Ezio Bosso (1971-2020)
“Rarely can music and movement be so perfectly combined.” – The Stage, London
A long standing creative collaborator with Rafael Bonachela and Sydney Dance Company, Italian composer and conductor Ezio Bosso passed away after a long illness on 15 May 2020. He was 48.
Rafael Bonachela pays tribute to their creative partnership.
“I am absolutely heartbroken that my dear friend and creative collaborator, composer and conductor Ezio Bosso passed away yesterday at his home in Bologna. He had been terribly ill for many years with a serious neurodegenerative condition, which had greatly hampered his life, but had not bowed his indomitable spirit.
I first met Ezio in London in 2008 when I was running Bonachela Dance Company. We clicked immediately. I was blown away both by the beauty of his music and the infectious warmth of his personality. His passion for his craft was unparalleled and we really connected on our shared desire to break down barriers around access to music and performance. Ezio composed the score for The Land Of Yes and the Land Of No, entitled Road Signs Variations, which BDC premiered at the Ludwigsburg Festival, Germany and then was presented on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral as part of the City of London Festival in 2009.
When I came to Sydney that year to take up the post of Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company, I wanted to work more with Ezio and his music. My first commission for Sydney Dance was We Unfold, set to Ezio’s Symphony No.1. Oceans, which Sydney Dance Company commissioned him to write. I was drawn to the parallels between his thoughts when creating this first symphony and my own feelings about leaving Europe. I wanted to create a piece about our needs and desire, to slowly unfold, revealing ourselves to those around us, and Ezio’s luscious and layered music wrapped around the movements of my nascent company of dancers.
In 2010, we came together to create 6 Breaths. Feeding from each other’s inspirations, Ezio and I arrived at a shared vision; how the ideas of life, vitality and spirit could translate to movement and to a dance work. The act of breath, the essential action for life weaves through both his six movement score and the dancers’ movement in my choreography. 6 Breaths was performed as part of the Venice Biennale Danza in Italy in 2010, the first international invitation for the Company under my artistic directorship. To bring that work to Ezio’s home country was an immense honour. And it is bittersweet that in celebration of Sydney Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary last year, 6 Breaths was re-staged in Season Two, with the dancers of the 2019 Company breathing new life into it, and making it their own. Sadly, Ezio was unable to travel to Sydney to see the work, but through his music, he was more than with us in spirit.
LANDforms in 2011 brought Ezio to Sydney again to work with me again. It was a joy to have him in the studio and for me, to create a work to be performed to live music was just wonderful. LANDforms was born from a creative concept we devised together. We took inspiration from the landscape and the elements and their impact on the earth and the industrial landscape of cities, and with the dancers, work-shopped the concept together. The dance and the music evolved simultaneously. The atmosphere was electric and creativity flowed. And to have the dancers perform on stage with Ezio (piano), the incomparable, award-winning Katie Noonan and the stunning Veronique Serret (violin) and Geoffrey Gartner (cello), as they played the score, Music For Weather Elements, was unforgettable.
The sadness of the loss of such a talent is overwhelming. Ezio was 48, in the prime of his life. Over the last few years, his condition took hold, making playing piano increasingly difficult for him. But I was awed and inspired by his tenacity; nothing would stop him from performing, conducting from his wheelchair. Losing a friend under any circumstances is devastating. That the world of music has lost such a talent, with so much more to give is tragic.
All my love goes to his family, friends and creative collaborators, across the world. Vale Ezio. You lit up our lives with music and you will be missed.”
Ezio Bosso was born in Turin into a working class family and from his early performances, expressed the desire to go beyond all boundaries, which characterised his entire, lengthy career.
At the age of 16, he made his debut in France as a soloist playing piano and double bass, then completed his studies in composition
and conducting at the Vienna Music Academy (Wiener Hochschule). He recently collaborated with several European orchestras including: Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Festival Strings Lüzern and Deutsche Kammer-Virtuosen.
Constant research, versatility, passion for dissemination as well as generosity were the characteristic features of his artistic pathway. Over an extensive career, he accumulated an extremely long list of collaborations, undertaken with prestigious musical institutions, along with concert seasons as a composer, performer, conductor and member of chamber music ensembles including: Royal Festival Hall in London, Sydney Opera House, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Carnegie Hall in New York City, Teatro Regio in Turin, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Perelada Festival, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Lac Lugano, Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome, Lietuvos Fhilarmonija, and St Martin in the Fields, London.
He received many important acknowledgements of his work, including the Green Room Award in Australia and the Syracuse New York Award in the USA.
In April 2018 David Dawson created a new work on Ezio’s Violin Concerto no.1 for San Francisco Ballet ANIMA ANIMUS in April 2018 and in season 2018/2019 touring in the US and the UK.
Bosso collaborated a number of times with Rafael Bonachela and Sydney Dance Company, including The Land of Yes and The Land of No (2009 London, 2011 Australia), We Unfold (2009), 6 Breaths (2010) and Landforms (2011). 6 Breaths was reprised for Sydney Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary Season Two from 1 – 9 Nov 2019 in Sydney.