Lorenzo Ferrero

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Lorenzo Ferrero

Lorenzo Ferrero (Italian pronunciation: [loˈrɛntso ferˈrɛːro]; born 1951) is an Italian composer, librettist, author, and book editor. He started composing at an early age and has written over a hundred compositions thus far, including twelve operas, three ballets, and numerous orchestral, chamber music, solo instrumental, and vocal works. His musical idiom is characterized by eclecticism, stylistic versatility, and a neo-tonal language.


Born in Turin, he studied composition from 1969 to 1973 with Massimo Bruni and Enore Zaffiri at Turin Music Conservatory, and philosophy with Gianni Vattimo and Massimo Mila at the University of Turin, earning a degree in aesthetics with a thesis on John Cage in 1974.

His early interest in the psychology of perception and psychoacoustics led him to IMEB, the International Electroacoustic Music Institute of Bourges, where he did research on electronic music between 1972 and 1973, IRCAM in Paris, and to the Musik/Dia/Licht/Film Galerie in Munich in 1974.

Lorenzo Ferrero has received commissions from numerous festivals and institutions, his works being constantly performed throughout Europe and North America, particularly in Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and the United States.

Scene from the opera La Conquista, 2005

His most popular compositions include the operas Marilyn, La figlia del mago, Salvatore Giuliano, Charlotte Corday, La Conquista, and Risorgimento!, the first Piano Concerto, the Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, the set of six symphonic poems La Nueva España, the song cycle Canzoni d'amore, the Capriccio for Piano and String Orchestra, Parodia, Ostinato, Glamorama Spies, Tempi di quartetto for string quartet, and the ballet Franca Florio, regina di Palermo. In 1986 he participated in the Prix Italia with his work La fuga di Foscolo. His music is published by Casa Ricordi, Milan.

As an active manager of art events, he has served as artistic director of the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago (1980–84),[1] "Unione Musicale" in Turin (1983–87), Arena di Verona Festival (1991–94), and the "Musica 2000" fair. In 1999 he co-founded and coordinated the "Festa della Musica", a showcase of classical, jazz and world music held in Milan, and four years later he managed the Ravello Festival.

In 2007 Lorenzo Ferrero was appointed to the board of directors and elected vice-president of SIAE, the Italian Authors and Publishers Association. That same year he published the Manuale di scrittura musicale,[2] a manual which describes the basic rules of correct and elegant music writing from the orthographic as well as the graphic point of view, which is addressed to all composers, musicologists, teachers, students and copy-editors in need of practical advice. In 2008 he translated, edited and published Lo studio dell'orchestrazione,[3] the Italian edition of Samuel Adler's The Study of Orchestration, a landmark orchestration manual.

Lorenzo Ferrero was professor of composition at Milan Conservatory from 1980 to 2016. His teaching appointments also include positions at St. Mary's College of Maryland and LUISS Business School, a division of LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome. Moreover, as a member of the Italian National Union of Composers, Librettists and Authors he co-founded ECSA, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, and between 2011 and 2017 he was president of CIAM, the International Council of Music Authors. In 2017, he was appointed honorary president of CIAM.[4]

Lorenzo Ferrero was described in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera as "the most successful opera composer of his generation in Italy"[5] and in The New Penguin Opera Guide as "a principal exponent of the neo-tonal tendencies common to a number of Italian composers of his generation, who has championed a brand of narrative music-theatre that aims to capture a wider audience than that achieved by the heirs of the modernist tradition."[6]


In addition to the original works listed below, Lorenzo Ferrero completed the orchestration of the third version of the opera La rondine by Giacomo Puccini, which was subsequently premiered at Teatro Regio di Torino on 22 March 1994. With a group of six other Italian composers, he wrote the Requiem per le vittime della mafia, a collaborative composition for soloists, choir and orchestra on an Italian text by Vincenzo Consolo. The requiem was first performed in the Palermo Cathedral on 27 March 1993. Furthermore, he wrote the music for the Sestriere Alpine World Ski Championships opening ceremony of 1997 including the official anthem, incidental music for stage productions, and a film score. British musicologist David Osmond-Smith described his style as "an unabashed synthesis of classical traditions and pop [...] that never forgets its 19th-century precursors."[7]



Orchestral music[edit]

