Mario Ruffini

Permanent guest conductor of the National Opera Theatre “M.P. Musorgskij” of St. Petersburg (1990-1995); scholarly coordinator for the Music and the Figurative Arts Project at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut in Florence (since 2002); scholarly coordinator of the Fondo Carlo Prosperi at the Archivio Contemporaneo “Bonsanti” of the Gabinetto G.P. Vieusseux in Florence (since 2005); Teacher at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “G.B. Martini” in Bologna. Devisor, curator, and organizer of the World Bach-Fest (Florence, 2012), which profoundly marked the cultural life of the Tuscan capital.
Ruffini studied in Florence. Laura Dallapiccola exercised the greatest influence on his intellectual and spiritual education, and Max Seidel on his interdisciplinary work on music and the figurative arts.
Ruffini is among the greatest experts on Luigi Dallapiccola, whose works he has conducted and studied for more than thirty years and on whom he has published the most comprehensive study to day, L’opera di Luigi Dallapiccola. Catalogo Ragionato (Suvini Zerboni Editore). In 2004 he was the scholarly secretary of the National Committee for the “Celebrations for the First Centennial of Dallapiccola’s Birth (1904-2004)”, creating for the occasion a cycle of ten radio program on Rai (Radio Tre Suite). As a scholar of Dallapiccola, Ruffini has published many works; as a musician, he has conducted the first recording of the Tre Laudi and the Piccola musica notturna/b, as well as the first performance of Dallapiccola in Russia, with the Leningrad Philharmonic, of the Due Pezzi per Orchestra and the Variazioni per Orchestra. And he has composed the script for the documentary Firenze dodecafonica. 6000 passi in città con Luigi Dallapiccola, directed by Clemente Fiorentini.
He has a special relationship with Johann Sebastian Bach, guiding star of his thoughts on music and art, faith and science, which he develops as a scholar and as an performer. He has conducted The Art of the Fugue for a 14 strings and all the Concerts for keyboard and orchestra and for violin and orchestra, The St Matthew Passion, some with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, others with the Orchestra della Toscana or with the Orchestra da Camera Benedetto Marcello. He published the volume Johann Sebastian Bach. Lo specchio di Dio e il segreto dell’immagine riflessa (Polistampa, 2012).
Ruffini conducted works from the major Italian repertoire of Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, and Mozart. In 1994 he inaugurated the re-opening of the Teatro Rendano of Cosenza with Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. In 1991 he conducted the world première of Sylvano Bossotti’s Intégrale Sade at the Venice Biennale. In 1995 the Italian première of Iannis Xenakis’s Medea Senecae for the Festival di Martina Franca. He has many recordings of nineteenth-century musical works (by Dallapiccola, Bussotti, Prosperi, Bartolozzi, Benvenuti, Clementi, Giani Luporini, Pezzati, De Angelis, Bucchi and Ruffini) with such musical publishers as Emi, Ricordi, Die Schachtel, Mondo Musica, Stradivarius, Diapason, Editoria Elettronica. Many of his performances are also available on YouTube.
Ruffini’s own compositions are published by Suvini Zerboni in Milan. He has composed operatic, symphonic, and chamber music in collaboration with, among others, Roberto Piumini, Giorgio Albertazzi, Arnoldo Foà and Mario Luzi. Immotus. Magno silenzio audire was premièred at the 48th Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Ruffini’s research on music and the figurative arts at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut led him to publish the volume Musica e Arti figurative. Rinascimento e Novecento (Venice: Marsilio Editori, 2008), as well as to curating several exhibitions and conferences.
Ruffini has also published the following works: Progetto Musica per l’Italia (Italia Musica, 1996), Il teatro musicale in Italia (Passigli, 2007), Sig.r Amadeo Wolfgango Mozarte (Marsilio, 2007), La memoria di Ulisse. Studi sull’”Ulisse” di Luigi Dallapiccola (Suvini Zerboni, 2008), Carlo Prosperi e il Novecento musicale da Firenze all’Europa (Polistampa, 2008), Musica scolpita (Polistampa, 2008), La Grande Madre (Silvana Editorale, 2010), Italia immaginaria. Letteratura, arte e musica tedesca fra Otto e Novecento (Le Lettere, 2010), Musiche di legni in riva d’Arno (Polistampa, 2011), Essere è tempo (Polistampa, 2011).

by Mario Ruffini
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