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Twentieth century Italian composer, writer, graphic artist and painter Francesco Pennisi, a cousin of M&V contributor Giuseppe Pennisi, was born in Acireale, Sicily on 11 February 1934 into a rich and cultured Sicilian family.
Pennisi moved to Rome in 1953 and studied composition privately with American composer Robert W Mann.
Well-known in Germany and Italy, Pennisi wrote five operas, several of which were performed in Italian and foreign theatres. He also wrote instrumental and vocal music, and a considerable amount of chamber music. His style was Mediterranean-flavoured calligraphic minimalist, elegant and sophisticated, but also influenced by American neo-classicism and twelve-tone music.
In the 1960s he was one of the founders of the Association Nuova Consonanza, one of the key institutions developing and promoting contemporary music in Italy. He was also a member of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Francesco Pennisi died in Rome, aged sixty-six, on 8 October 2000 (not 9 October 2000, as shown in some online sources).
An international summer school and festival in Sicily - Villa Pennisi in Musica - is held in and around the Acireale villa where Pennisi grew up.
Ensemble. Modern Italian Music in Rome - Works by Francesco Pennisi, Goffredo Petrassi and Marcello Panni, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. 'New Music' in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the last of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana's summer concerts
Ensemble. A Pleasure Garden - Two summer concerts on an evening in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
An Interdisciplinary Field - Two contemporary music festivals in Rome, described by Giuseppe Pennisi