Luciano Berio  (1925 -   )

Italian composer of the avant-garde, developed an interest in electronic music after his first visit to the United States.  He has frequently combined performances with electronic tapes.  His most significant works show a deep concern for music combined with gesture and dramatic action.  "Circles" (1960), a setting of poems by e.e. cummings for voice, harp, and percussion instruments, is designed for visual and spatial realization.  Berio's further involvement with music and dramatic action, as well as the relations between words and music, is illustrated in his opera "Passaggio" (1961-1962), and the composition "Visages" (1961), a taped composition using both electronic and vocal sounds.  Many of these compositions were written for his wife, Cathy Berberian.  "Recital I (for Cathy, 1962)" includes a tour de force catalogue of vocal and dramatic styles.