The music world was stunned to learn of the death of double bass soloist and composer Stefano Scodanibbio on June 10th from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He was only 55 years old. “Stefano Scodanibbio has been responsible for more important additions to the double bass repertoire in recent years than any European bassist,” wrote Michael Cameron in his review of Stefano’s CD release Voyage That Never Ends, a 45-minute soundscape that Stefano performed in its entirety when he made his ISB convention debut in 1997 at the University of Iowa. What is now become his final ISB convention performance was in 2009 at Penn State University, another profoundly moving experience for those lucky enough to be there.
Dozens of works were written for him, and he created new techniques, extending the colors and range of the double bass. In 1987 in Rome, he performed a four-hour non-stop marathon, playing 28 pieces by 25 composers. As a composer, his catalogue includes more than 50 works, principally for strings, including Sei Studi for solo contrabass, Three String Quartets, Concertale for contrabass, strings and percussion and Six Duos.
In June 2004 Stefano premiered Sequenza XIVb by Luciano Berio in his own version for contrabass, from the original for cello. In 1983 he founded the “Rassegna di Nuova Musica,” a new music festival held annually in Macerata, Italy.
By a lovely coincidence, on Friday, May 25th, 8 PM at The Stone in New York City, Cleveland Symphony bassist Scott Dixon, along with Matteo Cesari (bass flute) and the Del Sol String Quartet, will perform music of Stefano Scodanibbio. Read more about his important and far too-short career. We’re so sorry that this voyage had to end, and the ISB extends its deepest sympathies to Stefano Scodanibbio’s family, friends, colleagues and fans everywhere. Click here to make a donation to the ISB in Stefano’s memory.
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