23 November 2016

Ludovico Einaudi – composer

Musician world famous for his unique blend of sounds

Ludovico Einaudi takes the applause after a  performance at the Palazzo del Quirinale
Ludovico Einaudi takes the applause after a
performance at the Palazzo del Quirinale 

Pianist and film music composer Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi was born on this day in 1955 in Turin.

Einaudi has composed the music for films such as The Intouchables and I’m Still Here and has released many solo albums for piano and orchestra.

His distinctive music, which mixes classical with contemporary rhythms of rock and electronic, is now played all over the world and has been used as background music and in television commercials.

Einaudi’s mother, Renata Aldrovandi, played the piano to him as a child and her father, Waldo Aldrovandi, was a pianist, opera conductor and composer, who went to live in Australia after the Second World War.

Einaudi's grandfather, Luigi Einaudi, was President of Italy from 1948 to 1955
Einaudi's grandfather, Luigi Einaudi, was
President of Italy from 1948 to 1955
His father, Giulio Einaudi, was a publisher, who worked with authors Italo Calvino and Primo Levi, and his grandfather, Luigi Einaudi, was President of Italy between 1948 and 1955.

Einaudi started composing his own music and playing it on a folk guitar when he was a teenager.

He began his musical training at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, obtaining a diploma in composition in 1982. He took an orchestration class with the composer Luciano Berio, in which, according to Einaudi himself, he learnt to have a very open way of thinking about music.

He started by composing in traditional forms and some of his music was performed at Teatro alla Scala and the Arena in Verona.

Listen to Einaudi's beautiful Due Tramonti from his album Eden Roc

By the mid 1980s, Einaudi had begun to express himself more personally in the music he created for theatre, video, dance and film. 

He composed the music for Acquario in 1996, for which he won the Grolla D’Oro, an Italian film award, for the best sound track.

In 2000 his sound track for the film Fuori del mondo was nominated for an Oscar and he won the Echo Klassic award for it in Germany in 2002. Einaudi also won the award for best soundtrack at the 2002 Italian Music Awards for the film Luce dei miei occhi.

In 2004, his soundtrack for Sotto falso nome won a prize at the Avignon Film Festival. Einaudi has written the scores for, or had his music included, in many other films.

Le Onde, Ludovico Einaudi's first solo piano album
Le Onde, Ludovico Einaudi's first solo piano album

His first solo piano album, Le Onde was released in 1996 and has been followed by a string of successes. Divenire, in 2007, considered the most musically ambitious, has been his greatest commercial success to date. The latest, Elements, featuring piano, electronic and orchestral music was released in 2015.

Einaudi has travelled all over the world performing his own music. His concerts in Birmingham last night and in Glasgow tonight, the evening of his birthday, have both sold out in advance of the performance and his concerts in Milan from December 8 to13 are already sell-outs.

In 2005, Einaudi was awarded the Ordine al Merito della Repubblic Italiana (OMRI), a senior order bestowed by the Italian Republic, which is the equivalent of a Knighthood.

Turin's Piazza Castello
Turin's Piazza Castello
Travel tip:

Turin, where Einaudi was born, is the capital city of the region of Piedmont in the north of Italy. It is an important business centre, particularly for the car industry, and has a rich history linked with the Savoy Kings of Italy. Piazza Castello, with the royal palace, royal library and Palazzo Madama, which used to house the Italian senate, is at the heart of royal Turin.

Travel tip:

Einaudi followed in the footsteps of many famous Italian composers by receiving a musical education at Milan’s Conservatory of Music (Conservatorio di Musica ‘Giuseppe Verdi’), which is in Via Conservatorio, just off Via Pietro Mascagni, behind the Duomo. It is just a short walk from there to Teatro alla Scala in Piazza della Scala, with its fascinating museum focusing on the history of opera. 

More reading:

Ennio Morricone - the maestro of the film soundtrack

How The Godfather turned Nino Rota into a household name

Eros Ramazotti - bestselling singer-songwriter

Also on this day:

1553: Born: Prospero Alpini - the botanist who told Europe about coffee 

(Picture credits: pictures of Ludovico Einaudi and Luigi Einaudi courtesy of Presidenza della Repubblica; Piazza Castello by cheniyuan; all via Wikimedia Commons)

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