Skip to content

Manzoni Giacomo

Giacomo Manzoni was born in Milan on 26th September, 1932 and began studying composition in 1948 in Messina, Sicily, under the auspices of Gino Contilli, to whom he owes the discovery of his musical vocation.
In 1950 he moved to Milan where he earned his degree in composition at the G. Verdi Conservatory in 1956. At the same time he also took a university degree in foreign languages and literature at the Bocconi University of Milan. At the outset of his career he was active as an orchestra musician and choir master and, in 1956, as editor of the contemporary music review "Il Diapason". From 1958 to 1966 he was a music critic for the daily paper "l' Unità", and in 1962 he began teaching harmony and counterpoint at the Milan Conservatory. From 1969 to 1974, he taught composition at the G.B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna and from there transferred to the G. Verdi Conservatory in Milan, where he remained until 1991. In 1982 Mr. Manzoni spent a year in Berlin as a guest of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. Since 1988, Mr. Manzoni has been holding a special course in composition at the Fiesole Music School and has given courses and seminars at institutions including the University of Parma and in numerous centers including, among others, San Marino, Granada, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Santiago. 
Among the significant milestones in the composer's career are the operas La sentenza(Bergamo, Teatro delle Novità, 1960), Atomtod (Milan, Piccola Scala, 1965), Per Massimiliano Robespierre (Bologna, Teatro Comunale, 1975), Dr. Faustus (Milan, La Scala, 1989), works for voice ad orchestra including Ombre (alla memoria di Che Guevara) (1968), Parole da Beckett (1971), Il deserto cresce (to words by Nietzsche, 1992); works for orchestra (or solo and orchestra) including Insiemi (1967), Masse, omaggio a Edgard Varèse (1977), Ode (1982) and Scene sinfoniche per il Dr. Faustus(1984).
Mr. Manzoni's activity as a writer has branched out in various directions. His published writings include Italian translations of Adorno's Philosophy of Modern Music (Einaudi, Turin, 1959) and Dissonances (Feltrinelli, Milan, 1959) and Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony (Il Saggiatore, Milan, 1967).
Other Italian translations of writings by Schoenberg include "Elementi di composizione musicale" (Fundamentals of Musical Composition), (Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milan, 1967), "Esercizi preliminari di contrappunto" (Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint) (Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milan, 1970) and "Analisi e pratica musicale" (Einaudi, Turin, 1974), a collection of Schoenberg essays written from 1909 to 1950. In addition he has published A. Schoenberg - L'Uomo, l'opera, i testi musicati (Feltrinelli, Milan, 1975, new edition by Ricordi/Lim, Milan 1997), Per M. Robespierre - Testo e materiali per le scene musicali (with L. Pestalozza and V. Puecher, De Donato, Bari, 1975), Scritti (Nuova Italia, Florence 1991) and Tradizione e utopia (Feltrinelli, Milan 1993).
Giacomo Manzoni is a member of the editorial board of the magazine "Musica/Realtà". In 1991 he received the "Omaggio a M. Mila" Award for his teaching activity.

M