(13 October 1971 — )
Born in 1971, Francesco Antonioni grew up in a musicians’ family. He started composing at an early age, graduated in piano and composition, got a master’s degree in composition under the guidance of Azio Corghi at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, then went to study with Julian Anderson and George Benjamin at the Royal College of Music in London, with the support of a Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother scholarship.
His music, always appreciated for its fresh originality and independence, has been performed by major orchestras and festivals, and broadcast in Europe and the United States. He has received commissions by prestigious institutions and musicians, including his mentors, George Benjamin and Hans Werner Henze, of whom he has been composing assistant for three years. In his career he has collaborated with distinguished musicians, including David Alan Miller, Pascal Rophé, Jonathan Webb, Lü Jia, Walter Proost, Sian Edwards, Peter-Lukas Graf, Pietro Borgonovo, Nicolae Moldoveanu, Bruno Canino, Cristina Zavalloni, Mario Caroli, Margaret Lancaster, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Turin), Sentieri Selvaggi ensemble (Milan), Freon ensemble (Rome), OrchestrUtopica (Lisbon), Smith Quartet (London), Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Whilst his musical roots lie in the classical tradition, his current musical interests encompass many genres, from experimental electronics to pop and folk song. This is also fuelled by his work as a radio presenter on the Italian National Radio (RAI-Radio3). His compositions reflect the breadth of his interests, attempting a synthesis of various tendencies in contemporary art, framed into forms derived from the classical heritage.
In January 2009 his Ballata, for eight solo strings was greeted with enthusiasm after its premiere given by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under George Benjamin and the success was echoed by reviews on The Times and The Guardian. The Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari world premiered Gli occhi che si fermano last May, in Cagliari.