Umberto Pedraglio is an avant-garde and eclectic musician in the contemporary Italian panorama. His experimental composition features great thematic wealth, timbral exploration, rhythmic expressivity and is inspired by the discovery of new aesthetic forms.
“…an experienced and sensitive musician, he perfectly combines the best qualities of the performer with the imagination of an inspired author…“
(Ivan Fedele, composer)
“As a cellist, Pedraglio explores the timbric possibilities of the instrument, pushing it in the area of non-conventional sounds combined in the most varied ways possible. In the most rarefied moments, the sound becomes dust, extreme evanescence.”
Born in Como in 1978, he studied cello with Guido Boselli, Enrico Bronzi, Giovanni Gnocchi, Stefano Cerrato, Siegfried Palm and Giovanni Sollima. He graduated summa cum laude and a mention in Composition, under the tutelage of Carlo Ballarini and Ivan Fedele, pursuing his studies with Azio Corghi and Alessandro Solbiati. He took part in international masterclasses with Wolfgang Rihm, George Benjamin, Stefano Gervasoni,Jean-Claude Risset, Anders Hillborg, João Pedro Oliveira and Claudio Ambrosini. He specialized under Ivan Fedele’s baton at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
He collaborated, also as a soloist and principal cellist, among different Italian orchestras, performing around Italy and Europe. 2012 was the year of his debut wearing both the cellist’s and the composer’s hat at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, followed by his participation, always wearing both hats, at festivals and seasons like: Festival Settimane Barocche in Brescia, Festival Violoncellistico Internazionale Alfredo Piatti in Bergamo, Season of the Teatro Sociale in Como, Festival Autunno Musicale in Como, Season of the Teatro Sociale in Sondrio.
Some of his compositions have been performed by famous artists (Marco Rizzi, Salvatore Accardo, Massimo Quarta, Enrico Bronzi, Matias de Oliveira Pinto, Giovanni Sollima, Sandro Laffranchini, Fulvio Liviabella, Paolo Beschi, Stefano Cerrato, Leo Morello, Fernando Caida Greco, Maria Grazia Bellocchio, Risa Adachi, Floris Onstwedder, Alda Caiello, Alessia Nadin, Lorenzo Passerini, Lorenzo Donati, Alessandro Cadario), by various instrumental ensembles and orchestras (Milan’s Orchestra Sinfonica G. Verdi, London Sinfonietta, Lecce’s Orchestra Sinfonica T. Schipa, Orchestra Milano Classica, Orchestra Antonio Vivaldi, Dèdalo Ensemble, UT Ensemble Vocale-Consonante, Quartetto Indaco, On TheBridge Cello Ensemble, New Made Ensemble, Alt(r)e Frequenze, Ensemble Novecento, Duo Tubi & Corde) and broadcast by radios, among which RaiRadio3.
Among the latest productions are: a special program for two cellos (Dialogues in time – baroque and contemporary cello) in a duo with the baroque cellist Paolo Beschi; a commission by the Venice Biennale for the 60th Festival Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea (Contemporary Music Festival); the commission for cello dedicated to Enrico Bronzi, Giovanni Sollima and Sandro Laffranchini (principal cello at Teatro alla Scala); the commission of symphonic scores for Orchestra Antonio Vivaldi, plus a number of recordings for Brilliant, Tactus, EMA Vinci and Sconfinarte.
Founder and creator of the Como Contemporary Festival – International Contemporary Music and Other Arts Festival – since 2016 he’s the artistic director of Associazione Culturale Polifonie, through which he promotes the diffusion of contemporary music, also among young people and emerging artists. He teaches Composition at Conservatorio di Musica “A. Boito” in Parma. Since 2012, he has been teaching in a cello masterclass every year at Landesakademie für die Musizierende Jugend in Ochsenhausen, one of the most important musical academies for young musicians in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Umberto plays a period cello dating back to the late 1700s by Pierre Auguste Mauchand.
All of his works are published by Edizioni Musicali Sconfinarte.