition at the Venice Cons. (1947–50); then made his formal conducting debut in Munich (1950). He subsequently became a great champion of the avantgarde; with Berio, he helped to form the Studio di Fonologia in Milan (1954); also with Berio, he was conductor of the RAFs Incontri Musicali (1956–60). He taught conducting and composition in various venues, including Darmstadt (from 1954), the Salzburg Mozarteum (1967–70), the Rotterdam Cons. (from 1967), and the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (1971–72). He was chief conductor of the RAI in Milan from 1971. In 1963 he became a naturalized German citizen. Stricken with cancer, he continued to conduct concerts as long as it was physically possible. He was held in great esteem by composers of the international avant-garde, several of whom wrote special works for him.
dramatic: Don Perlimplin, radio opera, after Garcia Lorca (1961; RAI, Aug. 12, 1962); Hyperion,“lirica in forma di spettacolo” (Venice, Sept. 6, 1964; a composite of Dimensioni III, Aria de Hyperion, and tape); Von A bis Z, opera (1969; Darmstadt, Feb. 22, 1970); Oedipe-Roi, electronic ballet (Monte Carlo, Dec. 31, 1970); Satyrikon, opera after Petronius (1972; Scheveningen, the Netherlands, March 16, 1973). orch.:Introduzione e Passacaglia (1947); Concerto for 2 Pianos, Percussion, and 2 Harps (Venice, Sept. 17, 1948); Composizioni No. 1 (1949) and No. 2 for Chamber Orch. (1950); Improvvisazione I and 11 (1951, 1952); Composizioni in 3 tempi (North German Radio, Hamburg, Dec. 8, 1954); Flute Concerto (1954); Dark Rapture Crawl (1957); Piano Concerto (Darmstadt, Sept. 2, 1959); 3 oboe concertos: No. 1 (1962; rev. 1965), No. 2 (West German Radio, Cologne, Nov. 10, 1967), and No. 3 (Amsterdam, July 6, 1973); Dimensioni III for Flute and Orch. (Paris Radio, Dec. 12, 1963); Stele per Diotima for Orch. (1965; West German Radio, Cologne, Jan. 19, 1966); Dimensioni IV(combination of Dimensioni III and Stele per Diotima); Amanda for Chamber Orch. (Naples, Nov. 22, 1966); Quadrivium for 4 Percussionists and 4 Orch. Groups (1969); Violin Concerto (Venice, Sept. 12, 1969); Grande aulodia for Flute, Oboe, and Orch. (1969; Rome, Feb. 7, 1970); Juilliard Serenade (Free Time I) for Chamber Orch. and Tape Sounds (1970; N.Y, Jan. 31,1971); Music of Gaiety for Solo Violin, Oboe, and Chamber Orch., based on pieces in the “Fitzwilliam Virginal Book” (1970); Aura (1971; Chicago, March 23, 1972); Biogramma (1972); Giardino religioso for Chamber Ensemble (Tanglewood, Aug. 8, 1972). chamber:Serenata for 11 Instruments (1946; rev. 1954); Musica su 2 dimensioni for Flute and Tape (1952; rev. 1958); String Quartet (1955); Serenata No. 2 for 11 Instruments (1957) and No. 4 for 20 Instruments and Tape (1961); Honey reves for Flute and Piano (1961); Aulodia per Lothar for Oboe d’Amore and Guitar ad libitum (1965); Widmung for Violin (1967); Serenata per unsatellite for 7 Instruments (1969). Piano: B- A-C-H Variations for 2 Pianos (1949). vocal: 3 Greek Lyrics for Soprano, Chorus, and Instruments (1948); Studi per “II Processo” di Kafka for Narrator, Soprano, and Small Orch. (1949); 4 Briefe for Soprano, Bass, and Chamber Orch. (1953); Aria da “Hyperion” for Soprano, Flute, and Orch. (1964); Hyperion II (combination of Dimensioni III, Cadenza for Flute, and Aria da “Hyperion”); Hyperion III (combination of Hyperion and Stele per Diotima); Ausstrahlung for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1971); Boswell’s Journal for Tenor and Chamber Orch. (N.Y., March 12, 1972). electronic:Notturno (1955); Syntaxis for 4 different but unspecified timbres produced electronically (1956); Continuo (1958); Dimensioni II,“invenzioni sue una voce” (1960); Serenata No. 3 (1962); Le Rire (1964); Ages (1972; in collaboration with G. Pressburger).
M. Baroni and R. Dalmonte, eds., B. M.: Documenti (Milan, 1985); R. Fearn, B. M. (Chur and N.Y., 1990).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
Bruno Maderna (brōō´nō mädĕr´nä), 1920–73, Italian composer and conductor, b. Venice. Maderna studied composing with Gian Francesco Malipiero and conducting with Hermann Scherchen. As a conductor he introduced many avant-garde works to Italy. Maderna's music at times employed serialism and aleatoricism, while always sharing a warmth and expressiveness. He collaborated with Luciano Berio in electronic music at the Milan Radio. Among his works are three instrumental serenades (1946, 1954, 1969), three oboe concertos (1962, 1967, 1973), and the Juilliard Serenade for chamber orchestra and tape (1971).