Giorgio Federico Ghedini

Giorgio Federico Ghedini (11 July 1892  25 March 1965) was an Italian composer. In addition to orchestral works, in 1949 he premiered a one-act opera based on the American novella, Billy Budd, by Herman Melville.


Ghedini was born in Cuneo in 1892. He studied organ, piano and composition in Turin, then graduated in composition in Bologna under Marco Enrico Bossi in 1911. He worked as conductor for a certain time, then he gave up to devote himself to teaching.

He worked as a teacher of composition in Turin (1918-1937), Parma (1937-1941), and finally Milan, where he directed the local Conservatory (1951-1962). Among his pupils, the most eminent were Marcello and Claudio Abbado, Luciano Berio, Guido Cantelli, Niccolò Castiglioni, Carlo Pinelli, and Fiorenzo Carpi.

Guido Cantelli conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a broadcast concert of Ghedini's Pezzo concertante for two violins, viola, and orchestra.

He died in Nervi, near Genoa, in 1965.


The composer was a deep lover of ancient music; he transcribed many works by such composers as Girolamo Frescobaldi, Claudio Monteverdi, and Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli. Ghedini's works are often inspired by music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras, but combined with a very personal language which combines ancient and modern styles. Among his masterworks are a Concerto for orchestra (in memory of Guido Cantelli), two violin concertos Il Belprato and Concentus Basiliensis, and a concerto for two cellos L'Olmeneta (The Elm Grove) and Musica Notturna (Night Music).

Ghedini's most celebrated concert piece is Concerto dell'Albatro (Albatross Concerto) for violin, cello, piano, narrator and orchestra, which includes fragments from Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick in its final movement.

He wrote a large number of chamber, vocal and choral works. He also wrote a one-act opera based on Melville's novella Billy Budd, which was first performed in 1949.





Film scores



  1. Manzoni, Giacomo (1986). Guida all'ascolto della musica sinfonica (in Italian). Feltrinelli Editore IT. p. 174. ISBN 88-07-80539-1.

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