Malipiero Riccardo
Catalogue

Malipiero Riccardo

/ 1914 Contemporary Music

Born July 24, 1914 in Milan, Riccardo Malipiero descends from an ancient venetian family, the last four generations of wich were musicians.
He was awared diplomas in piano at the Conservatory of Milan in 1932 and in composition at the Conservatory of Turin in 1937; for two years thereafter he attended the master classes held by his uncle, Gianfrancesco Malipiero, in Venice. His first compositions, in wich one can observe the spontaneus appearance of Twelve tone rows, date from 1938. The most important of these early compositions is the opera Minnie la Candida, wich was premiered in 1942 at the Teatro Regio of Parma under baton of Gianandrea Gavazzeni, who years later was to conduct the premiere of Malipiero's only opera buffa, La donna è mobile, at the Piccola Scala (1957).
From 1945 he organized in Milan the first Congress of Dodecaphonic music, and on this occasion he vigorously defended the liberty of individual exprsession within the common use of the twelve-tone technique. The musicians who attended this Congress, wich received the support of Arnold Schenberg, included Apostel, Cage, Dallapiccola, Hartmann, Leibowitz, Maderna, Togni, Vogel and many others.
In 1950 Hermann Scherchen conducted the first performance of Malipiero's Prima Sinfonia at the Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano; thereafter Bruno Maderna conducted the German premiere of this symphony at the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich. Previously Maderna had also conducted the premiere of the Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra da camera at the first post-war Festival of Venice (1946) in an evening dedicated to the "school" of young Italian composers emerging after World War II.
In 1961 Malipiero recived a commission from the Italian national television RAI-TV for the opera Battono alla porta, produced in 1962. The same year the Festival de Besançon commissioned Nykteghersia for orchestra and the following year (1963) Hermann Scherchen conducted the Italian premiere of Nykteghersia at La Scala.
A bond of mutual respect and friendship was also formed between Malipiero and Dimitri Mitropulos, and Malipiero dedicated to his memory the Concerto per Dimitri which he was composing when he recived the news of Mitropulos' sudden death. This work was premiered at the Festival of Venic (1961) with the pianist Pietro Scarpini,conducted by Nino Sanzogno. Sanzogno was also to conduct the premiere of Requiem for orchestra years later at the Teatro Comunale of Florence (1976). Malipiero composed this work using the last notes which Luigi Dallapiccola had left on his piano the evening before he died, a twelve-tone series wich would have been the start of a new composition. Initially intending to entitle his work Requiem per Luigi in memory of his father followed that of Dallapiccola several months later.
Programmed - often repeatedly - in all the most important centers of Italy, the music of Riccardo Malipiero has continued to attract international attention, as demonstrated by the numerous commissions and many performances by major organizations alla over the world. In addition he has received numerous international invitations for conferences, master classes and teaching engagements, particularly in the United States, where he was invited on four separate occasions, including a visiting professorship at the University of Maryland (1969) and a personal invitation from the U.S. State Department (1954).
His works have been performed at the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., at Carnegie hall and at Alice Tully Hall in new York, with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at the Monday Evening Concerts of Los Angeles and in other important Ameran centers.
In 1963 he was invited to teach a course in composition for seven months at the Centro de Altos Estudios Musicales in Buenos Aires and on this occasion he was also invited for conferences in many other cities of South America, where his music has often been performed.
In 1969 he represented Italy at the 7th Congress of Unesco, held in Moscow, where he delivered his paper examining the structural origins of western music. Active as music critic for various newspapers and magazines from 1945-1976, Malipiero is also the author of books and critical studies dealing with a wide variety of musical subjects.
In 1977 the Mayor of Milan awared Riccardo Malipiero, in merit of his artistic achievements, the Gold medal of the City of Milan - the highest recognition which the City Council confers upon any individual. In 1984 ha was also awared the Gold medal of the City of Varese, where he was Director of the Civic School of Music from 1969-1984.
In his most recent compositions Riccardo Malipiero has demonstrated a renewed interest for the voice: in 1989 his extensive work Loneliness for soprano and large orchestra was premiered at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and immediately thereafter reprogrammed in the concert season of RAI-Milano (1990). In the same year,Meridiana for soprano and 17 instruments received its premiere in New York with the chamber ensamble of the Orchestra Toscanini, under the auspices of the festival Settembre Musica: in 1991 the first performance of Liederétudes for soprano and piano - with the composer seated at the keyboard - was recorded by Radio Svizzera Italiana.
1993 sees the premiere of Dalla prigione un suono composed on commission from RAI-Milano,1994 Voicequintet for soprano and string quartet at the Società del Quartetto of Milan.
Composer, critic, lecturer, pedagogue, and musical administrator, Riccardo Malipiero has entirely dedicated his life to the continuous development of music, beginning in the now historic post war-period as one of the first supporters of dodecaphonic writing in Italy and progressing - without forming part of any "experimentalistic movement" - to the innovations of the present day. 
The composer died November 27, 2003.