Foto: Andrea Felvégi ©
Described as an unicum in the compositional landscape of our times (Il Corriere Musicale) Alessio Elia has gained international recognition thanks to his Polysystemism, the simultaneous use of different tuning systems, 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.
Articles and essays on Polysystemism have been published by von Bockel Verlag, l'Université de Strasbourg, the Hungarian Academy of Arts and the University of Prague, as well as the subject of a master thesis degree at the Academy of Music of the Italian Switzerland in Lugano.
Elia received commissions most importantly from I Solisti del Teatro alla Scala di Milano (Octet), piece released in CD by Warner Classics in 2018, under the baton of Andrea Vitello; Radio Bartók (orchestral piece Trasparenze); Alter Ego ensemble (Altered memories, L’impermanenza della memoria) for a project including commissions to Eötvös, Hosokawa, Ablinger, L. Ligeti, Sáry, and Skempton; Impronta ensemble conducted by Andreas Luca Beraldo and Oggimusica Festival in Lugano (Traces from Nowhere); UMZE - the historical ensemble founded by Bartók (Ekpyrotic Suicide); Wiener Collage (Outskirts of matter); Antal Dorati Conducting Competition (Distimement for large orchestra) as a complusory piece for the final round of the conducting contest; Stuttgart Kammerchor and Frieder Bernius (Incantesimi di Merseburg), Festival Nuova Consonanza (Il Canto segreto, in memoriam Giovanni Piazza).
His music has been performed in significant concert halls and festivals worldwide (Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome; Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy in Budapest; Menuhin Festival in Oslo; Accademia Filarmonica Romana; BMC - Budapest Music Center; Bartók Hall of Palace of Arts – The National Auditorium in Budapest; Levinsalen and Lindemansalen in Oslo; Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna; Kongresshaus Stadthalle Heidelberg; Mannheimer Kunstverein; LAC - Lugano Arte e Cultura Auditorium; National Hungarian Radio Studios; Forum Neue Musik - Palais Prinz Carl in Heidelberg; Auditorium del Parco by Renzo Piano in L'Aquila; Oggimusica Festival in Lugano; Contemporary Arts Festival Budapest; Yamaha Concert Hall Wien, Kulturpalast in Dresden, etc.).
Ten portrait concerts of his music have been organized in Budapest, Oslo, Mannheim and Rome.
Elia is the recipient of several prizes, among them the Chigiana Merit Award 2005 for the piece Luminescences and the 1st prize for the piece Rejtett dimenziók (Hidden Dimensions) in the orchestral category of UMZF 2013 (Hungarian Forum for New Music) Competition, in the year dedicated to Ligeti, with Péter Eötvös presiding over the jury.
His music is published by UE – Universal Edition, Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest, Edition Impronta and released in CD by Warner Classics.
Trained internationally he studied composition in Italy, Hungary and Germany, graduating at the S. Cecilia Academy of Music in Rome under the guidance of Giovanni Piazza. He completed postgraduate courses in Italy at the National Academy of Music S. Cecilia in Rome and at the Chigiana Academy of Music in Siena, and abroad at the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt with Brian Ferneyhough, Toshio Hosokawa, and Georg Friedrich Haas, as well as at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest with Zoltán Jeney.
Consultations with Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen also had a significant role in the process of his professional development.
He obtained the post-master’s degree, summa cum laude, in Composition at the Hochschule für Musik Mannheim, studying with Sidney Corbett, a former student of György Ligeti.
Elia earned his PhD, summa cum laude, at the University of Rome Tor Vergata with a dissertation about the Hamburgisches Konzert by Ligeti (first comprehensive monograph on this topic).