LUCIANO CHESSA, as a composer, pianist, and musical saw / Vietnamese dan bau soloists, has been active in Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Luciano Chessa received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of California at Davis. Previously, at the Conservatory of Bologna, he earned a D.M.A. in piano and a M.A. in composition. His areas of research interest include 20th-century music, experimental music and late 14th-century music, and he has been interviewed at the CBS (KPIX/KBHK) television channel as an expert on Italian hip-hop and by the British BBC as Luigi Russolo’s foremost scholar. His scholarly writings can be found in MIT Press’ Leonardo and Musica e Storia, the Journal of the Levi Foundation, Venice. He is currently working on the first English monograph dedicated to Luigi Russolo, to be published by the University of California Press. Dr. Chessa is also active as a composer and performer. His scores (including a large work for orchestra and double children choir, and a piano and three turntables duo) are published by RAI TRADE, and many are produced with visual artist Terry Berlier. Since 1999 he has been musical program coordinator for the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco, where he produces concerts of Italian contemporary music.
Furthermore, Chessa has been performing Futurist sound poetry for well over 10 years. His reading of Italian poetry to accompany a performance of the Grammy Award Nominated New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre in 2000 was granted with excellent reviews in the San Francisco press.
His research on Italian Futurism, which he has presented and published internationally, has shown for the first time the occult relationship between Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori and Leonardo da Vinci’s musical machines. He is currently working on Luigi Russolo Futurista. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult the first monograph dedicated to Russolo and his Art of Noises, to be published by the University of California Press in Spring 2010.
Chessa has taught and lectured at St. John’s College of Oxford, Columbia University, Sydney’s and Melbourne’s Conservatories and Universities, the Conservatory of Music in Bologna, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, EMPAC (RPI), among others. He currently teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and collaborates with SF’s Italian Cultural Institute. His music is published by RAI TRADE, the Italian National Broadcast Channels’ music publishing company.