| Vincenzo PalermoComposer
Vincenzo Palermo is a major Italian composer whose work has been played in the most prestigious Italian and American concert halls.
His musical production is totally unique and it does not ignore historical influences. It is permeated by late romantic expressiveness, framed in a clear structure, it is sometimes minimalist, but his style is delicious in its sophistication and resolutely modern.
| In brief
● 1991: made his debut as conductor in the Concerto for Strings n.1
● 1992: At 24 years old he composed his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra for the symphony orchestra from the San Carlo theatre in Naples
● 1999: Invited to participate in some concerts, conferences and meetings on the contemporary music at the International University of Florida in Miami, USA
● Has just recently finished his second concerto for piano which is being presented in a world premiere by Clavis Production
| His references
● His music was conducted by conductors such as Carlos Piantini, Nicola Hansalick Samale and Giorgio Proietti
● His works were performed in venues such as the International Centre For The Arts of New York, Florida International University of Miami and the “Walter Hall” in the University of Toronto
● His catalogue consists of more than 75 works
● His works were recorded on CD under the BMG RICORDI, Pentaphon and Sterling labels as pianist and composer. His compositions were published by the B.& W. Italia, Berbén, Pentaphon, Preludio Music and Sonzogno publishing houses
| His biography
Vincenzo Palermo, composer, pianist and conductor was born in Naples in 1967 where he completed his musical studies at the S. Pietro a Majella Conservatory.
His music for piano, instrumental groups, orchestras and theatre are performed in the major concert seasons and contemporary music festivals in Italy at:
Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, Turin’s Lingotto (Salone della Musica), Teatro Valle in Rome, Teatro La Pergola in Florence, Teatro Vittorio Emanuele in Messina, Teatro Rendano in Cosenza, Teatro Politeama (Teatro Massimo) in Palermo, Teatrino di Corte San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Savio in Messina (Accademia Filarmonica), Teatro Bellini in Naples, Teatro Biondo in Palermo, Teatro di Porta Romana in Milan, RAI Auditorium in Naples, Filarmonica Laudamo in Messina, Spazio Musica Festival in Cagliari, Festival della Città in Portogruaro, International Guitar Festival in Sirucusa, Ravello Festival, Bari (“Il Coretto”), Forlì (Emilia Romagna Festival), Teatro Lelio in Palermo, Trento, Teatro del Fuoco in Foggia, Teatro Lirico “Giuseppe Verdi” in Salerno, Auditorium “Mario Pagano” in Campobasso, l’Aquila, Teatro Comunale in Asolo , Taranto, Auditorium Borsellino in Palermo, Mostra D’Oltremare in Naples, Aula Magna of the University of Reggio Calabria, Aula Magna of the University of Cassino, Caltanissetta, Isernia, Avellino, Alcamo, Auditorium “A. Scarlatti” of the Naples Conservatory, Villa Pignatelli in Naples, etc.
in the United States International Centre for The Arts in New York, Florida International University in Miami, Philadelphia; in Canada: Walter Hall at the University of Toronto, Manitoba, Montreal; in England: Manchester, Nottingham, Preston; in France: Gerardmer; in Spain: Sala Falla of the Superior de Música de Málaga Conservatory; in Chile: Santiago, Valparaiso; in Colombia: Viña del Mar; in Argentina: San Francisco, Mendoza, Cordoba.
The piano was the first instrument that he paid attention to and the instrument that he used to create his first compositions. In 1991 he debuted as conductor in a performance of the Concerto per Archi n.1.
In 1992, at the age of 24, he debuted as a composer of symphony orchestra music at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples with his Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra, during which he also performed on the piano – the origin of his style. The critics described it thus “intended to reach a clear and persuasive euphony, while having a consistent and simple structure which contributes to a uniformly formal construction”. The following year he finished his Concerto per Violino e Orchestra. He also finished the Suite Frigia for piano and string orchestra and recorded his Canzonetta n.2 for violin, cello and strings on CD for the Pentaphon label.
