Ludovico Einaudi

b. 1955

Italian

Summary

His phenomenal CD sales and ability to sell out major concert halls worldwide are confirmation that Einaudi is one of classical music’s success stories of recent years. After studying at the Conservatory in Milan, and subsequently with Berio, he spent several years composing in traditional forms. In the mid-1980s he began to search for a more personal expression in a series of works for dance and multimedia, and later for piano. His music is ambient, meditative and often introspective, drawing on minimalism, world music and contemporary pop. He has made a significant impact in the film world, with four international awards to his name.
Critical Acclaim
In his mingling of ambient, minimalist and cinematic strains, and his ear for a poignant melody, Ludovico Einaudi is the Italian equivalent of Michael Nyman, straddling classical, jazz, soundtrack and chillout... which develops a compelling momentum.- Andy Gill, The Independent

A solo pianist whose music is tender and soulful... lyrical and linear, the repetition associated with minimalism peers in from time to time in the higher register. [Einaudi] offers superb balance, poise and harmony. - Phil Gallo, Variety Magazine

Biography

Luminous, emotive, effortlessly lyrical and always supremely refined the music and performance of Ludovico Einaudi have attracted an ever growing audience over the last two decades whose diversity and devotion are without parallel. He has released a series of chart-topping albums, sells out the most prestigious concert halls worldwide, composed a string of award-winning film scores and routinely tops audience polls becoming an internet phenomenon. With a unique musical alchemy that draws on elements of classical, rock, electronica and world musics he has rendered traditional ideas of genre and audience divide obsolete and become not only one of the best known composers in the world today but almost certainly the
best loved too.

Pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi was born in Turin on November 23rd 1955. Perhaps it was his mother, an amateur pianist, who gave him the first impulse to music, planting the seeds for what would become a fruitful, illustrious career. He began to study music at the Conservatory of Turin and graduated with a diploma in composition under Azio Corghi at the Conservatory of Milan. Immediately he began post-graduate studies with Luciano Berio, with whom he worked as assistant, and later with Karlheinz Stockhausen.

In 1982 his talents won him a scholarship to the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he first came into contact with the American minimalism. He spent the next several years composing for the ballet, the cinema and the theater, including Sul filo d’Orfeo (1984), Time out (1988), The Wild Man (1991), and Salgari (1995), as well as many pieces for orchestra and ensemble, which were performed at La Scala Milan, the Paris IRCAM and the Lincoln Center in New York. With the album Stanze (1992), a collection of sixteen compositions for harpist Cecilia Chailly, he set off on 'a journey towards essentiality, trying to achieve the maximum expressive intensity using the minimum indispensable'. But it was with Le Onde (1996), his first solo album, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel, that he captured the piano world’s attention, further enhanced by the following Eden Roc (1999), in which he played with a string quintet and duduk master Djavan Gasparyan, and I giorni (2001), a cycle of ballads for piano inspired by a trip into Mali. He returned to Africa two years later at the Festival au Desert. The new album Diario Mali with kora master Ballaké Sissoko blossomed from this experience.

The score he wrote in 2002 for the remake of 'Doctor Zhivago' triumphed at the New York Film Festival. The increasing prestige of his soundtracks would be confirmed by 'Not of This World' (2000), 'Light of My Eyes' (2001), 'Strange Crime' (2004), 'This is England', film (2004) and TV series (2010), 'The Untouchables' (2011), 'Samba' (2014), 'The Water Diviner' (2015) and 'The Third Murder' (2017). The live recorded performance at La Scala as well as the special concerts at the Hangar Bicocca and the Royal Albert Hall, marked the achievement of full artistic expression. The more concentrated, introspective and meditative was the studio album Una mattina (2004), the more expanded, challenging, sumptuous was the following Divenire with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Both records, which were already topping the classical charts, crashed into the pop charts too for the first time. He was the only classical musician to play at the first iTunes festival. During the extended world tour that followed, he never stopped writing new music.

