Luigi Dallapiccola

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Dallapiccola, Luigi

(lo͞oē`jē däl'läpēk`kōlä), 1904–75, Italian composer, b. Pazan, Istria (now in Croatia). Dallapiccola was in a detention camp during World War I; because his wife was Jewish, he suffered persecution under Mussolini. He was the first Italian composer of atonal music, and after 1940 he increasingly used the twelve-tone system (see serial musicserial music,
the body of compositions whose fundamental syntactical reference is a particular ordering (called series or row) of the twelve pitch classes—C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B—that constitute the equal-tempered scale.
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). His interest in vocal music is revealed in his operas The Prisoner (1949) and Odysseus (1968); the oratorio Job (1950); and the Christmas Concerto (1956) for soprano and orchestra. He also wrote instrumental concertos, ballets, and orchestral works.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dallapiccola, Luigi


Born Feb. 3, 1904, in Pisino, Is-tria. Italian composer, pianist, and teacher.

Born into the family of a teacher of Greek, Dallapiccola studied piano with E. Consolo and composition with V. Frazzi at the conservatory in Florence, where he taught a piano class beginning in 1934. He was a concert pianist. From 1951 to 1957, Dallapiccola taught in the USA. (In 1956 he became a professor of composition at Queens College in New York City.) From 1963 to 1964 he taught in the summer program at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

In his creative work Dallapiccola skillfully combines the principles of the twelve-tone technique with singing melodies that have an Italian character. Many of his works took shape as an expression of protest against fascist policies. His compositions include the operas Night Flight (based on the work by A. de Saint-Exupery, presented in 1940 in Florence) and The Prisoner (staged in 1950 in Florence). Dallapiccola also wrote the cantata Songs of Imprisonment, and the work Songs of Liberation for chorus and orchestra (1941), as well as orchestral, vocal-instrumental, and piano pieces.


“The Genesis of the Canti di prigionia and II Prigioniero.” Musical Quarterly, vol. 39, 1953, no. 3. pp. 355–72.


Dallapiccola, L. “Interv’iu.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1967, no. 4, pp. 129–31. (Translated from English.)
Vlad, R. Luigi Dallapiccola. Milan. 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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One of her most memorable recent engagements was to sing in a concert performance of Luigi Dallapicolla's opera, Ulisse, with the Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, her first major foray into the world of atonal music.