  • Ellipse IV (Waldmusik) (1977), for folk ensemble ad libitum
  • Romanza seconda (1977), for bassoon and strings
  • Arioso (1977), for orchestra and live electronics
  • Arioso II (1981), for large orchestra
  • Balletto (1981), for orchestra
  • My Blues (1982), for string orchestra
  • Thema 44 (ad honorem J. Haydn) (1982), for small orchestra
  • Ombres (1984), for orchestra and live electronics
  • The Miracle (1985), suite for orchestra
  • Intermezzo notturno from Mare nostro (1985), for small orchestra
  • Intermezzo "Portella della Ginestra" from Salvatore Giuliano (1986), for orchestra
  • Four Modern Dances (1990), for small orchestra
  • Zaubermarsch (1990), for small orchestra
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1991)
  • Paesaggio con figura (1994), for small orchestra
  • Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra (1994–95)
  • Palm Beach Overture (1995), for orchestra
  • Capriccio for Piano and String Orchestra (1996)
  • Three Baroque Buildings (1997), for bassoon, trumpet, and strings
  • Championship Suite (1997), for large orchestra
  • Storie di neve (1997), music for the Alpine World Ski Championships opening ceremony
  • La Nueva España (1992–99), a set of six symphonic poems
    • La ruta de Cortés (1992)
    • La noche triste (1996)
    • Memoria del fuego (1998)
    • Presagios (1999)
    • El encuentro (1999)
    • La matanza del Templo Mayor (1999)
  • Rastrelli in Saint Petersburg (2000), for oboe and string orchestra
  • Two Cathedrals in the South (2001), for trumpet and string orchestra
  • Five Easy Pieces (2002), transcription for orchestra
  • Guarini, the Master (2004), for violin and strings
  • DEsCH (2006), for oboe, bassoon, piano, and orchestra
  • Quattro variazioni su un tema di Banchieri: 2 Agosto. Prima variazione (2008), for organ and orchestra
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 (2009)
  • Fantasy Suite No. 2 (2009), for violin and orchestra

Chamber and instrumental music[edit]

  • Primavera che non vi rincresca (1971), electronic tape piece
  • Ellipse III (1974), for any 4 players/ensembles
  • Siglied (1975), for chamber orchestra
  • Romanza senza parole (1976), for chamber ensemble
  • Adagio cantabile (1977), for chamber ensemble
  • Variazioni sulla notte (1980), for guitar
  • Respiri (1982), for flute and piano
  • Soleils (1982), for harp
  • Ellipse (1983), for flute
  • Onde (1983), for guitar
  • My Rock (1985), (versions for piano and for big band)
  • Empty Stage (1985), for 4 clarinets and piano
  • My Blues (1986), for flute and piano
  • Passacaglia (1986), for flute, clarinet, and string quartet
  • Ostinato (1987), for 6 violoncelli
  • Parodia (1990), for chamber ensemble
  • Discanto sulla musica sull'acqua di Handel (1990), for flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, and percussion
  • Cadenza (1990), for clarinet and marimba
  • Musica per un paesaggio (1990), for small orchestra
  • Movimento americano (1992), for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and string quartet
  • Ostinato (1993), for two violoncelli and strings
  • Portrait (1994), for string quartet
  • Seven Seconds (1995), for clarinet, violin, and piano
  • Shadow Lines (1995), for bass flute and live electronics
  • My Piece of Africa (1996), for violin, viola, violoncello, and contrabass
  • Five Easy Pieces (1997), for flute and piano (version of a piano work)
  • Tempi di quartetto (1996–98), for string quartet
  • Glamorama Spies (1999), for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, and piano
  • Sonata (2000), for viola and piano
  • Moonlight Sonata (2001), for 5 percussion instruments
  • Three Baroque Buildings in a Frame (2002), for flute and string quartet
  • Macuilli Mexihcateteouch - Five Aztec Gods (2005), for string quartet
  • Haring at the Exhibition (2005), ambient piece
  • Fantasy Suite (2007), for flute, violoncello and piano
  • Freedom Variations (2008), for trumpet and chamber ensemble
  • Tourists and Oracles (2008), for eleven instruments and piano four-hands
  • Three Simple Songs (2009), for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, and piano
  • Venice 1976 (A Parody) (2013), for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, and piano
  • Country Life (2015) for saxophone and piano
  • A Night in Nashville (2015) for saxophone and piano

