Antonio Gervasoni has been writing music for more than 20 years, always fascinated by its power to awaken our deepest emotions and suggest all kinds of ideas, from the ocean breeze to fantastic imaginary characters; from realms beyond our imagination to interplanetary space.
He was born in 1973 and started taking music lessons at the age of 3 and piano at 9. By the time he turned 18, under the guidance Peruvian pianist Elke Brunke, he had become a skilled pianist, but although he always liked playing the piano it was clear to him that he had no desire to become a professional performer.
His first attempts at composition date back to 1992, when he was pursuing a career in computer science. A few years later, between 1997 and 1998, he took master classes with Russian composer Vladislav Uspensky, a former student of Dmitri Shostakovich, who encouraged him to study music composition.
In 2001, he entered the National University of Music (formerly the National Conservatory of Music), where he studied music composition with José Sosaya and piano with Teresa Quesada. Most recently, in April 2021, he completed a master's degree in composition at the University of Birmingham.
He's a founding member of the Peruvian Composition Circle (Circomper) and was the first Director of the Music Department of the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas - UPC (2009-2012), where he currently works as professor of composition and orchestration. He's also a professor at the National University of Music and the School of Communication at the Universidad de Lima.
His concert music includes a wide variety of works—ranging from solo pieces to a 4-act chamber opera titled R—and part of it is published by Cayambis Music Press. He has also written incidental music, the soundtracks of eight Peruvian feature films—La Prueba (2005), Dragones: Destino de Fuego (2006), La Gran Sangre: La Película (2006), Vidas Paralelas (2008), The Dolphin. Story of a Dreamer (2009), Tarata (2009), La Amante del Libertador (2014) and La Hora Azul (2014)—and the soundtrack of the Portuguese short film Holy Popcorn (2013), by Spanish director Ramón De Los Santos. His music has been performed in Argentina, Brasil, Cuba, Chile, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Spain and the United States.
His awards include: First Prize on the Emerging Composers Category at the 2004 Vanguard Premieres Choral Composition Contest, for his choral work "A-nir"; the Fellowship Diploma in Composition by the London College of Music, in 2007; Most Distinguished Musician and a Special Mention at the 2014 IBLA Grand Prize, for his work KOCMOC (Cosmos), for orchestra and choir; Honorable Mention at the "3er Festival Brasil de Cinema Internacional" (FBCI) in 2015, for the soundtrack of the Peruvian film La Amante del Libertador. Most recently, in May 2018, his piece "Il giardino della casa" was among the winners of the Newly Published Music Competition organized by the National Flute Association of the United States.
Photos by Alejandra Velez