Giuranna, Barbara (1902—)

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Giuranna, Barbara (1902—)

Italian composer, known for her compositions during the fascist period and for editions of old music. Born Elena Barbara in Palermo, Italy, on November 18, 1902; studied with G.A. Fano, C. De Nardis, and A. Savasta; studied at the Naples Conservatory, graduated in 1921; married Mario Giuranna, the conductor.

Was the first Italian woman composer invited to participate in the International Festival of Music (1935) and the Festival of International Music in Brussels (1937).

Barbara Giuranna was born in Palermo, Italy, on November 18, 1902. She studied with G.A. Fano, C. De Nardis and A. Savasta. Composition was her main area of interest during her studies at the Naples Conservatory, from which she graduated in 1921. In Milan, she studied under Giorgio Federico Ghedini, improving her instrumental technique. Giuranna made her piano debut with the Naples Symphonic Orchestra in 1923. During Benito Mussolini's regime, she became known for such pieces as her X Legio written in 1936 and Patria written in 1938. These pieces have been described as being of a "programmatic-apologetic" character because they were composed to extol the regime. After World War II, Giuranna composed works of various kinds and in 1949 wrote Tre canti alla Vergine for soprano, female chorus and small orchestra. Mayerling, an opera dealing with the sensational 1889 suicide pact between Habsburg crown prince Rudolf and his mistress Marie Vetsera , for which the libretto was written by V. Vivani, was staged in Naples in 1960. Barbara Giuranna also taught at the Rome Conservatory where she became known for her editions of old music. A music consultant to the National Radio, she received many prizes and awards.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia