updated 7 December 2007
© Franco Lecca

Valerio Sannicandro

Italian composer born 16 January 1971.

In 1995, Valerio Sannicandro completed studies in Italy, earning a degree in viola and composition. He went on to study viola at the Essen Folkwang Musikhochschule, and attended master-classes with Barbara Maurer and Garth Knox, after which he decided to focus on contemporary music. He launched his career as a violist through solo and chamber performances of works by Sciarrino, Grisey, Maderna, Scelsi, and Murail, among others. He later studied under York Höller (Stockhausen’s successor as Artistic Director of the WDR Studio) and completed a thesis titled “Komposition als semiotischer Prozess”.

A meeting with Peter Eötvös led Sannicandro to pursue conducting. Noteworthy among his first appearances as a conductor are the world premiere of Stockhausen’s Hoch-Zeiten with the WDR Orchestra at the Cologne Triennale, as well as concerts at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, Canary Islands International Music Festival, and Centre Acanthes (Avignon). Working with the e-mex ensemble in Cologne, he conducted performances of works by Donatoni, Carter, and Grisey, and made a number of recordings for German radio.

He pursued further studies of composition with Hans Zender in Frankfurt, and electronic music with Dirk Reith and Emmanuel Nunes in Essen and Paris, respectively. He participated in the IRCAM Cursus (IRCAM’s composition and computer music course) in 2003-04.

Valerio Sannicandro has been awarded numerous composition prizes in Italy and Germany, including Munich Musica Viva in 2002 and a Kranichsteiner Musikpreis for the Darmstadt Summer Courses in 2000. He has participated in conferences in Prague (Music Academy), Berlin (Humboldt Universität) and, in 2002, at the Darmstadt Summer Courses. His works have been performed throughout Europe, as well as in North American and Japan.

Sannicandro has a deep interest in the semiotics of music, i.e., the mechanisms of musical representation, as distinct from those of other semiotic systems, such as speech. Since he views art as a vector of communication, in each new work, he systematically devises a syntax encompassing the musical “objects” chosen according to the characteristics of the work, the harmonies and the qualities of the sounds. In his works, an over-arching strategy always governs the musical evolution according to a discourse, a tangible dramaturgy, i.e., not only on account of the conception of the underlying musical form as a type of narrative, but also by exerting localised control over the salience and meaning of each musical event within the associated context. Over the past few years, spatialisation has become a key aspect of his musical thought, as manifest in Aliae naturae (2004, using IRCAM’s spatialisation tools) and Fibrae (2005, created at the Heinrich Strobel Foundation Experimentalstudio in Freiburg). As a composer with close ties to IRCAM, he continues to work on the application of architectonic space as a distinct parameter of composition to which other parameters (rhythm, dynamics) may be subordinate, and which has the potential to dictate the transformation of the sounds themselves. This work came to the fore in Ius lucis (premiered in June 2007 at the Agora Festival) for two spatialised ensembles and electronics.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2007


Site du compositeur (voir ressources documentaires) ;
Éditions Suvini Zerboni ;
Meret Forster : livret du cd Chamber music, Telos-records, TLS 105.

  • Solo (excluding voice)
    • Scan for flute (1998), 5 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • 'Ein for viola (1998-1999), 5 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Le nuove forme for piano (2000), 7 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Apogeo/Ipogeo for trombone (2001), 10 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Sacrae Cantiones I-III for piano (2001), 10 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Chains for oboe (2002-2003), 15 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • elec ircam Ircam cursus Aliae naturae for violin and electronics (2004), 16 mn, Suvini Zerboni
  • Chamber music
    • Per il vuoto sospeso dell'assenza for flute and clarinet (1998), 11 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Dans un sentiment sourd et tumultueux for flute and piano (2000), 8 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • Memos for clarinet in Bb (or bass clarinet), cello and percussion (2000), 15 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Renaissance for violin and piano (2000), 7 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Repercussio for cello and piano (2002), 10 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • elec stage Epistolae III for bass flute, percussion and electronics (2003), 16 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Quadranti for four trombones (2004), 6 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • LLANTO for oboe and double-bell trumpet (or traditional trumpet) (2005), 10 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • All shadows of red and yellow for flute in G, viola and harp (2006), 7 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Clinamen for bass flute, English horn and bassoon (2006), 10 mn, pas d'éditeur
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • Transmissions for ensemble (1997), 12 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Apoteosi del blu for ensemble (6 instrumentalists) (1998), 10 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • Corps célestes for ensemble (1999), 8 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • Ades for ensemble (4 instrumentalists) and tape (1999-2000), 9 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • Due esegesi del canto for an ensemble of 6 instruments and 2 echo instruments (2000), 6 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Environments for chamber orchestra (2000), 8 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • IRradio for ensemble (5 instrumentalists) (2000), 6 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • Profili del grido for ensemble (2001), 7 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • Des horizons liquides for percussion ensemble (2002), 15 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Pour te sauver de l'Ombre for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2002), 12 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Enfasi cobalto for ensemble (2001-2003), 9 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Scripta for ensemble (2003), 10 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Contents of death for small ensemble (2006), 10 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Radiances for orchestra (2006), 10 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • elec ircam Ius Lucis for two ensembles in two rooms (2006-2007), 30 mn, Suvini Zerboni [program note]
  • Concertant music
    • Births for large ensemble with solo percussion (2002), 22 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • elec Fibrae for two soloists, chamber orchestra and electronics (2005), 24 mn, pas d'éditeur
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
  • A cappella vocal music
    • Strali for voice (2001), 10 mn, Suvini Zerboni
    • Anteterrae for choir (2005), 7 mn, Suvini Zerboni


  • Valerio SANNICANDRO, Ius Lucis, Ensemble Musikfabrik, direction : Pierre-André Valade, 1 sacd Wergo ZKM, 2011, WER 20652.
  • Valerio SANNICANDRO, Dans un sentiment sourd et tumultueux, Fabio Bacelle, flûte, Alessia Toffanin, piano, Interensemble (Padoue, Italie), avec des œuvres de Sergio Lauricella, Moritz Eggert, Luigi Manfrin, Paolo Rismondo, Francesca Virgili, dans Quarta rassegna nuova musica - Udine, 1 cd Taukay, 2000, TAUKAY 188.
  • Valerio SANNICANDRO, Environments pour orchestre, Mendelssohn Kammerorchester, Evan Christ, dir., avec des œuvres de Mendelssohn, Ibert, Haydn, 1 cd, 2000, édition de la Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig, CONS 20201.
  • Valerio SANNICANDRO, Epistolae III, avec C. Levine, flûte basse, S. Blum, percussions, dans le cd « Dialogues », avec des œuvres d’Isabel Mundry, Annette Schlünz, Laurie Schwartz, Christopher Reiserer, Beat Furrer, Josef Anton Riedl, 1 cd Musicaphon, M55715.
  • Valerio SANNICANDRO, Llanto, Marco Blaaw trompette à double pavillon, et Peter Veale, hautbois, avec des œuvres de Gerald Barry, Hanna Kulenty, Mauricio Kagel, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, dans le cd « Hot », BVHAAST, 0406.

Liens Internet