Sylvano Bussotti

Florence, 1931


Born in Florence on October 1st, 1931. He began studying violin with Margherita Castellani even before he was five years old. At the Conservatory “Luigi Cherubini” in Florence he studied harmony and counterpoint with Roberto Lupi and piano with Luigi Dallapiccola: studies that he interrupted because of the war, without obtaining any degree.
His brother Renzo and his maternal uncle Tono Zancanaro were decisive for his education, both painters and, later, the encounter with the poet Aldo Braibanti. From 1949 to 1956 he studied composition in depth as a self-taught artist. In Paris, from 1956 to 1958, he attended Max Deutsch’s private courses, met Pierre Boulez and Heinz-Klaus Metzger, who took him to Darmstadt, where he met John Cage.
He began his public activity in Germany in 1958, with the performance of his music by the pianist David Tudor, followed by the presentation in Paris of pieces performed by Cathy Berberian under the direction of Pierre Boulez.
The Universal Edition and, later, the publishers Moeck and Bruzzichelli published some of his scores in those years. Finally, it was with Casa Ricordi, that in 1956 Bussotti established an important editorial relationship.
He stayed in the U.S.A. in 1964-65, invited by the Rockfeller Foundation to Buffalo and New York, after being awarded three prizes by SIMC in 1961, 1963 and 1965. In 1967 he was awarded the “all’Amelia” prize at the Venice Biennale; in 1974 he received the “Toscani d’Oggi” prize and in 1979 the Psacaropulo prize in Turin. In Berlin, in 1972, he resided for a year, guest of the DAAD for the Ford Foundation.   He was artistic director of Teatro La Fenice in Venice and of Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago. He has taught the history of musical theatre at the Academy of Fine Arts in L’Aquila. In 1980 he taught composition and analysis at the Scuola di Musica in Fiesole, and was director of the Music section at the Venice Biennale from 1987 to 1991.
Since he was a boy he has worked on musical composition as well as drawing and painting; his art exhibitions are held in various countries around the World. From his concert activity, he developed the theatrical experience that led him to deal with cinema and television. Since 1965 the fundamental aspect of his activity is constituted by musical theatre shows, synthesis of his own creative experience realized within the BUSSOTTIOPERABALLET, abbreviated name in B.O.B. by him founded in Genazzano in 1984 and which organizes concerts, shows, art exhibitions and events of wide international scope.
Sylvano Bussotti is Academician of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Academician of S. Cecilia, Knight of the Order of Marck Twain, Knight of Micky Mause, Honorary Citizen of the City of Palermo Commandeur de l’Ordre des Artes e des Lettres of the French State. President of the Republic of Santa Cecilia Academy Award 2014.


Main exhibitions

Among his exhibitions: 1962 – Music and Sign, Rome, Galleria Numero, with Giorgio Chiari – 1988 – Sylvano Bussotti’s Opera, curated by Moreno Bucci, Florence, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Museo mediceo, foyer of the Municipal Theatre – 1998 – Mallarmè and Music, Paris, Musée d’Orsay, present with the opera score Questo fauno (for three instruments, bass voice and speaker, perpetuates the theme of the faun) – 2010 – Corpi da musica vita e teatro by Sylvano Bussotti curated by Luca Scarlini, Florence, Museo Marino Marini – 2013 – Poesia Visiva Vs. Fluxus, Brescia Berardelli Foundation – collective – 2016 – Double Portrait Antonio and Xavier Buenoa curated by Stefano Sbarbaro, Florence, Villa Bardini Museum, in the room dedicated to Group 70 with a ‘work integrated score also in a work by Antonio Bueno – 2017 – Sylvano Bussotti Miniaturistaa curated by Sergio Armaroli, Milan, as part of the Festival 5 Days, space M4A MADE4ART.

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