Lorenzo Ferrero

Lorenzo Ferrero

Lorenzo Ferrero (born 1951) is a contemporary Italian composer, librettist, author, and book editor. He started composing at an early age and has written over a hundred compositions thus far, including twelve operas, three ballets, and numerous orchestral, chamber music, solo instrumental, and vocal works. His musical idiom is characterized by eclecticism, stylistic versatility, and a neo-tonal language.


Born in Turin, he studied composition from 1969 to 1973 with Massimo Bruni and Enore Zaffiri at Turin Music Conservatory, and philosophy with Gianni Vattimo and Massimo Mila at the University of Turin, earning a degree in aesthetics with a thesis on John Cage in 1974.

His early interest in the psychology of perception and psychoacoustics led him to IMEB, the International Electroacoustic Music Institute of Bourges, where he did research on electronic music between 1972 and 1973, IRCAM in Paris, and to the Musik/Dia/Licht/Film Galerie in Munich in 1974.

Lorenzo Ferrero has received commissions from numerous festivals and institutions, his works being constantly performed throughout Europe and North America, particularly in Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and the United States.

Scene from the opera La Conquista, 2005

His most popular compositions include the operas Marilyn, La figlia del mago, Salvatore Giuliano, Charlotte Corday, La Conquista, and Risorgimento!, the first Piano Concerto, the Concerto for Violin, Violoncello and Piano, the set of six symphonic poems La nueva España, the song cycle Canzoni d'amore, the Capriccio for Piano and String Orchestra, Parodia, Ostinato, Glamorama Spies, Tempi di quartetto for string quartet, and the ballet Franca Florio, regina di Palermo. In 1986 he participated in the Prix Italia with his work La fuga di Foscolo. His music is published by Casa Ricordi, Milan.

As an active manager of art events, he has served as artistic director of the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago (1980–84),[1] Unione Musicale in Turin (1983–87), Arena di Verona (1991–94), and the Musica 2000 fair. In 1999 he co-founded and coordinated the Festa della Musica, a showcase of classical, jazz and world music held in Milan, and four years later he managed the Ravello Festival.

In 2007 Lorenzo Ferrero was appointed to the board of directors and elected vice-president of SIAE, the Italian Authors and Publishers Association. That same year he published the Manuale di scrittura musicale, a manual which describes the basic rules of correct and elegant music writing from the orthographic as well as the graphic point of view, which is addressed to all composers, musicologists, teachers, students and copy-editors in need of practical advice. In 2008 he translated, edited and published Lo studio dell'orchestrazione, the Italian edition of Samuel Adler's The Study of Orchestration, a landmark orchestration manual.

Lorenzo Ferrero has been professor of composition at Milan Conservatory since 1980. His teaching appointments also include positions at St. Mary's College of Maryland and LUISS Business School, a division of LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome. Moreover, as member of the Italian National Union of Composers, Librettists and Authors he co-founded ECSA, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, and since 2011 he is Chairman of CIAM, the International Council of Music Authors, which is a committee within CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers.

He was described in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera as "the most successful opera composer of his generation in Italy"[2] and in The New Penguin Opera Guide as "a principal exponent of the neo-tonal tendencies common to a number of Italian composers of his generation, who has championed a brand of narrative music-theatre that aims to capture a wider audience than that achieved by the heirs of the modernist tradition."[3]


In addition to the original works listed below, Lorenzo Ferrero completed the orchestration of the third version of the opera La rondine by Giacomo Puccini, which was subsequently premiered at Teatro Regio di Torino on 22 March 1994. With a group of six other Italian composers he wrote the Requiem per le vittime della mafia, a collaborative composition for soloists, choir and orchestra on an Italian text by Vincenzo Consolo. The requiem was first performed in the Palermo Cathedral on 27 March 1993. Furthermore, he wrote the music for the Sestriere Alpine World Ski Championships opening ceremony of 1997 including the official anthem, incidental music for stage productions, and a film score. British musicologist David Osmond-Smith described his style as "an unabashed synthesis of classical traditions and pop [...] that never forgets its 19-century precursors."[4]



Orchestral music

Chamber and instrumental music

Piano music

Organ and harpsichord

Choral and vocal music

Incidental and theatre music

Film score

Books and book contributions

No music book has ever succeeded in miraculously replacing the listening experience. ~ Lorenzo Ferrero[5]


