Bruno Maderna (1920-1973) was an Italian composer of avant-garde and electronic music and an outstanding conductor.
Maderna studied with famous teachers, including the Italian composer Gian Francesco Malipiero and the German conductor Hermann Scherchen. In 1941 he obtained a diploma in composition in Rome at Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia. He expanded his musical activities after World War II, becoming famous for his collaboration with the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (International Summer New Music Courses) in Darmstadt, a center for avant-garde music and composition teaching. Together with his friend, composer Luciano Berio, Maderna founded the Studio di Fonologia Musicale at Milan Radio in 1955; the studio has become an important laboratory for the electronic music in Europe.
Together with Berio, he also founded the Incontri Musicali review devoted to electronic and avant-garde music. Maderna later taught composition in Milan and at the Dartington Summer School of Music in Devon, England, among others.
Maderna's music shows him as an expressive lyrical composer and experimenter. Maderna's stylistic means, original and often different from those of his contemporaries, include the specific use of deterministic precomposition techniques, his own interpretation of the concept of "open work" and melodic threads that remain discernible even in the most complex textures.
His Serenata (1954) is a colorful orchestral work, notable for its subtle sounds and polyrhythms. Notturno for tape (1956) and Sintaxis for four different, undefined electronic sounds (timbre of tones) are examples of his interest in new sounds. His Concerto for Oboe (1962) reveals a more conventional point of view, although even in this case he used a small-scale aleatoric operations.
Maderna has conducted and recorded a lot, including many contemporary works.