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date: 23 October 2019

Dallapiccola, Luigilocked

  • John C.G. Waterhouse
  •  and Virgilio Bernardoni


(b Pisino d’Istria [now Pazin, Istra, Croatia], Feb 3, 1904; d Florence, Feb 19, 1975). Italian composer, pianist and writer. He was the principal pioneer of dodecaphony in Italy.

The seeds of Dallapiccola’s intense concern for liberty were sown early: born of Italian parents in a disputed territory (then part of the Austrian empire), he was still a child when the grimmer political realities of the time first affected him. In 1916 his father’s school was closed by the Austrian government, and in March 1917 the family was interned at Graz, being suspected of Italian nationalism. Only after the war (21 November 1918) could they return to Pisino, Istria having been transferred to Italy.

During these early years Dallapiccola’s musical education was inevitably disordered. Already in 1912–16 he was learning the piano and even trying to compose. In Graz, where he no longer had access to a piano, his musical horizons nevertheless expanded: he went regularly to the local opera house, where he was impressed by the works of Mozart and Wagner. It was after a performance of ...

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