Maderna [Grossato], Bruno [Brunetto]
- Rossana Dalmonte
(b Venice, April 21, 1920; d Darmstadt, Nov 13, 1973). Italian composer and conductor. His influence on the musical life of the mid-20th century made itself felt through a number of important works, through his teaching and through his conducting, which contributed significantly to the wider dissemination of the masterpieces of the European avant garde. Maderna’s stylistic devices, original and often distinct from those of such contemporaries as Berio, Boulez, Stockhausen and Nono, include his characteristic use of deterministic precompositional techniques, his own interpretation of the ‘open work’ concept and the melodic thread which remains perceptible in even the most complex textures.
Many details of his early years are still unclear. His mother was Caroline Maderna, his father almost certainly Umberto Grossato, although paternity was never formally acknowledged. After the death of his mother, documentation refers to him as Bruno (or Brunetto) Grossato, and he was brought up in S Anna di Chioggia, a small village near Venice. Soon recognized for his precocious musical gifts, he learnt to play a number of instruments including the violin, on which he was encouraged to perform in the local bar and dance hall run by the family. In ...