Maderna, Bruno (1920–1973) By Roderick, Peter
Bruno Maderna was an Italian composer and conductor, who made his name internationally at the Darmstadt Summer Courses in the 1950s and 60s. A musical prodigy, Maderna toured around Veneto with his family as young as age ten, amazing audiences with his violin virtuosity and intuitive conducting skills. His early life was unstable—his paternity was questioned and he lived with several guardians—and was further disrupted by the Second World War, when he was conscripted. His studies and burgeoning musical friendship with Luigi Nono was temporarily suspended, and a period serving in the Italian army was followed by involvement with the resistenza movement opposing Nazi occupiers in 1944; his membership with the Fronte di Liberazione led to his arrest in February 1945 by the S.S. After escaping the Germans, he joined with the Veronese partisans and fought in the war of liberation in the Po valley.