Born in 1962 in Bergamo, he took up composition studies in 1980, following advice from Luigi Nono: encounters with Nono as well as with Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös, and Helmut Lachenmann turned out to be crucial in Gervasoni’s career. After attending the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire in Milan, Stefano Gervasoni continued his studies with György Ligeti in Hungary in 1990. In 1992 he attended the IRCAM Course in Composition and Computer Music in Paris. The three years spent in France launched his international career as a composer. In 1995–96 he was artist-in-residence at Villa Medici in Rome.
Stefano Gervasoni has established himself as one of the most important Italian composers of his generation thanks to prestigious commissions from institutions like the SWR, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Festival d’Automne in Paris, Radio France, IRCAM, Casa da Música in Porto, Archipel Festival in Geneva, Divertimento Ensemble in Milan, Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Contrechamps in Geneva, Maerzmusik in Berlin, Ars Musica in Brussels, Musica in Strasbourg, French Ministry of Culture, Milan’s La Scala, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. His works have been published by Ricordi (from 1987) and Suvini Zerboni (from 2000).
A CD of Gervasoni’s music entitled Antiterra, released in 2008 by Aeon, reveals “a sonic world of great wealth, subtlety, re nement, expressive but also organic, immediately capturing one’s attention” (Philippe Albèra). Other recordings were released by Harmonia Mundi (in the Musique Française d’Aujourd’hui series, performed by Ensemble Contrechamps), Stradivarius (Divertimento Ensemble), Winter & Winter (winning the Académie Charles Cros and Diapason d’Or). The most recent recording of his music, released by Winter & Winter, is entitled Le Pré (2016) and features three books of a piano cycle.
Stefano Gervasoni has received many awards, including the Premio della Critica Musicale Franco Abbiati (2010), as well as scholarships from Fondation des Treilles in Paris (1994) and DAAD in Berlin (2004), and was composer in residence at Domaine de Kerguéhennec (2008–10). He has taught at the Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, courses organised by the Royaumont Foundation in Paris, Toho University in Tokyo, Festival
Internacional di Campos do Jordão in Brazil, Shanghai Conservatoire, Columbia University, Harvard University, and Takefu International Music Festival. In addition, he was composer in residence at the Lausanne Conservatoire (2005) and the Yellow Barn Summer Academy (2016), and also gave lectures at the ESMUC in Barcelona in 2012–13. Since 2006, Stefano Gervasoni has been professor of composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. 2015 was marked by the publication by Éditions Contrechamps of Philippe Albèra’s book devoted to Gervasoni’s music and entitled Le Parti pris.
Selected works (since 2008): Com que voz, concert de mélodies sur des sonnets de Luís Vaz de Camões et des fados d’Amália Rodrigues for fado singer, baritone, large ensemble and live electronics (2008), Reconnaissancefor orchestra (2008), Gramigna for cimbalom and ensemble (2009), Masques e Berg for violin and viola (2009), Phanes for flute (2009), Prato prima presente for ensemble (2009), Dir – In Dir for vocal sextet and string sextet (2010), Due Poesie francesi di Luca for female voice and ensemble (2010), Nube obbediente for trombone and percussion (2010; version with ensemble, 2011), Prés, premier livre (I–VI) for piano (2010), Froward for string trio, brass trio and percussion (2011), Horridofor seven voices (2011), Se taccio, il duol s’avanza, madrigals for 12 solo voices and violin (2011), Tornasole II for two violas and bass flute (2011), Adagio ghiacciato, da Mozart, KV 356 for toy piano / celesta and violin (2012), Folia for violin (2012), Limbus-Limbo, opera bu a in seven scenes (2012), Sonatinexpressive for violin and piano (2012), Heur, leurre, lueur for cello and orchestra (2013), Album di gurine doppie for accordion and electronics (2014), String Quartet no. 3Clamour (2014), Di dolci aspre catene, three madrigals for five voices (2014), Pas perdu for cimbalom (2014), Phanes II for soprano saxophone (2014), Romper del día, six poésies de José Ángel Valente for countertenor and horn (2014), Tre canzoni popolari for female voice and piano (2014), Ansioso quasi con gioia for bass clarinet (2015), Fado errático for female voice, ensemble and electronics (2015), Luce ignota della sera (da Robert Schumann, zwölf vierhändige Clavierstücke für kleine und große Kinder, op. 85 no. 12) for piano and electronics (2015), Odoi for two oboes (2015), Prés, troisième livre (XIII–XVIII) for piano (2015), Strepito e garbuglio for double bass (2015), Di respiri mancanti for orchestra (2016), Fu verso o forse fu inverno for mezzo-soprano, piano and electronics (2016), Muro di canti, sound installation (2016), Veränderung XXXI–bis (da Diabelli-Variationen op. 120) for ensemble (2016), Yoru no hibiki, yama no naka yori for voice and string quartet (2016), Altra voce omaggio, a Robert Schumann for piano and electronics (2017), Capriccio ostico for ensemble (2017), Eufaunique for large ensemble (2017), Prima traccia for basset horn and electronics (2017), The Triple Foole, four madrigals for five voices (2017), In die Lu geschrieben for mezzo-soprano, harp, celesta, percussion and string orchestra (2018).