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AntonioBibaloLongBiographyMusicSalesClassical

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Composers
Antonio Bibalo
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Antonio Bibalo
Born: 1922
Died: 2008
Nationality: Norwegian
Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Photo Erik Berg
TheNorwegiancomposerAntonioBibalowasbornin1922andisoriginallyfromItaly,more
specificallyfromthecityofTrieste.Bibalo'sencounterwithmusicbeganwiththepiano,andhis
instrumentaltalentstookhimontotheConservatoireinTrieste,wherehetookhisdiplomain1946.
DuringWorldWarIIBibalo,likeotherItalianmen,hadbeenconscriptedintoMussolini'sarmy.He
escaped,butwascapturedbytheGermansandhadtodoforcedlabourasaGermanprisonerof
war.
AftertheConservatoireBibalofocusedonmakinghisnameasaconcertpianist,andthiscareerwas
wellinprogresswhenhechosetodropthepianoinfavourofcomposition,whichhadinterestedhim
sincetheageof1617.TomoveaheadwithhismusicstudiesBibalowentin1953toLondon,where
hestudiedcompositionwithElizabethLutyens,oneofthepioneersoftwelvetonemusicinEngland
thetechniquehasinfluencedmanyofBibalo'sworksinthecourseofhiscareer.
In1955BibalowontheThirdPrizeintheinternationalWieniawskiCompetitioninWarsawforhisFantasia(1954)forviolin
andorchestra,andthisbecamethestartingshotinacomposingcareerwhichatfirstdemandedgreatpersistenceandwill
powerfromBibalo,notleastbecausehechosetomovetoNorway.AntonioBibalohadvisitedLarvikonaholidayin1956and
decidedthathewouldliveinthatcountry.Butitwasnoeasymatterforhimtogetstartedonacareerasacomposerin
Norway.ForaperiodBibalohadtoearnalivingasamusiccopyistandbarpianistattheOsloGrandHotelbuthealsomade
contactwiththeNorwegiancomposersArneNordheimandKlausEgge,andlaterhebecameamemberoftheNorwegian
Composers'Association.
In1968BibalobecameaNorwegiancitizen.Bythattimehehadalreadywrittenhisfirstopera,TheSmileattheFootofthe
Ladder,whichwasperformedinHamburg,aswellasmusicfortheballetPinocchio,andanumberoforchestralworksbut
thecommissionsfromtheNorwegianorchestrasonlybegantocomeattheendofthe1960s.LaterBibalohasreceivedmany
honoursacknowledginghisgreatimportanceforNorwegianmusicallife.In1992hewasmadeaKnightoftheOrderofSt.
Olave(1stClass)andhewasawardedtheLindemanPrizein1992.
ItisprimarilythebigoperaproductionsTheSmileattheFootoftheLadder(1958/62),MissJulie(1975),Ghosts(1981),
Macbeth(1990)andTheGlassMenagerie(1996),thathavemadeAntonioBibalo'snameasacomposerinNorwayand
abroad.Thetextualsourcesfortheseoperasarealltobefoundinliteraryworksbygreatandfamousauthors:HenrikIbsen,
HenryMiller,WilliamShakespeareandTennesseeWilliams.MissJulieisoneofthemostfrequentlyperformedoperasofthe
postwarera,andTheGlassMenageriewasawardedtheprizeas"WorkoftheYear"bytheNorwegianComposers'
Associationin1996.
Bibaloishisownlibrettistthisgiveshimcontrolovertheworkaswellasinspirationforthemusicthatbearsthetext.Whenhe
composesmusicfortheoperas,hechoosesatonalidiomthathefeelsfitsthecharactersandactionoftheopera.MissJulie,
forexample,waswrittenwiththetwelvetonetechnique,whileGhostswascomposedinasemiromanticstyletocharacterize
afamilythatbelongstothemiddleclassofthenineteenthcentury.
Bibalo'sinstrumentalmusicdemonstratesthesamecapacitytobeinspiredbystylisticschoolswithoutbeingtieddownby
them.Bibalohaswrittenseveralsoloworksforpiano,aswellastwopianoconcertos,twosymphonies,anumberofworksfor
chamberorchestra,includingAutunnale(1968)andTheSavage(1982/83),twowindquintetsandonestringquartet.
AccordingtoBibalohimself,thestylisticvariationfromworktoworkisanindicationofdevelopment.Heisnotacomposerwho
hassettledonaparticularstyleinhiscompositionsheisconstantlychangingandattemptstowritemusicwherestylistic
featuresfromtwelvetonemusic,jazzandothersourcesareassimilatedinthemusic,withoutbecomingpastichesofthemusic
ofothercomposers.

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