In 1994 he won the “Darius Milhaud” Composition Competition held by the Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan where one of his orchestral works was selected to be part of the Autumn ’94 Concert Season. The Fantasia Boreale for piano and orchestra was performed for this event, and the composer himself performed on the piano in this world premier at the Sala Puccini in the “G. Verdi” Conservatory in Milan. He also composed a Trio for piano, violin and cello and a Divertimento for a flute ensemble, recorded on the Ediclass record label.
In 1995 he composed the Antique Rites overture for orchestra and won a prize for the composition Terenzio Gargiulo. As a result, his music was performed the following year in the theatre at the Conservatory of Naples to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Donizetti. He also wrote the sacred oratorio I Canti della Pace, based on 4 poems by G.B. Bilo, for tenor, baritone, ladies’ choir and orchestra, which was performed in Naples at the Musica Sacra dei Nostri Giorni event.
In 1996 he completed the piece Tunes to Stars for chamber orchestra and the play Raimondo Di Sangro, a Lyric Opera in three acts based on the an illustration by the Prince of San Severo, and a text by Giovanni Battista Bilo. He was awarded the Special Prize for his composition Sebetia-Ter.
He also wrote Variazioni Napolitane for orchestra, commissioned by the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and Pink Song, Seagull Tale and La Cantata dei Naufraghi for chamber orchestra.
In 1997 he presented the symphonic poem Ethereal Flames as well as several chamber orchestra pieces including The Sacred Tree, Brown Textures and Overdrive. A Song Of Liberty, a piece for harp and piano, is published on CD by BMG Ricordi, performed by Luisa Prandina., Scala’s first harpist.
In 1998 the violist Piero Masse performed Sonata per Viola in Portogruaro during the Festival delle Città. The Sonata per Clarinetto was performed on tour in the United States and Canada. The Sonata no.2 for Piano was performed on tour by pianist Carlo Bernava in Latin America and the Italian premiere was in the Laudamo Philharmonic in Messina where his piece Bright Cyan Textures was performed by Mario Ancillotti and Lucia Clementi. Finally, his Concerto per Archi no.2 premiered in Palermo.
In 1999 was invited by the Florida International University to perform in concerts, conferences and meetings on contemporary music in Miami, U.S. The FIU Symphony Orchestra performed his Concerto per Archi no.2 and the Fantasia Boreale for piano and orchestra, in which he performed as soloist. He composed the cantata Ultime parole di Eleonora. In 2000 he completed the single act Lyric Opera Sibilla.
In 2001 he wrote the music for the theatrical piece Orfeo, Euridice with lyrics by Rocco Familiari which was performed at the Teatro Valle in Rome and later at the Teatro La Pergola in Florence, the Rendano in Cosenza and the Lirico in Messina. He composed the piece Indigo Textures for the International Guitar Festival in Syracuse.
By invitation of the University of Cassino he held conferences on the latest trends of contemporary music at the “Salle Pacis”. Furthermore, the piece In the early morphing, on a theme by Cimarosa, in a celebration in honour of this composer, premiered at the Emilia Romagna Festival performed by the Alaria Ensemble from New York.
In 2002 he composed the sacred cantata Luce Christi for soprano, mezzo soprano and string orchestra which had its premier at the Palazzo dei Vescovi in Avellino.
In 2003, his composition Le Quattrocento e Più Porte for narrator and ensemble, with lyrics by Sigfrido Hobel, premiered at the Teatro Lirico G. Verdi in Salerno. He also completed the incidental music for the show Caro Eduardo by Nicola Fiore, on an Italian tour from the Sala Umberto Theatre in Rome.
In 2004, commissioned by the Ravello Festival, he composed the Triplo Sogno Suite for a percussion ensemble.
In 2005, in Naples, at the Basilica di S. Domenico Maggiore, he premiered Corali dei Lunghi Percorsi for narrator, choir and ensemble, and he also introduced his Quartetto per Archi n.3.