Year Title Genre Label
1991 Lorenzo Ferrero - Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra, Parodia, Ostinato, Canzoni d'amore Classical Nuova Era
1992 Lorenzo Ferrero - Mare nostro Classical Ricordi
1998 Lorenzo Ferrero - Different Views: La ruta de Cortés, La noche triste, Championship Suite, Palm Beach Overture Classical BMG Ricordi
1999 Lorenzo Ferrero - Capriccio per pianoforte e archi, Concerto per violino, violoncello, pianoforte e orchestra, Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra Classical BMG Ricordi
2000 Lorenzo Ferrero - La nueva España Classical Naxos
2013 Lorenzo Ferrero - Tempi di quartetto Classical Klanglogo
Year Title Genre Label
1972 Musica Elettronica - Computer Music: Immigrati, Fawn Electronic Compagnia Editoriale Pianeta
1972 Les Saisons: Primavera che non vi rincresca Electronic IMEB
1976 Steirischer Herbst - Ferrero-Neuwirth-Rühm: Le Néant où l'on ne peut arriver Classical ORF
1983 Marco Fumo - Piano in Rag: My Rag Classical Fonit Cetra
1983 Fantasia su Roberto Fabbriciani: Ellipse Classical Philips
1987 Steirischer Herbst - Musikprotokoll 1987: Ostinato Classical ORF
1991 Davide Ficco - Autori Italiani Contemporanei: Onde Classical Oliphant
1994 Flavio Cucchi - Italian Guitar Music: Onde Classical Arc Music
1995 Dominique Visse - Songs for Seven Centuries: Mi palpita il cuore Classical King Records
2002 Sentieri selvaggi - Bad Blood: Glamorama Spies Classical Sensible Records
2003 Saxophone Colours - Italian & French music for saxophone and piano: My Blues Classical Stradivarius
2004 L'arte del funambolo - new Italian music for saxophone & piano: My Blues Classical Stradivarius
2006 Sentieri selvaggi - AC/DC: Glamorama Spies Classical Cantaloupe Music
2009 Ex Novo Ensemble - Ex Novo Ensemble: Three Simple Songs Classical Stradivarius
2011 Duo Alterno - La voce contemporanea in Italia: Canzoni d'amore Classical Stradivarius
2012 Alberto Mesirca - ALBORADA Musica di autori italiani contemporanei: Onde Classical dotGuitar.It
Year Title Genre Label
1982 Zeitgenössische Musik in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1970-80: Glas-Spiele (as performer) Electronic Harmonia mundi
1986 Josef Anton Riedl - Klangfelder: Klangsynchronie II, Reaktion auf Komposition für Elektronische Klänge Nr. 2, Epiphyt II (as performer) Electronic Loft
2009 Josef Anton Riedl - Klangregionen 1951-2007: Mix Fontana Mix, Klangsynchronie I (as performer) Electronic Edition RZ
2010 Josef Anton Riedl - vielleicht-perhaps-peut-être: Glas-Spiele (as performer) Electronic Neos
Year Title Genre Label
1995 Vienna Noël: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "Noël d'autrefois", "When A Child is Born", "Carol of the Bells", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "A Very Private Christmas", "Kumbaya, My Lord" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1995 Christmas in Vienna III: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "Noël d'autrefois", "When A Child is Born", "Carol of the Bells", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "Kumbaya, My Lord", and "A Very Private Christmas" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1997 A Tenors Christmas: "A Very Private Christmas" - arrangement by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1997 Plácido Domingo - The Domingo Collection: "The Student Prince: I'll walk with God" - arrangement by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1998 The Best of Christmas in Vienna: "Noël d'autrefois", "When a Child is Born", "Carol of the Bells", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "Kumbaya, My Lord" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
1998 I'll be Home for Christmas: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "A Very Private Christmas", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "Kumbaya, My Lord" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
2000 Christmas All Over The World: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" - arrangement by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols Sony Classical
2006 Weihnachtszeit mit Holger Wemhoff: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "When a Child is Born" - arrangements by Lorenzo Ferrero Christmas carols

See also


  1. Vitelli, Un bel dì vedremo: Il festival di Giacomo Puccini, 2016, pp. 155–66.
  2. The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 166.
  3. The New Penguin Opera Guide, 2001, p. 273.
  4. The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 167.
  5. Lorenzo Ferrero interview from December, 2008


Further reading


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