Piano music

  • Aivlys (1977)
  • My Rag (1982)
  • My Blues (1982)
  • My Rock (1983)
  • Rock my Tango (1990)
  • Five Easy Pieces (1994)
  • Seven Portraits of the Same Person (1996)
  • Op.111 - Bagatella su Beethoven (2009)

Organ and harpsichord

  • Ellipse II (1975), for harpsichord/clavichord
  • A Red Wedding Dress (1998), for organ

Choral and vocal music[edit]

  • Fawn (1969/70), for voice and live synthesizer
  • Immigrati (1969/70), for voice and live synthesizer
  • Ellipse III (1974), for any 4 voices/choruses
  • Ghost Tantra (1975), for voice and synthesizer
  • Missa brevis (1975), for five voices and two synthesizers
  • Le Néant où l'on ne peut arriver (1976), for solo voices, mixed chorus, and orchestra
  • Non parto, non resto (1987), for mixed chorus
  • Introito, part of the Requiem per le vittime della mafia (1993), for chorus and orchestra
  • Night of the Nite (1979), aria from Marilyn for soprano and piano
  • Canzoni d'amore (1985), for voice and chamber ensemble
  • La fuga di Foscolo (1986), for 4 soloists, speaker, and small orchestra
  • Poi andro in America (1986), aria from Salvatore Giuliano for voice and orchestra
  • Ninna-nanna (1986), for tenor and piano
  • La Conquista (2006), symphonic-choral suite
  • Canti polacchi (2010), for female chorus and orchestra
  • Senza parole (2012), for mixed chorus

Incidental and theatre music[edit]

  • Nebbia di latte (1987), for flutes and live electronics
  • La cena delle beffe (1988), stage music for Carmelo Bene
  • Maschere (1993), for Le Massere by Carlo Goldoni for string quartet
  • Lontano dagli occhi (1999), for one actor, 4 voices, and piano quartet
  • Mozart a Recanati (2006), for one actress, 1 voice, string trio, clarinet, and piano

Film score[edit]

Books and book contributions[edit]

  • Ferrero, Lorenzo (2007). Manuale di scrittura musicale. Torino: EDT Srl.
  • Ferrero, Lorenzo, ed. (2008). Lo studio dell'orchestrazione. Torino: EDT Srl.
  • Capellini, Lorenzo (1987). Nascita di un'opera: Salvatore Giuliano. Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale.
  • Ostali, Piero, ed. (1990). Il Piccolo Marat: Storia e rivoluzione nel melodramma verista. Atti del terzo convegno di studi su Pietro Mascagni. Milan: Casa Musicale Sonzogno.
  • Harpner, S, ed. (1992). Über Musiktheater: Eine Festschrift. Munich: Ricordi.
  • Jacoviello, Marco (1998). Il suono e l'anima: Il paesaggio invisibile del melodramma. Udine: Campanotto.
  • Jacoviello, Marco (2015). Al favor della notte... Notturni nel teatro di Mozart. Perugia: Morlacchi Editore.
  • Pozzi, S, ed. (2002). La musica sacra nelle chiese cristiane. Bologna: Alfastudio.
  • Donati, P, and Pacetti, E, eds. (2002). C'erano una volta nove oscillatori... Lo studio di fonologia della Rai di Milano nello sviluppo della nuova musica in Italia. Teche. Rome: RAI Teche; Milano: Scuole civiche di Milano, Fondazione di partecipazione, Accademia internazionale della musica, Istituto di ricerca musicale; Rome: RAI-ERI.
  • Maurizi, P, ed. (2004). Quattordici interviste sul «nuovo teatro musicale» in Italia. Perugia: Morlacchi Editore.
  • Hugony, Fabrizio (2010). Galileo e il segreto dei Maya. Milan: NR.

No music book has ever succeeded in miraculously replacing the listening experience. ~ Lorenzo Ferrero[8]


