The Kennedy Center

Luigi Dallapiccola


Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola is considered by many to be the most influential European composer of his time. Born in Pisino, Italy on 3 February 1904 into a middle class family, he studied piano in Trieste, where he was impressed by the harmonic ideas of Schönberg while in attendance at the conservatory in Florence from 1922 to 1924.

Dallapiccola was among the first 20th century composers to work extensively with the 12-tone scale, his compositions are mainly in the atonal style. After a short career as a piano recitalist, he was appointed lecturer at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, Italy in 1931 where he was in residency for the next thirty-six years.

Throughout the 1930s-1940s, Dallapiccola composed a number of works based on his reactions to Mussolini and the Fascist regimes in Germany and Spain. In 1943, after the German Army’s occupation of Italy, Dallapiccola and his Jewish wife were forced to flee from Florence until the end of the war.

Dallapiccola resigned from the conservatory in Florence and moved to Berlin in 1967. However, he continued on with a busy schedule of teaching lectures throughout Europe. During this time, he was the recipient of numerous awards and honors from major cultural institutions thoughout Europe. Including the International Albert Schweitzer Award in 1975. Luigi Dallapiccola died in Florence, Italy in 1975.
Luigi Dallapiccola


  • Goethe-Lieder
  • Parole di San Paolo
  • Partita
  • Quaderno musicale di Annalibera