Azio Corghi

Born near Turin in 1937, until 1950 Azio Corghi divided his studies between those of painting and music. Then he attended Turin and Milan Conservatories studying piano, history of music, choral and orchestral composition and conduction with, among the others, Bruno Bettinelli, Massimo Mila and Antonino Votto (Riccardo Muti’s conducting teacher). In 1967 Corghi won the Ricordi-Rai competition with the piece Intavolature, which was performed at La Fenice in Venice, and in 1973 the Fondazione Rossini and Casa Ricordi entrusted him with the preparation of the critical edition of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Despite the prolific activity of those years, his international reputation considerably grew only later, since the Eighties, when he began a successful career as a contemporary opera composer with Gargantua, from Rabelais, staged in 1984 at Teatro Regio in Turin. In the 1989-1990 season La Scala in Milan staged Blimunda, an opera that started a fruitful sodality with Portuguese writer and Nobel laureate José Saramago, concretized in later years with both new operas (Divara -“Wasser und Blut”, 1993, staged in Münster and Il dissoluto assolto, 2005, co-production of La Scala and Teatro San Carlos of Lisbon) and choral and/or symphonic works (Cruci-Verba, 2001, for acting voice and orchestra; De paz e de guerra, 2002, for choir and orchestra, commissioned by Accademia di Santa Cecilia chaired by Luciano Berio).Worthy of mention is also Corghi’s ballet production (Mazapegul, 1985, with The Swingle Singers; Un petit train de plaisir, 1991, for the Rossini bicentenary, performed in Pesaro and broadcast throughout the world). Azio Corghi has been among the most active advocates of Music Composition teaching in Italy, with chairs at Pama, Turin and Milan Conservatories, as well as, later, at the Santa Cecilia National Academy in Rome, at the Chigiana Academy in Siena and at The Royal Philharmonic Academy in Bologna, and abroad with masterclasses held at Berkeley and Cincinnati Universities, among the other.