Carnegie Mellon University
June 10, 2014

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's Franco Sciannameo Co-edits Book Examining Music and Philosophy of Italian Composer Giacinto Scelsi

Contact: Pam Wigley / 412-268-1047 /

book coverPITTSBURGH—Franco Sciannameo, the associate dean of interdisciplinary initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts (CFA), was a co-editor of "Music as Dream: Essays on Giacinto Scelsi," a work showcasing scholarly criticism of the music and philosophy of Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi. The book was published by Scarecrow Press in August 2013.

Sciannameo, an associate teaching professor of musicology in the School of Music and a CMU faculty member since 1991, and fellow co-editor Alessandra Carlotta Pellegrini selected and translated essays into English for the first time that reflect the evolution of scholarship on Scelsi's original compositions. The book begins with "The Scelsi Case," which erupted shortly after Scelsi died in 1988, when composer Vieri Tosatti claimed ownership of his works. In addition to "The Scelsi Case," the book features essays on a variety of topics including an in-depth study of Scelsi's piano output and details of his theoretical and literary writings.

Sciannameo and Pellegrini also contributed some of their own analyses. Sciannameo and Luciano Martinis explored the lives and whereabouts of composers Giacinto Sallustio, Walther Klein and Richard Falk, who were Scelsi's collaborators until the early 1940s. Pellegrini elaborated on Scelsi's most important composition of his first period, a compilation that pieces together its complex story.

This isn't the first time that Scelsi's works have been brought to light by a member of CMU's College of Fine Arts community.

In 2000, Scelsi's compositions were put on display when CMU's School of Music brought an entire concert of his works to Carnegie Hall. The concert was performed by the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic under the direction of Juan Pablo Izquierdo and was reviewed by Paul Griffiths of The New York Times. Read Griffiths' review.