In 2006, he completed his book on studies for piano solo Gli Studi del Continuo.
In 2007, commissioned by the Magna Grecia Festival and by the Province of Crotone, he composed the Opera I Canti delle Pietre. Furthermore, he also composed the piece Linea Diversa for harp quartet.
In 2008, he composed the incidental music for the show Davide e il Lupo by Francesco Marino.
In 2009, at the Teatro Rendano he presented the Preludio Aureo for orchestra, directed by Donato Sivo.
In 2011, he was commissioned by the Teatro Rendano to create a number of revisions, re-orchestrations and arrangements, ad hoc, for the Teatro Rendano Symphony Orchestra, based on film music in honour of Nino Rota’s birthday.
In 2012, he was commissioned by the Concorso Internazionale d’Arpa “M. Tourniér to compose the set piece for the main category, so he composed L’arpa di Ermete. The piece was performed by harpist Raul Moretti and premiered at the International Harp Festival in Paraguay.
In 2013 he presented his Sonata for saxophone and piano at the International Saxophone Stages in Fermo.
In 2014 he was again commissioned to compose the set piece for the main category of the Concorso Internazionale d’Arpa “M. Tourniér”, for which he wrote Primo Graffito Sull’Anfora.
His symphonic music, as well as his performances as a soloist with orchestras were directed by orchestra leaders including Carlos Piantini, Nicola Hansalick Samale, Giorgio Proietti, Fabio Mastrangelo, Elena Casella, Renato Piemontese, Lorenzo Castriota Skanderbeg, Filippo Zigante, Umberto Bruno, Donato Sivo, Carmelo Caruso, and others. His compositions have been dedicated to and performed by soloists such as Luisa Prandina, Mario Ancillotti Carlo Boccadoro, Angel Padilla, Andrea Rebaudengo, Salvatore Lombardi, Piero Massa, Patrizia Radici, Nello Alessi, Domenico Ciallella, Lucia Clementi, Livio de Luca, Raul Moretti, Massimo Severino, Fabiola Nencini, Piero Viti, Simona Padula, Paloma Tironi, and by orchestras or chamber music ensembles including the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Miami FIU Orchestra, the Alaria Ensemble of New York, Concerto delle Dame from Brescia, the Virtuosi from Toronto, Orchestra della Grande Accademia di Roma, Orchestra Lirico-Sinfonica del Teatro Rendano. Orchestra “Gli Armonici” in Palermo, Orchestra “U. Giordano” in the Province of Foggia, Nuova Orchestra Scarlatti in Naples, Quartetto Philharmonia in Rome, Cherubino Flute Ensemble, Balarm Sax Quatour, Trio Gaubert and others. His vocal pieces have been sung by Sara Allegretta, Rosalba Colosimo, Giovanni Guarino, Daniela Del Monaco, Roberta Andalò, Antonio Sarnelli de Silva, Anna Vandi Gaggiotti, Pino Coluzzi and others.
Within the context of his work for the theatre in prose and music, he has collaborated with artists including Giorgio Albertazzi, Roberto De Simone, Lina Sastri, Giancarlo Cauteruccio, Dante De Rose, Francesco Marino, Sara Alzetta, Giovanni Battista Bilo, Nicola Fiore, Sigfrido Hobel, Pino Michienzi, Augusto Zucchi, Angela Pagano.
His performances, on both radio and television, have been transmitted and recorded by RAI and other national broadcasters. He has recorded CDs for BMG RICORDI, Pentaphon and Sterling both as pianist and composer. His works are published by the following publishing houses: B.&W. Italia, Berbén, Pentaphon, Preludio Music and Sonzogno.
He has developed a busy programme of concerts in Italy and abroad as a soloist, in chamber ensembles and as a conductor. He has devoted much attention to chamber music not only as a composer but also performing along with well known musicians such as Mark Drobinskij, Alessandro Specchi, Pier Narciso Masi, Salvatore Altobelli, who have received several prestigious awards at a national and international level.