Year Title Genre Label
1991 Lorenzo Ferrero – Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra, Parodia, Ostinato, Canzoni d'amore Classical Nuova Era
1992 Lorenzo Ferrero – Mare nostro Classical Ricordi
1998 Lorenzo Ferrero – Different Views: La ruta de Cortés, La noche triste, Championship Suite, Palm Beach Overture Classical BMG Ricordi
1999 Lorenzo Ferrero – Capriccio per pianoforte e archi, Concerto per violino, violoncello, pianoforte e orchestra, Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra Classical BMG Ricordi
2000 Lorenzo Ferrero – La Nueva España Classical Naxos
2013 Lorenzo Ferrero – Tempi di quartetto Classical Klanglogo
2020 Lorenzo Ferrero – A Life in Waves: Four Modern Dances, Intermezzo Notturno, Parodia, Paesaggio con Figura, My Blues Classical Klanglogo
2021 Lorenzo Ferrero – Baroque Revisited: Rastrelli in Saint Petersburg, Tree Baroque Buildings, Guarini, the Master, Two Cathedrals in the South Classical Klanglogo
Year Title Genre Label
1972 Musica Elettronica – Computer Music: Immigrati, Fawn Electronic Compagnia Editoriale Pianeta
1972 Les Saisons: Primavera che non vi rincresca Electronic IMEB
1976 Steirischer Herbst – Ferrero-Neuwirth-Rühm: Le Néant où l'on ne peut arriver Classical ORF
1983 Marco Fumo – Piano in Rag: My Rag Classical Fonit Cetra
1983 Fantasia su Roberto Fabbriciani: Ellipse Classical Philips
1987 Steirischer Herbst – Musikprotokoll 1987: Ostinato Classical ORF
1991 Davide Ficco – Autori Italiani Contemporanei: Onde Classical Oliphant
1994 Flavio Cucchi – Italian Guitar Music: Onde Classical Arc Music
1995 Dominique Visse – Songs for Seven Centuries: Mi palpita il cuore (part of the song cycle Canzoni d'amore) Classical King Records
2002 Sentieri Selvaggi – Bad Blood: Glamorama Spies Classical Sensible Records
2003 Saxophone Colours – Italian & French music for saxophone and piano: My Blues Classical Stradivarius
2004 L'arte del funambolo – new Italian music for saxophone & piano: My Blues Classical Stradivarius
2006 Sentieri Selvaggi – AC/DC: Glamorama Spies Classical Cantaloupe Music
2009 Ex Novo Ensemble – Ex Novo Ensemble: Three Simple Songs Classical Stradivarius
2011 Duo Alterno – La voce contemporanea in Italia: Canzoni d'amore Classical Stradivarius
2012 Alberto Mesirca – ALBORADA Musica di autori italiani contemporanei: Onde Classical dotGuitar.It
2017 Mimmo Malandra – NOVOSAX Great Composers for Mimmo: Country Life Classical Sterling Records
Year Title Genre Label
1982 Zeitgenössische Musik in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1970-80: Glas-Spiele (as performer) Electronic Harmonia mundi
1986 Josef Anton Riedl – Klangfelder: Klangsynchronie II, Reaktion auf Komposition für Elektronische Klänge Nr. 2, Epiphyt II (as performer) Electronic Loft
2009 Josef Anton Riedl – Klangregionen 1951-2007: Mix Fontana Mix, Klangsynchronie I (as performer) Electronic Edition RZ
2010 Josef Anton Riedl – vielleicht-perhaps-peut-être: Glas-Spiele (as performer) Electronic Neos
Year Title Genre Label
1995 Christmas in Vienna III: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "Noël d'autrefois", "When A Child is Born", "Carol of the Bells", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "Kumbaya", and "A Very Private Christmas" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1997 A Tenors Christmas: "A Very Private Christmas" - arrangement by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1997 Plácido Domingo – The Domingo Collection: "The Student Prince: I'll walk with God" - arrangement by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1998 The Best of Christmas in Vienna: "Noël d'autrefois", "When a Child is Born", "Carol of the Bells", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "Kumbaya, My Lord" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1998 I'll be Home for Christmas: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "A Very Private Christmas", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "Kumbaya, My Lord" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
2000 Christmas All Over The World: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" - arrangement by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
2006 Weihnachtszeit mit Holger Wemhoff: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "When a Child is Born" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vitelli, Un bel dì vedremo: Il festival di Giacomo Puccini, 2016, pp. 155–66.
  2. ^ "EDT, Manuale di scrittura musicale". 22 February 2007.
  3. ^ "EDT, Lo studio dell'orchestrazione". 11 December 2008.
  4. ^ "CIAM website".
  5. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 166.
  6. ^ The New Penguin Opera Guide, 2001, p. 273.
  7. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 167.
  8. ^ Lorenzo Ferrero interview from December 2008


Further reading[edit]