In 2009 he released Cloudland, with Robert and Ronald Lippok, and Nightbook, a nocturnal, interior work that 'projects the piano in every direction, like a shadow'. The peak performance of his European and American tour was once again at the Royal Albert Hall, recorded live and released as a double CD and DVD. For two consecutive summers he conducted the Orchestra della Notte della Taranta, producing a visionary musical direction. In 2013 he released In a time lapse, a reflection on time, recorded in a monastery and 'conceived as a suite or as the chapters of a single novel', in which his piano was accompanied by strings, percussion and electronic tracks. The world tour that followed scored many remarkable performances, such as the Sidney Opera House, the Arena of Verona and the acclaimed Piano Africain, for six pianos and six balafons and marimbas, which opened the Piano City Milano festival in 2014. The album, Elements, released in 2015, sprang ‘from the desire to start anew, following different paths to knowledge’. Recorded over a span of three months in his home studio in the Langhe countryside, ‘while spring was exploding’, the album became ‘a map of thoughts and feelings, points, lines, shapes and fragments of an ongoing interior flow through myth, Euclid, the periodic table and Kandinsky’s writings’. During the next three years, the 'Elements' tour sold out the world’s top pop arenas and the greatest classical theatres.

In 2016 he performed his Elegy for the Arctic, commissioned by Greenpeace, on a floating platform amidst the ice in the Arctic Ocean. The same year marked the debut of Dieci Notti at Teatro Dal Verme of Milano, which would become an annual concert series: ten consecutive days of performances, special guests and events, ‘to give back something to a city that has given me so much’.

Seven Days Walking is the title of the latest new recording project, released in 2019, three and a half years after 'Elements' and a triumphal world tour. ‘I remember that in January 2018 I often went for long walks in the mountains, always following more or less the same trail. It snowed heavily, and my thoughts roamed free inside the storm, where all shapes, stripped bare by the cold, lost their contours and colours. Perhaps that feeling of extreme essence was the origin of this album’. Seven Days is divided into seven episodes, seven albums (Day One, Day Two, etc. until Day Seven), released at monthly intervals. Each episode is focused on several main themes, which are recurring in different forms: seven variations following the same imaginary itinerary. Or the same itinerary, retraced in seven different moments. ‘The idea first came to me as I was listening to the recordings of the first sessions: each version seemed to me to have its own personality, with subtleties so distinct from one another that I was unable to choose which I preferred. I associated everything with walking, with the experience of following the same routes over and over, discovering new details each time. And so in the end I decided to thread them all together in a sort of musical labyrinth, a little like stepping inside the twists and turns of the creative process, to understand how a musical idea can develop in multiple directions, and changing once again at the moment in which it is heard. Seven Days Walking was recorded between September and October 2018 in Schloss Elmau (Germany) and Air Studios in London (England), with a subsequent world tour in 2019.

The new opera by Einaudi, Winter Journey, with a libretto by Colm Tóibín, premieres in October 2019 at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy. Directed by Roberto Andò, the opera takes place in the desolate winter of contemporary Europe, where a loving, nomadic family faces kindness, xenophobia and isolation as they flee their home country in search of a better life. Andò’s production receives its world premiere this October 4-8, featuring a cast that includes Rokia Traoré, Badara Seck and Jonathan Moore; Carlo Tenan conducts. The opera is commissioned by Teatro Massimo de Palermo in co-production with Teatro San Carlo di Napoli.

News

Performances

18th April 2020

SOLOISTS
Ludovico Einaudi (piano)
LOCATION
National Theatre & Concert Hall, Taipai, Taiwan

7th June 2020

PERFORMERS
Kamerorkest Roosendaal
CONDUCTOR
Bunna Damink
LOCATION
, Roosendaal, Netherlands

22nd September 2020

SOLOISTS
Ludovico Einaudi (piano)
LOCATION
Palace Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine

25th September 2020

SOLOISTS
Ludovico Einaudi (piano)
LOCATION
Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia

27th September 2020

SOLOISTS
Ludovico Einaudi (piano)
LOCATION
BKZ Oktyabrsky, St. Petersburg, Russia

Photos

Discography