Foto: Andrea Felvégi ©
Considered among the most original composers of the new generation, Alessio Elia had an international musical education, studying composition in Italy, Hungary and Germany. He graduated at the S. Cecilia Academy of Music in Rome under the guidance of Giovanni Piazza.
He gained postgraduate courses at the National Academy of Musica S. Cecilia in Rome and at the Chigiana Academy of Music in Siena with Azio Corghi and abroad at the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt with Brian Ferneyhough, Toshio Hosokawa and Georg Friedrich Haas and at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest with Zoltán Jeney.
He obtained the postmaster degree in Composition at the Hochschule für Musik Mannheim, studying with Sidney Corbett.
In the process of his training significant importance had also the frequentation with the Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen.
Elia earned his PhD cum laude at the University of Rome Tor Vergata with a dissertation about the Hamburgisches Konzert by Ligeti [thesis title «The "Hamburgisches Konzert" by György Ligeti. From Sketches And Drafts To The Final (?) Version. Musical Structures, Techniques of Composition and their Perception as Aural Phenomena» - first essay about this topic in the international panorama].
He was composer and researcher in Hungary at the F. Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the State University of Debrecen and at the Zoltán Kodály Institute in Kecskemét; in the German Switzerland, in Basel, at the Sacher Foundation; in Norway at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.
His music was performed worldwide in significant concert halls and festivals (Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome; Festival of the Menuhin Competition in Oslo; Festival Erkel-Mahler in Budapest; Accademia Filarmonica Romana; BMC - Budapest Music Center; Bartók Hall - Művészetek Palotája (Palace of Arts) in Budapest; Auditorium Mauritius Studio in Saarbrücken; F. Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest; Levinsalen and Lindemansalen in Oslo; Sala dos Espelhos do Palácio Foz in Lisboa; Mannheimer Kunstverein; National Hungarian Radio Studios; Italian Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for the official commemoration of the Italian Republic; Forum Neue Musik - Palais Prinz Carl in Heidelberg; Auditorium del Parco by Renzo Piano in L'Aquila, etc.).
Elia's works were broadcasted by state radios and TV channels, such as: Radio Bartók (Hungary); Saarländischer Rundfunk (Germany); Hungarian Catholic Radio; Magyar Televízió (Hungarian State TV); Radio Vaticana; Duna TV (Hungarian State TV).
In 2008 he was invited by the Hungarian State TV, for an interview about "The Magician's Death" his opera based on the life and artistic activity of the Hungarian writer Géza Csáth.
Since 2006 eight monographic concerts of his music have been organized in Budapest, Oslo and Rome.
His appearances as pianist are rare events, highly awaited and very much appreciated by public and experts.
The activity as a composer and researcher has brought him to give a cycle of conferences around Europe (Norway, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Italy etc.), among them the most significant was the one held in 2012 at the Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik in Hamburg during the Symposium "Ligeti und die Mikrotonalität", presented by Louise Duchesneau, secretary of Ligeti, with the participation of leading personalities such as the composers Sidney Corbett and Manfred Stahnke, and with the extraordinary contribution of Paul Griffiths, first biographer of Ligeti.
Beside his career as a composer, pianist and researcher, Elia devotes himself to teaching activities.
In the academic year 2009/2010 he has been Lecturer in Composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.
In 2013 he explained his music aesthetic during an interview for Radio Vaticana.
His recent pieces take inspiration from scientific subjects, such as the String Theory, the M-Theory and the quantum physics.
Some works of his compositional output are addressed to the integration of different kind of tuning systems in a process of developing the sonic material he named "polysystemism", largely discussed in many conferences and lectures, among them the one at "Centre de documentation de la musique contemporaine" of the Cité de la musique in Paris.
The most significant work in this direction is "Beyond Perturbative States", where seven tuning systems are employed together [Werckmeister I, II, IV, Just Intonation, Meantone temperament, Pythagorean tuning, 12-tone Equal Temperament, + greater undecimal neutral second (11:10), undecimal neutral third (11:9), tridecimal neutral third (16:13)].
In September 2013 with the piece Rejtett dimenziók (Hidden dimensions) he won the first prize in the orchestral category of UMZF 2013 (New Hungarian Music Forum) Competition, that edition dedicated to Ligeti, president of the jury Péter Eötvös.
Among the recent commissions the one of Radio Bartók that commissioned to him a new orchestral piece for the National Hungarian Radio Orchestra. He wrote for this occasion the piece "Trasparenze", performed in the Spring Festival for contemporary music on 21 May 2014 under the conduction of László Tihanyi and live broadcasted by Radio Bartók.
Among several pieces he is currently working on a Violin Concerto for the concert player Aaron Berofsky.
Born in Rome in 1979 he has lived there till 2005.
Since 2005 he lived in different cities in Europe (Budapest, Oslo, Odense, Debrecen, Berlin).
Right now he is based in Budapest.