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Bianchi, Oscar

Born in Milan, holding dual Italian-Swiss citizenships, Oscar Bianchi completed degrees in composition, choir conducting and electronic music at the Giuseppe Verdi conservatory of Milan. He pursued studies in composition taking part in master programs such as at IRCAM - Centre Pompidou and with a doctoral degree at Columbia University in New York. 

Vitality, pulsing rhythms, and virtuosity are the hallmarks of the music created by Bianchi, who reveals a sensible interest in new phrasings and new ornamentations, something to be expected from someone whose ears are finely attuned to the music from all corners of the globe. A vocal quality, even in his instrumental work, can strike us as a prominent feature of his music. Exuberant and intelligent, this vocal dimension plays with a refined art of accentuations in all its intermediate degrees. We know him now increasingly interested in cantata and opera: at its core, Bianchi's music continues to be guided by the challenge of dramaturgical and formal issues. The unexpected contrasts between voluble virtuosity and contemplative stasis are the driving force of his flair for dramatic gesture. His music is joyfully violent in breath and in song but may suddenly come to rest in prayer, via a specific harmony, as though struck by the noonday light. 

Commissioned by the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Théâtre & Musique, his first opera, Thanks to My Eyes, libretto and direction by Joël Pommerat, received critical acclaim by audiences and critics alike (A masterly portrait of Melancholy, Le Monde, July 7, 2011). His music has been performed by outstanding ensembles and orchestras such as Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, JACK quartet, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ictus, Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble Remix, Nieuw Ensemble, Ensemble l’Itineraire, Ensemble Contrechamps, International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, David Grimal, Kammerensemble für neue Musik Berlin, Phoenix Ensemble, Collegium Novum Zürich, Drumming Grupo de Percussão from Porto, Ensemble Laboratorium, Osterreichiches Ensemble für neue Musik, Sound’arte. 

Upcoming projects include new works for the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and Maestro Riccardo Chailly, The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, Hebbel am Ufer and Neuevocalsolisten Stuttgart. A monographic CD will be released in 2013 while an extraordinary recording of his cantata MATRA has been just released under the label Cypres.

The works of Oscar Bianchi have been performed throughout Europe and the Americas in prestigious venues such as Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center); Merkin Hall, New York; Luzern Festival; Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; Venice Biennale; Musica Festival in Strasbourg; Warsaw Autumn Festival; Ultrashall, Berlin; Eclat, Stuttgart; Gasteig, Munich; Ars Musica, Bozar, Brussels; Archipel, Geneva; Tages für Neue Musik, Zürich; IRCAM Centre-Pompidou, Paris; Abbaye du Royaumont; DRS; RSR; RSI; RAI; France Culture; RFI; TFI; France Inter; RTBF; ORT; SWR; Deutschland Kultur, RBB, the Tchaikowsky Conservatory, Moscow; the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; Sonora Festival, Cologne; OggiMusica, Lugano; Musica è Realtà, Milan; Nuove sincronie, Milan; Milan Conservatory; Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Nuova Consonanza, Rome; CEMAT, Rome.

Oscar Bianchi was a guest of the DAAD Kunstlerprogramm Berlin, Pro-Helvetia in Warsaw and Johannesburg and the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. He has been awarded numerous prizes, such as the Gaudeamus first Prize, the Dussurget Prize, the Asm-Stv Prize, the Aargauer Kuratorium fellowship and the Ictus fellowship.


Partendo (2015)
for countertenor & ensemble
Editions Durand - On hire
International Rostrum of Composers Award

Thanks to my Eyes (2010-2011)
one single act opera
for 4 singers, mime, actress & 12 instruments
Editions Durand - On hire

Primordia rerum (2003)
for soprano & small instrumental ensemble - - pno -
Editions Durand - On hire


Celeste discontinuità (2014)
for cello & strings orchestra
Editions Durand - On hire

Oneness (2013)
for a clarinet in B flat, solo basset horn & orchestra - - 2 perc - hp -
Editions Durand - On hire

Permeability (2012-2013)
for chamber orchestra & electronics - - 2 perc - pno - accordion - electric guitar -
Editions Durand - On hire

Ajna prélude (2010)
for orchestra - - timb - 2 perc - pno - cel - hp -
Editions Durand - On hire

Vishuddha concerto (2009)
for instrumental ensemble - - 2 perc - pno - acc -
Editions Durand - On hire

Anahata concerto (2008)
for instrumental ensemble - - perc - pno - acc - hp -
Editions Durand - On hire

Mezzogiorno (2004-2005)
for instrumental ensemble - - perc - electric guitar - bass guitar - synth - pno -
Editions Durand - On hire


Adesso (2011)
string quartet n°1
Editions Durand - On hire

Semplice (2010)
for violin
Editions Durand - On sale

Gr... (2010)
for bass flute
Editions Durand - On sale

Trasparente II (2007)
for 10 instruments - - perc - pno - hp -
Editions Durand - On hire

Zaffiro (2005)
for bass flute, baritone saxophone, classical guitar (ad lib amplification) & viola
Editions Durand - On hire

Crepuscolo (2003-2004)
for Paetzold recorders & electronics
Editions Durand - On hire

Partendo for countertenor and ensemble (2015)

International Rostrum of Composers 2016 Award

PDF Have look at the score

Partendo has been conceived as a modular piece. In its non-staged form it consists on a piece of music of approximately 25 minutes. The staged version, which will be premiered in Moscow in November 2015, will amount to approximately 30 to 40 minutes and will involve nine musicians, one countertenor and one performer. The staged version will be realised in collaboration with multidisciplinary performer Nile Koetting.

The central topic of this work is ‘leaving’ (‘’partendo’’ is the Italian word for ‘leaving’). How do we leave existing physical and intellectual places, and relatedly how can we part formerly embraced personal and historical identities? How do we select what we want, need, and wish to bring along with us and what we should, must leave behind us? What is relevant for our future as individuals and as collective groups to be brought, preserved and defended? What is actually the scale of values that we are unknowingly developing thanks to the act of ‘leaving’, ‘parting ways’?

With latent references to two timeless expressions of beauty and poetry in music (Palestrina’s Motet ‘’O Bone Jesu’’ and Purcell’s ‘’Here the Deities Approve’’) the friction between memory and its sublimation (thanks in part to the physical act of 'parting ways') is within 'Partendo’ a recurrent subject of conversation.

Performative aspects, uniquely present in the staged version, will not only embrace the entire music contents and its meanings, but will create ‘islands’ of thoughts, will inject formal ’intermezzi’. Perturbing the original form, visual and performative elements will challenge the previously built order and create a dialectic relationship with that given element (the already present music material). By providing new semantics and cognitives experiences, the visual and performative elements will not only further the exploration of all the topics related to ‘Partendo’ but will transcend perspectives and hopefully categories and disciplines. 

Oscar Bianchi on Youtube

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