Born 1975 (Milan), lives in New York. Education and training (composition, choral music and conducting, electronic music) 1994–2001 in Milan and Bologna with Umberto Rotondi, Adriano Guarnieri, Sandro Gorli, Alvise Vidolin and others (degrees 2002/2004); IRCAM 2003–04 (yearlong course in composition and music informatics); numerous master classes and grants; currently a Faculty Fellow in composition at Columbia University, New York.
Bianchi received the Gaudeamus Prize in 2005 for his composition Primordia Rerum. He was a fellow with the Belgian ensemble Ictus 2005–2007.
In 2007, the Ictus ensemble and the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart premiered his concert-length cantata Matra at Festival Musica Strasbourg. The Anahata Concerto was commissioned and first performed by Klangforum Wien in February 2009.
Oscar Bianchi’s often large-scale works are distinguished by their precisely differentiated dense sound textures and by extended dramatic intensifications that drive toward ecstatic culmination. Bianchi has written about their aesthetic background: “I believe that the music that I write, that I devote myself to, is a process of synthesizing the unconscious-Dionysian with the spiritual-Apollonian. A synthesis of the life that I know and the one I can conceive of. For me, sound becomes a filtered presentation of reality bound up with a yearning for elsewhere, where the boundary between the two worlds is impalpable. […] How is my music made? I would say from degrees of intensity: for example, from ecstasy to exaltation. The basic elements of my music are the same as those for many other works: gestures, forms and colors. Gestures to me are the intuitive, the primordial idea, objects whose being and becoming are projected on the essence of sound. The gesture is the cornerstone of rites, of movement and dance. Form, in my opinion, is the mother of time, it becomes the mirror of existence, it embodies the forces and confusion of everyday life. When the unconscious goes astray, it’s form that suffers first. Colors, the orchestration, are the most apparent dimensions of sound. As the ruler of sound, orchestration controls and determines the dramaturgic aspect of form – it’s an alchemist of spaces, the Brahma of sound. I dream of a music that speaks in a contemporary way to all the body’s centers, and through which human beings can understand their existence.”
During his stay as guest of the Berlin Artists-in-Residence program, Oscar Bianchi will work on projects including a new opera for the Ictus ensemble and Théâtre et Musique (Paris), a quartet for recorders commissioned by the QNG quartet of Berlin, and a new work for the ensemble Les Percussions de Strasbourg.
Photo: Mute Souvenir / Kai Bienert