Bruno Maderna

Bruno Maderna (1920-1973) was one of the pioneering group of young composers who came to international prominence through the Darmstadt Summer courses in the early 1950s and although music history has seen Maderna pushed to the margins by his more single-minded colleagues Boulez, Nono and Stockhausen, he played a central role in the evolution of the 'Darmstadt School', not only as composer but as a conductor too, directing many first performances, amongst them works by Berio, Nono and, perhaps most famously, Stockhausen's Gruppen.

Maderna was well liked by the musicians he conducted: although his role with orchestras was usually to introduce them to difficult new repertoire, they enjoyed his relaxed rehearsal technique and his easy-going approach to time-keeping (in every sense). The same fluidity informed his view of composing. Works were often in a quite provisional form when they were first performed and would undergo extensive revision or even complete re- composition.