Alfredo Casella

Casella, Alfredo

Alfredo Casella was born in Turin in northern Italy on July 25, 1883, into an old and well-to-do family that claimed desent from a composer of the same name mentioned in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. In 1896, he was sent to study at the Paris Conservatoire where he shifted his focus from piano to composition, studying with Gabriel Faure. In 1917 he organized the “Societa Italiana de Musica Moderna” with Gianfrancesco Malipiero, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Respighi and others. He was also instrumental in starting the Venice Contemporary Music Festival, part of the well known Venice Biennale. He was active as a composer, conductor and pianist, performing his own music and that of his contemporaries as well as introducing works of major European composers like Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Bartok to Italy. In his later life, he suffered greatly for his early adherence to fascisim. Italian fascism, unlike German nazism, had no racist element (Casella’s wife was Jewish)and it favored modern art. He died in 1947 after a long illness, his once major reputation at a low ebb from which it has only now begun to recover.

Albums Featuring this Artist