Bianchi, Oscar

Italian-Swiss composer born in 1975 in Milan. He began to learn music and piano playing at the age of eight. He then studied composition and choral conducting at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire in Milan, as well as electronic music in Milan and Bologna conservatoires and the Music Academy in Modena. He also completed a course in composition and music digital technologies at IRCAM (2003–4), as well as numerous masterclasses and residencies. He obtained a doctorate in composition from Columbia University in New York. 

His music is characterised by dense textures, extraordinary inventiveness, and a sense of musical–dramatic structure. He has collaborated with such ensembles as the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Diotima Quartet, and David Grimal (Semplice, staged at the Scène Nationale du Havre in 2010). His concerto for orchestra Ajna was performed at the Musica Festival in Strasbourg by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Pascal Rophé in 2010, while Transparente II and Anahata Concerto were presented by Remix Ensemble. 

Bianchi’s first opera, Thanks to my Eyes (2011), to a libretto by Joël Pommerat, who also directed its production, commissioned by the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Théâtre et Musique, was warmly received by both the critics and the audience. Bianchi’s works have been performed by leading orchestras and ensembles, such as the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, JACK Quartet, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ictus, Diotima Quartet, Ensemble Remix, Nieuw Ensemble, Itinéraire, Contrechamps, International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, David Grimal, Kammerensemble für neue Musik Berlin, Phoenix Ensemble, Collegium Novum of Zurich, Drumming Grupo de Percussão of Porto, Ensemble Laboratorium, Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, and Sound’arte. At present he is working on a number of pieces, including a concerto for violin and orchestra (in collaboration with New York Philharmonic). An album dedicated exclusively to his works was released in 2013 by Musiques Suisses, while his cantata Matra is available on a Cyprès CD. 

Apart from work on his compositions, Oscar Bianchi ran the music section of the Biennale di Arte Contemporanea in Porto Ercole (2000–1), was the chair of the Pavillon Suisse Association at the Fondation suisse / Pavillon Le Corbusier in Paris (2003–5), as well as professor and faculty member at Columbia University, New York (2005–9). 

Selected works: Primordia rerum for soprano and ensemble (2003), Crepuscolofor recorder and electronics (2003–4), Mezziogiorno for 11 instruments and electronics (2004–5), Introitus for mixed choir (2005), Aqba, nel so o tuo dolce for six percussionists (2005), Za ro for recorder, baritone saxophone, guitar (possibly amplified) and viola (2005), Trasparente II for 16 instruments (2007), Matra, cantata for vocal ensemble, instrumental ensemble, trio concertante and electronics (2007), Anahata Concerto for 18 instruments (2008), Vishudda Concerto for ensemble (2009), Gr... for bass flute (2010), Ajna Prelude for orchestra (2010), Semplice for violin (2010), String Quartet no. 1 Adesso (2011),Schegge for prepared piano (2011), Thanks to my Eyes, opera in one act for four singers, mime, actress and 12 instruments, to a libretto by Joël Pommerat (2010–11), The Infinite Jest for actress, singer and dancer (2012), Ante litteram for six unaccompanied voices (or with bass clarinet, 2011–13), De profundis for basset horn (2013), Permeabilityfor ensemble and electronics (2013), Fluente for soprano, baritone and bagpipe (2013), Oneness for bass clarinet, basset horn and orchestra (2013), Celeste discontinuità for cello and string orchestra (2014), the Past for 12 performers (2014), Docile ascesa for double bass (2014),Partendo for countertenor and ensemble (2015), Exordium for orchestra (2015–16), Inventio for symphony orchestra (2015–16), Alteritasfor bass or contrabass clarinet (2016), Ballerina for electric guitar (2016), Topologia delle passioni for wind quintet (2016), Reinforced Sympathy for two ouds (2016), String Quartet no. 2 Pathos of Distance (2017),Contingency for ensemble (2017), Roar for symphony orchestra (2017), Orango for ensemble and audience (2018), Antilope for bass clarinet, cello and piano (2018), Senza for recorder and violin (2018), Etude no. 1 for piano (2018), Circled Existence for electric guitar and six voices (2018), Sinatra in Agony, music theatre (2018).