He developed his composition under the tutelage of Luciano Tomei for harmony and counterpoint, and Francesco D’Avalos with whom he completed his studies brilliantly, winning the Terenzio Gargiulo prize as the best graduate of the academic year. He received his diploma in piano with full honours at the Naples Conservatory where he attended classes taught by Marisa Carretta. He attended conducting courses with Maestros Francesco D’Avalos and Roberto Manfredini completing his studies with Renato Piemontese; along with music he has also studied fine arts.
He has worked and lectured for the University of Cassino, Reggio Calabria and the Florida International University in Miami, USA. He held the post of Professor of Composition at the conservatories in Reggio Calabria, Avellino and Trapani, and the post of Professor of Harmony and Counterpoint at the Palermo Conservatory. He currently teaches composition at the “S. Di Giacomantonio” Conservatory in Cosenza.
About Bright cyan textures
(…) on completely different aesthetic sides the other pieces performed are: Bright Cyan Textures, a world premier by Vincenzo Palermo. The end of the first part is in no way reminiscent of lounge music, but rather of undefined archaic atmospheres, inheritances of modal music civilizations transfigured by an emancipated modern language.
About Bright cyan textures
(…) the first part ended with the premiere of Bright cyan textures, an exquisite composition with rarefied and dreamlike sounds by Vincenzo Palermo.
About the Sonata for saxophone and piano
(…) The Sonata by Vincenzo Palermo (1967) is impressive because of the quality of writing, its elegance, and at times it astonishes the listener with flashes of light, sudden jumps, late-romantic impulses through a tight counterpoint between the soloist and the piano, which sometimes takes over until the soloist to reclaims the lead.
About the Sonata for saxophone and piano
(…) The singing and remarkable rhythmic eloquence in this sonata, along with an ability to remain balanced without going into an excessive and obscure complications, but also not stooping to a roguish simplification (…)Moyenne Virtus, as our wise ancestors said, this sonata is a blend of communication and sophistication.
About the Concerto for piano n.1
(…) a real surprise, however, was the successful premiere of the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by the young composer Vincenzo Palermo. The author was the soloist. An original and well thought out score which, despite being full of dissonant references, appeared constantly projected towards a bright and convincing euphony. A lesson in the classics in three seconds, movements with a logical structure and simple patterns contribute to a unified formal construction. Furthermore, the piano technique is stunning, very agile, played mainly on adjoining notes, and then in the last mouvement, disjointed.
Admirable too is the orchestration and balance between the body of the orchestra and the solo. The piano, totally purged with sterile virtuosity, moved with perfect ease between the solo and orchestral roles. An eloquently phrased performance of exquisite tonal quality.
About Tunes to Stars
(…) a beautiful score composed by Vincenzo Palermo, a young Neapolitan author who has compositional talent and strong musical sensibility. His work is full of ideas and symphonic references reminiscent of minimalism, which characterises authors such as Philip Glass or Michael Nyman.
About I Canti della Pace
(…) having arrived late in the neo-romantic circle, due to his young age, he proved in a short time to be able to sit alongside the founders of the movement with ease and competence. Vincenzo Palermo started from his experience as a pianist (the piano is his favourite instrument) and then moved on to widen his horizons to the composition of original instrumental pieces, and now choral as well. He is a true neo-romantic, in the sense of giving priority to emotions, perhaps due to his Neapolitan origins. However, he harnesses his “passionate” movements with precise technique stemming from his minimalist preferences, bestowing few notes on the tune, which are nonetheless varied and enrich the virtuosity which was dear to the original romantics.
About Ethereal Flames
(…) he carefully breaks down and reassembles the simple structural elements, repeating and enriching, on an instrumental level, the defined narrative images. The constant use of wind instruments, in a dramatic function, is a sign of attention towards the construction of a late-romantic repertoire, resumed on a small scale, but with descriptive purposes that are not too dissimilar. The crux of the work follows a reassuring plot, constantly highlighting the leading theme. So too the cyclical nature of some passages is not meant to tire the listener, but rather to clarify the sound combinations to aid understanding.
