Luciano Berio, one of the most important figures in the latter half of the twentieth-century musical avant-garde, died Tuesday in a Rome hospital, according
to the Associated Press. He was 77.
The cause of death was not immediately available, but a spokesperson for the
National Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome told the AP that Berio, chairman and
superintendent of St. Cecilia since September 2000, was admitted to Gemelli
Polyclinic on Monday. He had recently been treated in another hospital for a
Berio often ranked with Boulez, Stockhausen, Ligeti, and Cage as among the
most innovative and radical composers on the scene. He adopted the serial technique
from his teacher Luigi Dallapiccola, but often tempered it with his own Italianate
brand of lyricism. He wrote much purely electronic music, and used electronic
and aleatoric elements in his instrumental works.
Berio was also a conductor, and taught courses on electronic music at Columbia
University. In addition to his many original compositions, he transcribed
or adapted works from a varied array of composers, including Monteverdi, Schubert, Mahler, and even the Beatles.
Along with his post at St. Cecilia, Berio was director of the Maggio Musicale
Fiorentino, a Florence musical festival with a popular international following.
Survivors include Berio's wife, Talia, said the AP.
Additional Resources:Berio Biography and Works ListCompletely Berio DiscographyNew York Times Obituary