Born in Rome, 1957. After studying at the Rome Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, Michele dall’Ongaro specialized in composition under the guidance of Aldo Clementi. In 1978 he was among the founders of the association Spettro Sonoro, one of the first dedicated to the diffusion, production and execution of contemporary music.
In the audio-visual field he has worked with Claudio and Daniele Abbado (Alexander Nevsky, La casa dei suoni, realized by Studio Azzurro) and with Giorgio Pressburger (Flusso di coscienza, Venice Biennial). He collaborated with Gianni Rodari in the one-act Il filo (1975), which was given its world premiere in 1998 at the Teatro Rendano of Cosenza (production, Daniele Abbado; scenes and costumes, Lele Luzzati), and with the writer Stefano Benni for a cycle of conferences dedicated to creativity. He has also composed incidental music for Luca Ronconi. The author, together with Michele Serra, of two radiophonic works (Jekyll and Il Sig. Carmine ed altri animali), he also composes symphonic, chamber and electronic music and has had his works performed by, among others, Irvine Arditti, Luisa Castellani, Pierre-Yves Artaud, Ensemble Court Circuit, Eugenio Colombo, Giuseppe Scotese, Ciro Scarponi, Augusto Vismara, Stefano Cardi, Ex-novo Ensemble, Massimo Dapporto, Massimo Popolizio and Michele Serra (vocalists) in the concert seasons of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Accademis Filarmonica Romana, Festival Musica e Scienza, Piccolo of Milan, Milano-Musica and Teatro alla Scala, Agon-Centro Armando Gentilucci, Teatro dell’Opera of Rome, Festival Pontino as well as abroad (Holland, Switzerland, France, Germany, USA, Argentina, Japan).
From 1993 to 1999 dall’Ongaro was musical adviser to Fondazione RomaEuropa and from 1996 to 1999 was president of Nuova Consonanza. In 1999 he was appointed Curatore delle Attività Permanenti of the Venice Biennial and since 2000 music manager for RAI-Radio3.
Author of numerous monographs, articles in encyclopedias and in specialist magazines (Laboratorio Musica, Quaderni pucciniani, Piano Time, Il Giornale della Musica, Musica! - distributed with the daily "La Repubblica"), his musical analysis of Puccini’s operas was published by Pacini of Pisa. His present publisher is Edizioni Suvini Zerboni. Edipan dedicated two monographic CDs to his work. Recent compositions: La musica di E. Z. for solo violin, Notturno for string orchestra (1999), Linea alba for solo cello and strings, Infundibuli Cronosinclastici for orchestra (2000).
The ‘Paganini’ inevitably focuses on virtuosity, almost as if virtuosos were musicians unto themselves. Even though everyone rightfully maintains that the violin is at the service of music and not vice-versa (a slogan that was oft repeated during the competition), virtuosity is certainly a very important element.
I will therefore reply in my own way by listing the qualities I think are necessary of a solist: perfect technique; extended, widespread and articulated culture (not only musical); curiosity and a love of new things; extensive experience in chamber music; capacity of listening and communicating in music and in relations with other people, especially the younger generations, and with the world; excellent health; a touch of childishness; a fresh and inquisitive sense of history; humility; pride; awareness of one's role, one's surroundings and of the social and also political value of making music