About Ethereal Flames
The flames of this symphonic poem do not burn, they caress; the orchestral colours and counterpoint play are quite elegant. The writing, even in the repetitive bars, leads the listener to near hypnosis without however being blatantly minimalist. The colour draws you in, not just the repetition. This “musical table” has the virtue of not denying ancient legacies and being, at the same time, absolutely modern.
About Come l’onde e le sirene
Come l’Onde e le Sirene is a short poem of a nocturnal nature. A piece with a rare atmosphere in which the lyricism of the dialogue between the piano and harp is almost like whispered chants of sirens in the distance, alternating with delicate, crystalline sounding landscapes, where the marine element is observed in a light reflection on the surface of the water where an idyllic horizon meets with the blue sky.
About the Sonata for piano n.2
The Sonata no. 2 (dedicated to Piero Ostali) was composed in 1997 after a long period of preparation that lasted almost two years. A radiant piece but also one particularly difficult to perform. It’s performance was entrusted to the virtuosity of Rodolfo Rubino, heir of the glorious Neapolitan Piano School and performer of brilliant famous pieces of the piano repertoire such as the complete 12 Transcendental Etudes by Liszt and Islamey by Balakirev, in the beautiful auditorium of Casa della Musica in Cosenza where it premiered. The piece is of cyclic form, it consists of two harmonic-motivic units expressed at the beginning of the piece and placed in constant harmonic interaction through synergistic parallelisms, capable of defining the two overlapping modal levels, but remaining distinct. The result is harmonic tension that permeates the entire piece, where the use of compositional techniques emerge which are distinct to the author: minimalism and the use of “serialism” both from a modal viewpoint and in the context of the entire structure.
Compositions for Orchestra
1. ■Ihcra rep otrecnoc – Concerto for String n°1 (1991)
2. ■Antique Rites – Overture for orchestra (1995)
3. ■Tunes to stars – for orchestra (1996)
4. ■Variazioni Napolitane – for orchestra (1996)
5. ■Ethereal Flames – for orchestra (1997)
6. ■Fontane d’aria – Concerto for strings n°2 (1998)
7. ■Preludio Aureo – for orchestra (2009)
Compositions for solo Instruments and Orchestra
1. ■Concerto for piano and orchestra n°1 (1992)
2. ■Concerto for violin and orchestra (1993)
3. ■Suite Frigia for piano and string orchestra (1993)
4. ■Canzonetta n°2 for violin, cello and string orchestra (1993)
5. ■Fantasia Boreale for piano and orchestra (1995)
6. ■Canzonetta n°3 for violin and string orchestra (1995)
7. ■Canzonetta n°4 for flute, violin and string orchestra (1996)
8. ■Concerto for flute and orchestra (1999)
1. ■Raimondo De Sangro – opera in three acts on a libretto by Giovanni Battista Bilo (1995)
2. ■Sibilla – opera in one act on a libretto by Sigfrido Hobel (2001)
1. ■Orfeo, Euridice of Rocco Familiari, ed. 2001 – directing by Augusto Zucchi (2001)
2. ■Caro Eduardo de Nicola Fiore ed. 2003 (2003)
3. ■I Canti delle Pietre on an idea of Giancarlo Cauteruccio (2007)
4. ■Davide e il lupo by Francesco Marino (2008)
5. ■Le montagne che camminano, musical-opera for children on a text by Assunta Morrone (2014)
1. ■A dance on the ground for a group (2000)
Compositions for chamber music
1. ■Canzonetta n°1 for violin and piano (1987)
2. ■Introduzione e allegro for violin, clarinet and piano (1988)
