Born in 1963 in Buenos Aires, the Argentine-Spanish composer and conductor Fabián Panisello, moves audiences with his ever-current, lively, vivid and finely differentiated musical language. The longtime director of the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid and founder and artistic director of the Plural Ensemble began his composition studies in his hometown under Francisco Kröpfl. In 1993, he completed his studies with honors as a student of Boguslaw Schaeffer at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received additional mentorship from Elliott Carter, Franco Donatoni, Brian Ferneyhough, and Luis de Pablo, along with conducting guidance from Péter Eötvös and Jorma Panula.
Fabián Panisello's compositions have been and continue to be performed by well-known interpreters. The Arditti Quartet, for example, premiered his Three Movements at the 2006 Takefu Festival. Pierre Boulez conducted the SWR Symphony Orchestra with his orchestral work Aksaks at the Donaueschinger Musiktage and Wien Modern in 2008. Under the direction of Péter Eötvös, Orquesta Nacional de España premiered the 2009 work Mandala, followed by his piano concerto for the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid under Susanna Mälkki and his trumpet concerto for Marco Blaauw in 2010, which he conducted himself that same year in Berlin. Also under his direction, Ensemble Modern premiered the ensemble piece Solstice in 2013. In the field of vocal music thereafter followed Gothic Songs, after texts by Edgar Allen Poe, which premiered in 2012 at the Alte Oper Frankfurt with the baritone Leigh Melrose, along with two monodramas: L'Officina della resurrezione, for baritone, chorus, electronics and string quartet, which premiered in its second version in 2014 in Katowice with baritone Holger Falk; and the premiere in 2018 of The Raven, again after Edgar Allen Poe, with mezzo soprano Charlotte Mundy and the Glass Farm Ensemble in Madrid.
The 2016 premiere of his chamber opera Le Malentendu (after Camus’s eponymous play) was widely praised: “Doubtless the best premiere in ages of a new opera at the Teatro Real", commented the composer Tomás Marco; Peter Eötvös said: "Panisello has a tremendous gift for stage works; he creates exciting theatre with remarkable music." Le Malentendu was created as a coproduction of the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, the Warsaw Autumn, the New Opera Vienna as well as the Teatros del Canal and the Teatro Real Madrid. The premiere of his opera Les Rois mages, also realized as an international co-production, was a great success. It was commissioned by the Ernst-von-Siemens Music Foundation and the Foundation of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Following its premiere in January 2019 at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid with the Plural Ensemble conducted by the composer himself, the work, based on a tale by Michel Tournier, captures the story of the Three Wise Men, and will in the current season be performed in Nice, Tel Aviv, Vienna, and Klagenfurt.
Fabián Panisello is the founder and artistic director of the Plural Ensemble, one of Europe's most outstanding new music ensembles. As a conductor, Panisello has also directed ensembles and orchestras such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and the Israel Contemporary Players. In 2003 he also took part in the world premieres of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Hoch-Zeiten and Mixtur with the WDR Orchester Cologne and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin. Both with his ensemble and as a composer, he is a regular guest at major contemporary music festivals including Wien Modern, Présences, Ars Musica, Ultraschall, Aspekte, and Klangspuren Schwaz. As a conductor and composer-in-residence he has been invited to the Sound Ways Festival St. Petersburg, New Music Week Shanghai, Manca Festival in Nice, Centro Nacional de las Artes (CENART) Mexico, Barenboim Said Foundation’s masterclasses, and to the Bridges Festival at the Vienna Konzerthaus.
His work has been recognized and championed by Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, among others. He has received various awards including the Salzburg Mozarts Erben Prize and the Premio Iberoamericano de Composición Rodolfo Halffter. Fabián Panisello is a member of the Argentine Academy of Arts. Recordings of his music have appeared on labels such as NEOS, Col Legno, Cypres, Verso, and Columna Música. His compositions are published by Edition Peters.
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