Pietro Dossena (1979) is a composer based in Milan, particularly interested in the exploration of inter-art relationships from a poetical and semiotical standpoint.

Performing the live soundtrack for the film La chute de la maison Usher (J. Epstein, 1928) –
credits Valentina Zanzi

He studied composition with Sonia Bo at the Milan Conservatory, then he attended advanced courses with Joel Feigin and Clarence Barlow at the University of California, and with Salvatore Sciarrino at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. He also completed a Ph.D. in Musicology and Music Theory at the University of Padua, focusing on the creative process of Erik Satie. A recipient of numerous academic scholarships, he spent periods of time studying and doing research in Paris (Sorbonne Nouvelle, Bibliothèque Nationale), in California (University of California – S. Barbara) and in Granada (M. de Falla Archive). He has taught courses and workshops at the Universities of Milan, Milan-Bicocca, and at the Conservatory of Campobasso. In 2018 he completed (summa cum laude and with honourable mention) a Master’s degree in Composition at the Conservatory of Milan, under the guidance of Alessandro Solbiati. He is currently a Professor of Harmony and Analysis at the Conservatory of Sassari.

Pietro Dossena’s music is typically associated with other art forms. He is also active as a multimedia artist, making audiovisual works and installations. His last projects include “The Poe Project”, a tribute to the imaginative world of E.A. Poe, and a transmedia installation about perception, titled “Sensibilities”.

His compositions and multimedia works have won prizes in several international competitions including: Premio Vittoria Caffa Righetti 2017 (1st prize), Luigi Russolo Award 2014 (“G. Maffina” mention for the innovation in the composition), C. von Ossietzky Competition 2011, Premio V. Bucchi 2009, Corwin Awards For Excellence in Music Composition 2009, E. Carella Competition 2006. In 2019 he was awarded the prestigious “Arnaldo Rancati” Prize by the Rancati Foundation, the City Council of Milan and the Conservatory of Milan. One of his latest commission, the orchestral piece “Et tout le reste” conceived as a homage to the poet Paul Verlaine, was premiered in Milan in March 2018 and was also performed at the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva in Mexico. His piece “Come di luna” for soprano and ensemble was awarded an honourable mention at the National Prize for Arts 2017. In 2017 he was awarded the first prize at the Premio del Conservatorio (Prize of the Milan Conservatory) with the piece for ensemble “Then Silence, and Stillness, and Night”, that was released on CD.

Dossena’s works have been presented at many concerts and festivals, in Europe and America, including the following: Barcelona (Festival Mixtur, MACBA, Fundació Miró), Chicago (Roosevelt University), Darmstadt (Ferienkurse), Florence (Diffrazioni Festival, Museo Novecento), Ghent (Orpheus Institute), Granada (Conservatorio Superior), Graz (Impuls Festival), Guanajuato (FIMNME), London (University of Greenwich, Guildhall School), Milan (Festival Milano Musica, Sala Verdi, Teatro Dal Verme, Teatro Gerolamo), Munich (KinoM), New York (New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival), Oldenburg (C. von Ossietzky Universität), Padua (A Minimal View Festival), S. Barbara (Primavera Festival, University of California), Siena (Accademia Chigiana), Sofia (Bulgarian National Radio), Tallinn (International Competition of Audiovisual Compositions), Turin (Festival Nesxt), Vienna (Stadtkino). His music has been performed by conductors, soloists and ensembles such as Tito Ceccherini, Ricardo Descalzo, Marco Fusi, Quartetto Prometeo, mdi Ensemble, Divertimento Ensemble. Affiliated to the SACEM, he has published with Bèrben, Ars Publica and M.A.P. Editions.

His compositional activity is reflected in his musicological interests. He specialises in the study of the creative process of composers (especially Erik Satie and the French avant-garde) and in the music of the 20th century. He published essays on the Journal of the Royal Musical Associations, on the online journal Analitica and for the publisher Ashgate. He presented conference papers in Italy and the US (AMS/SMT Annual Meeting 2010; University of California). He collaborated with the Archive Manuel de Falla in Granada, the Festival Terras sem Sombra in Portugal and the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, preparing critical editions of scores and librettos.

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