3. ■Quartetto for string (1989)
4. ■Eteriale for flute and piano (1991)
5. ■Forse l’amore – three lieder for soprano and piano (1992)
6. ■Quartetto for string n°2 (1993)
7. ■Trio for violin, cello and piano (1994)
8. ■Divertimento for flute group (1994)
9. ■Canzonetta n°3 for violin and piano (1994)
10. ■Rounds for viola, violin and cello (1995)
11. ■Corale for flute quartet (1995)
12. ■A Song of Liberty for harp and piano (1996)
13. ■Pink Song for saxophone quartet (1996)
14. ■Seagull Tale for clarinet, viola and piano (1996)
15. ■Brown Textures for piano and harp (1997)
16. ■Fluto overdrive for two flutes and piano (1997)
17. ■Sonata for viola and piano (1997)
18. ■In dio sperate cantate for contralto and piano (1997)
19. ■Blue Textures for clarinet and harp (1998)
20. ■Sonata for clarinet and piano (1998)
21. ■Bright Cyan Textures for flute and harp (1998)
22. ■Tre canti di Euridice for soprano, cello and piano (2000)
23. ■Indigo Textures for guitar and harp (2001)
24. ■In the early morphings for flute, guitar, violin and cello (2002)
25. ■Le quattrocento e più porte, for narrator voice, piano and string quartet (2003)
26. ■Triplo Sogno for group of percussions and double bass (2004)
27. ■Quartetto for string n°3 (2005)
28. ■Linea diversa for harp quartet (2007)
29. ■Corale Sarabandato for harp trio (2007)
30. ■Sonata for saxophone and piano (2013)
31. ■Danza degli stormi for group of flutes (2014)
32. ■Come l’onde e le sirene for piano and harp quartet (2015)
Compositions for voice, choir and orchestra or instruments
1. ■Frammenti del Tempo for voice and piano or string orchestra (1994)
2. ■I canti della pace for tenor, baritone, women’s choir and orchestra (1995-2001)
3. ■La cantata dei naufraghi for soprano, mezzosoprano, women’s choir and harp (1996)
4. ■The sacred tree for soprano and little orchestra
5. ■Easy Rendering Summertime for soprano and orchestra (1998)
6. ■Ultime parole di Eleonora for soprano and groupe (1999)
7. ■Luce Christi for soprano, mezzosoprano and string orchestra (2002)
8. ■I corali dei lunghi percorsi for choir, synthesizer and string orchestra (2005)
9. ■Ode a Natuzza for soprano, clarinet and string orchestra (2015)
Music for piano
1. ■Cinque piccoli pezzi (1987)
2. ■Tema e variazioni (1988)
3. ■Sonata n°1 (1989)
4. ■Notturno (1992)
5. ■Notturno n°2 (1993)
6. ■Notturno n°3 (1994)
7. ■Sonata n°2 (1997)
8. ■Notturno n°4 (1998)
9. ■Gli studi del continuo – Five studies for piano (2006)
Music for harp
1. ■L’arpa di Ermete (2012)
2. ■Primo graffito sull’anfora (2014)
Sonata for saxophone and piano
A song of liberty for piano and harp
Suite frigia for piano and string orchestra
A song of liberty for harp and piano
Antique rites for chamber orchestra
Canzonetta n° 3 for violin and piano
Concerto for strings
Concerto for piano and orchestra
Divertimento for flutes
Fantasia Boreale for piano and chamber orchestra
Frammenti del tempo for tenor or soprano and piano
I canti della pace for tenor, baritone, women’s choir and orchestra
Notturno n° 2 for piano
Notturno n° 3 for piano
Notturno n° 4 for piano
Pink Song for saxophone quartet
Quartetto n° 2 for strings
Rounds for quartet of cellos
Seagull tale for clarinet, viola and piano
Seagull tale for violin or viola, cello and piano
Sonate n° 2 for piano
Trio for violin, cello and piano
Tunes to Stars for small orchestra
Variazioni napolitane for chamber orchestra
Tema e variazioni
Corale per quartetto di flauti
Primo graffito sull’anfora (2014)
L’Arpa di Ermete (2012)