Busoni, Ferruccio Benvenuto

Busoni, Ferruccio Benvenuto

(fār-ro͞ot`chō bānvāno͞o`tō bo͞ozō`nē), 1866–1924, Italian pianist and composer. A child prodigy, he gave a concert in Trieste at the age of eight, which was followed by many appearances conducting and performing his own compositions. His style of piano playing was similar to that of Liszt, whom he greatly admired. He later taught at the conservatories in Helsinki and Moscow and from 1891 to 1894 at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. He transcribed for piano many of the organ works of J. S. Bach and edited his Well-tempered Clavier. Busoni's own compositions include piano pieces, a piano concerto, a violin concerto, and operas. His writings on musical and aesthetic subjects include his Sketch of a New Esthetic (tr. 1911).


See his letters to his wife (tr. 1938); biography by H. H. Stuckenschmidt (tr. 1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Busoni, Ferruccio Benvenuto


Born Apr. 1, 1866, in Empoli, near Florence; died July 27, 1924, in Berlin. Italian composer, conductor, teacher, and writer on music.

Busoni was born into a musical family; his father was a clarinetist, and his mother a pianist. From the age of 15 he was a member of the Bologna Philharmonia Academy. Busoni won the prize for composition at the First International A. G. Rubinstein Competition (St. Petersburg, 1890). During the years 1888-90 he taught at the Helsingfors (Helsinki) Conservatory and in 1890-91 at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1920 he was a professor of composition at the Berlin School of Music and also a member of the Academy of Arts. He toured Russia, making his last appearances in 1912 and 1913.

Busoni composed four operas, including Turandot (staged in Zürich in 1917), a piano concerto (1904), the Fantasia Contrapunctistica for two pianos (1922), two sonatas for violin and piano, a symphony, instrumental chamber music, and other works. Busoni’s editions and transcriptions are widely known, especially those of J. S. Bach and F. Liszt.

Busoni’s opinions on music found expression in numerous articles and in his book, An Essay on a New Aesthetic of the Art of Music (1907; Russian translation, 1912).

Among Busoni’s students were the pianists G. N. Be-klemishev, A. Brailovskii, E. Petri, and Iu. Turchin’skii and the composers N. Nabokov and Ph. Jarnach. Since 1949 the International Busoni Piano Competition has been held annually in Bolzano (Italy).


Briefe an seine Frau. Leipzig, 1935.


Barinova, M. N. Vospominaniia o I. G of mane i F. Buzoni. Moscow, 1964.
Kogan, G. Ferruchcho Buzoni. Moscow, 1964.
Kogan, G. “D. Al’ber, Buzoni i sovremennost’.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1967, no. 1.
Dent, E. J. F. Busoni. London, 1933. (Contains music scores and a bibliography).
Debusmann, E. F. Busoni. Wiesbaden, 1949. (Contains music scores and a bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.