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Bruno Maderna


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Bruno Maderna (Venice 1920 - Darmstadt 1973) was an Italian-German director and composer.

At the age of four he was taught violin in Chioggia, and his grandfather noticed he was a little genius; Madame de Polignac (a French princess and patron) paid his following studies, so at the age of eight he was able to direct the Milano La Scala theatre and the (Verona’s) Arena orchestras. From here, he started an enfant prodige career, internationally known as “Brunetto” (italian for Little Bruno).

He protracted his studies in Milan (1935), Venice (1939) and in Rome (1940), where he finally took his degree in composition and musicology at the “Santa Cecilia” Academy under the guide of Alessandro Bustini and Antonio Guarnieri. After his degree he studied also composition with Gian Francesco Malipiero and conducting with Hermann Scherchen.

During the Second Word War he joined the army, the Partisan Resistance and he was also imprisoned in a concentration camp. After the war years, he taught composition at the Conservatory of Venice (from 1947 to 1950), where he was called by Malipiero; here he studied a lot the and music, which was the base for many of his early works. In those years he held a very big class, in which there was also Luigi Nono (at that time only a young law student). Karl Amadeus Hartmann called him to conduct a concert in the “Musica Viva” festival in Munich; this was the first time a foreign director was called, and for Maderna it was the beginning of a fabulous career.


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