  • Anon. (1982–83). "Lorenzo Ferrero "Marilyn"—Anmerkungen zur Oper." In Neuland: Ansätze zur Musik der Gegenwart, edited by Herbert Henck Vol. 3, pp 142–146. Bergisch Gladbach: Neuland Musikverlag Herbert Henck. ISBN 3-922875-04-1
  • Arciuli, Emanuele (2006). Rifugio intermedio - Il pianoforte contemporaneo tra Italia e Stati Uniti. Monfalcone: Teatro Comunale.
  • Bagnoli, Giorgio, ed. (1993). The La Scala Encyclopedia of the Opera. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-87042-4
  • Baransky, Zygmunt G., West, Rebecca J. (2001). The Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55034-3
  • Boccadoro, Carlo (2007). Lunario della musica. Einaudi. ISBN 88-06-18858-5
  • Budden, Julian (2002). Puccini: His Life and Works. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517974-9
  • Bussotti, Sylvano (1982). I miei teatri. Palermo: Edizioni Novecento. ISBN 88-373-0027-1
  • Donati, Paolo, and Ettore Pacetti, eds. (2002). C'erano una volta nove oscillatori: lo studio di fonologia della Rai di Milano nello sviluppo della nuova musica in Italia. Teche. Rome: RAI Teche; Milano: Scuole civiche di Milano, Fondazione di partecipazione, Accademia internazionale della musica, Istituto di ricerca musicale; Rome: RAI ERI. ISBN 88-397-1206-2
  • Enciclopedia della musica (1996) entry: Lorenzo Ferrero. Turin: UTET. ISBN 88-02-05381-2
  • Fearn, Raymond (1998). Italian Opera since 1945. London: Routledge. ISBN 90-5755-001-6
  • Gasperini, Nicoletta (1985). "Lorenzo Ferrero" in Panorama, 25 August. ISSN 0553-1098
  • Gelli, Piero, ed. (2007). Dizionario dell'Opera 2008 entries: Lorenzo Ferrero, La conquista, Marilyn, Salvatore Giuliano. Milano: Baldini Castoldi Dalai editore. ISBN 978-88-6073-184-5
  • Gerhartz, Leo Karl. Oper: Aspekte der Gattung. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag. ISBN 3-921518-63-6
  • Girardi, Enrico (2000). Il teatro musicale italiano oggi: La generazione della post-avanguardia. Turin: De Sono-Paravia. ISBN 88-395-9129-X
  • Gruhn, Wilfried, ed. (1989). Das Projekt Moderne und die Postmoderne: Die neue Tonalität bei Lorenzo Ferrero (by Theo Hirsbrunner). Kassel. ISBN 3-7649-2379-2
  • Henze, Hans Werner (1983). Die englische Katze: ein Arbeitstagebuch 1978-82. Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag. ISBN 3-10-032604-0
  • Killinger, Charles (2005). Culture and Customs of Italy. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-32489-1
  • Lanza, Andrea (1980). Il secondo novecento. Turin: EDT Srl. ISBN 88-7063-115-X
  • Larousse Dictionnaire de la musique (2005) entries: Lorenzo Ferrero, Live electronic music. Paris: Larousse. ISBN 2-03-575040-7
  • Moliterno, Gino, ed. (2000). Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Italian Culture. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-14584-8
  • Nelson, Peter, and Stephen Montague (1991). Live Electronics. Chur and Philadelphia: Harwood Academic Publishers. ISBN 3-7186-5116-5
  • Peyser, Joan, ed. (2006). The Orchestra: A Collection of 23 Essays on its Origins and Transformations. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. ISBN 1-4234-1026-2
  • Randel, Don Michael, ed. (2003). The Harvard Dictionary of Music. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01163-5
  • Russo, Marco (1988). Moderno, post-moderno, neo-romanticismo: orientamenti di teatro musicale contemporaneo, Il Verri. Vol. 2.
  • Schreiber, Ulrich (2005). Opernführer für Fortgeschrittene. Bärenreiter-Verlag. ISBN 3-7618-1437-2
  • Salzman, Eric, and Thomas Desi (2008). The New Music Theatre. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509936-2
  • Stoïanova, Ivanka (2005). Entre détermination et aventure: essais sur la musique de la deuxième moitié du XXème siècle. Paris: L'Hartman. ISBN 2-7475-7131-9
  • Wignall, Harry James (1990). "Current Trends in Italian Opera." Perspectives of New Music 28, no. 2:312–26.

External links[edit]