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Luciano and Talia Pecker Berio in the Felsenreitschule, Cronaca del Luogo, Salzburger Festspiele, 1999.

© Günther Sturm

The world première of Cronaca del Luogo, Luciano Berio’s last music-theatre work, with a text by Talia Pecker Berio, inaugurated the Salzburg Festival on the 24th of July 1999. We wish to celebrate this date with documents, photos and excerpts from a radio interview with the composer and his wife, which was conducted by Michele dall’Ongaro and broadcast by the RAI Radio 3 in the days prior to the performance.
Next month we shall mark the 30th anniversary of yet another seminal music-theatre work by Luciano Berio - Un re in ascolto, which had its world première in the Salzburg in 1984 under the baton of Lorin Maazel whose recent passing is a huge loss for the musical community across the planet. We wish to honor his memory and to remember his life-long friendship and many significant musical encounters with Luciano Berio.

For the documents on Cronaca del Luogo, click here.

On August 23 the Lucerne Festival 2014 dedicated its sixth symphonic concert to an exceptional performance of Luciano Berio’s Coro conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Along with the chorus conductor James Wood, Rattle prepared the young talents – 40 singers and 43 players from all over the world – who were selected to form the choir and orchestra or the 11th edition of the Lucerne Festival Academy that was founded by Pierre Boulez in 2004. For a selection of photos from the rehearsals and performance of Coro in Lucerne click here.
The encounter between the director of the Berliner Philharmoniker (with whom he had given a memorable performance of Coro in 2010), James Wood (who had directed the choir also in Berlin) and the young musicians turned into a true laboratory leading to a musical and human experience that rendered justice to the spirit of Berio’s work, which he had compared to a «plan for an imaginary city, which is realized on different levels and generates, assembles and unifies different things and persons, revealing their individual and collective characters, their distance, their relationships and conflicts within real and virtual borders.» (For Berio’s note on Coro click here; for the synoptic entry click here).
The concert will be broadcast on BR-Klassik on September 11 at 8pm. For listening in streaming click here. For the concert program click here.

The 27th of May is the eleventh anniversary of Luciano Berio’s death. We would like to honor this date by posting a selection of salient moments from the last interview with the composer, from the video, Omaggio. The interview was recorded on April 8th, 2003, and conducted by Gillian Moore and Shân MacLennan for the Southbank Centre in London, which presented a festival dedicated entirely to the composer in 2004 entitled «Omaggio: A Celebration of Luciano Berio.»
In the interview, responding to questions by the two interviewers, Luciano Berio relates some essential moments in his personal and artistic development: his experience as a composer, his connection to popular music and culture, a reflection on technology. The testimony ends with an intense reflection on the future of music, on ways of listening, and to the unity of musical experience within interactions between the classical, pop and jazz traditions: «There are certain deep, solid roots in what we do that cannot be changed or destroyed».

To listen to excerpts from the interview, click here.