Ludovico Einaudi – Milano – 6 dicembre 2020
Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi OMRI (Italian: [ludoˈviːko eiˈnaudi] (listen); born 23 November 1955) is an Italian pianist and composer. Trained at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, Einaudi began his career as a classical composer, later incorporating other styles and genres such as pop, rock, folk, and world music.
Einaudi has composed the scores for a number of films and television productions, including This Is England, The Intouchables, I'm Still Here, the TV miniseries Doctor Zhivago, and Acquario (1996), for which he won the Grolla d'oro award. He has also released a number of solo albums for piano and other instruments, notably I Giorni in 2001, Nightbook in 2009, and In a Time Lapse in 2013. On 1 March 2019, Einaudi announced a seven-part project named Seven Days Walking, which is to be released over the course of seven months in 2019.
Einaudi was born in Turin, Piedmont. His father, Giulio Einaudi, was a publisher working with authors including Italo Calvino and Primo Levi, and founder of Giulio Einaudi Editore, while his paternal grandfather, Luigi Einaudi, was President of Italy between 1948 and 1955. His mother, Renata Aldrovandi, played the piano to him as a child. Her father Waldo Aldrovandi was a pianist, opera conductor, and composer who migrated to Australia after World War II.
Einaudi started composing his own music as a teenager, first writing by playing a folk guitar. He began his musical training at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, obtaining a diploma in composition in 1982. That same year he took an orchestration class taught by Luciano Berio and was awarded a scholarship to the Tanglewood Music Festival. According to Einaudi, "[Luciano] Berio did some interesting work with African vocal music and did some arrangements of Beatles songs, and he taught me that there is a sort of dignity inside music. I learnt orchestration from him and a very open way of thinking about music." He also learned by collaborating with musicians such as Ballaké Sissoko from Mali and Djivan Gasparyan from Armenia. His music is ambient, meditative, and often introspective, drawing on minimalism and contemporary pop.
After studying at the conservatory in Milan and subsequently with Berio, Einaudi spent several years composing in traditional forms, including several chamber and orchestral compositions. He soon garnered international attention and his music was performed at venues such as the Teatro alla Scala, the Tanglewood Festival, Lincoln Center, and the UCLA Center for Performing Arts.
In the mid-1980s, he began to search for more personal expression in a series of works for dance and multimedia, and later for piano.
Some of his collaborations in theater, video, and dance included compositions for the Sul filo d'Orfeo in 1984, Time Out in 1988, a dance-theater piece created with writer Andrea De Carlo, The Wild Man in 1990, and the Emperor in 1991. Later collaborations include Salgari (Per terra e per mare) (1995), an opera/ballet commissioned by the Arena di Verona with texts by Emilio Salgari, Rabindranath Tagore, and Charles Duke Jr, and E.A. Poe (1997), which was conceived as a soundtrack for silent films.
Einaudi began using his style to compose film soundtracks in the mid-1990s. He started with two films by Michele Sordillo, Da qualche parte in città in 1994 and Acquario in 1996, for which he won the Grolla d'oro for best soundtrack. In 1998, he composed the soundtrack for Treno di panna and the score for Giorni dispari by Dominick Tambasco.
In 2000, he collaborated with Antonello Grimaldi on Un delitto impossibile, and he also composed the soundtrack for Fuori del mondo, which was nominated for an Oscar Award and for which he won the Echo Klassik award in Germany in 2002. After the release of his debut album, some excerpts were included in the film Aprile by Nanni Moretti. In 2002, his soundtrack for Luce dei miei occhi was named best soundtrack at the 2002 Italian Music Awards.
In 2002, Einaudi won an Italian award for Best Film Score for Luce dei miei occhi. Allmusic gave his score for the 2002 TV serial Doctor Zhivago 4.5/5 stars and published a glowing review, comparing it in skill to Maurice Jarre's score of the previous film adaptation.
In 2004, his soundtrack for Sotto falso nome received the prize for the best film music at the Avignon Film Festival.
In 2010, Einaudi wrote the music for the trailer of Black Swan. His "Due Tramonti" was featured in the film I'm Still Here (2010), directed by Casey Affleck. His composition "Nuvole Bianche" was featured in the film Insidious (2010), directed by James Wan, the British TV drama This Is England 86, and in the TV series Derek (2012), directed by and starring Ricky Gervais. To The Intouchables (2011), the biggest box office movie in French history, he contributed the tracks "Fly", "Writing Poems", "L'origine nascosta", "Cache-cache", "Una Mattina", and "Primavera." The film This Is England featured Fuori dal mondo and Dietro casa. The British TV drama series This Is England '88 also contained the tracks "Fuori Dalla Notte", "Solo" (a bonus track from Nightbook), "Berlin Song", and "Distacco".
In 2016, Einaudi participated in the Greenpeace campaign to save the Arctic.
Einaudi is signed to Decca Records and is published by Chester Music Limited, part of the Music Sales Group of Companies.
After the multi-media-inspired Time Out in 1988, in 1992 he released Stanze, which he had composed for harp. The album was performed by Cecilia Chailly, one of the first musicians to use an electric harp. Einaudi released his first solo piano album, Le Onde, in 1996, under BMG. The album is based on the novel The Waves by British writer Virginia Woolf, and enjoyed mainstream success, particularly in Italy and the UK. His 1999 followup, Eden Roc, was also released on BMG, with shorter pieces. For the project he collaborated with the Armenian duduk musician Djivan Gasparyan.
His next solo piano release, I Giorni (2001), was inspired by his travels in Africa. The solo piano track "I Giorni" was featured in a BBC promotion for arts and culture programs, and attracted much interest due to Greg James' airing of the piece on BBC Radio 1 in June 2011. James mentioned that he found the piece therapeutic when he was studying at university. Due to repeated airings that month, the track entered the UK Singles Chart at #32 on 12 June 2011.
In 2003, Einaudi released the live album La Scala Concert 03.03.03, which was recorded at the famous La Scala opera house in Milan. His 2003 album Diario Mali is another collaboration, with Einaudi on piano and Malian musician Ballaké Sissoko on kora. In 2004, Einaudi released the album Una Mattina on Decca Records. The 2006 album Divenire consists of piano accompanied by orchestra. The album also includes the artist's critically acclaimed track "Primavera." It was recorded by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with Einaudi as the piano master. Shortly after its release, Einaudi went on tour to various places in the UK, playing both the music on Divenire and orchestral arrangements of his other works. The album topped the iTunes classical chart.
In October 2009, Nightbook was released. The album saw Einaudi take a new direction with his music as he incorporated synthesized sounds alongside his piano. The album was conceived and recorded in response to the German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, as well as an exhibit space where Einaudi performed for a gallery opening for Kiefer. It was also inspired by the drums and electronics of the Whitetree Project, a performing trio Einaudi formed with Robert and Ronald Lippok of To Rococo Rot, a German electronic group. In Italy, the album went Gold with more than 35,000 copies sold.
Einaudi's album In a Time Lapse was released on 21 January 2013, with US and Canadian supporting tours. He also appeared on KCRW in Los Angeles. On 17 September 2013, Einaudi performed various songs from In a Time Lapse, together with a new ensemble, at the annual iTunes Festival held at the Roundhouse in London. The group intimately rehearsed this performance in the barn of Einaudi's house. In March 2016, the world premiere of a new piano concerto, "Domino", took place at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.