Commissioned Works


“When do we get to the point of realizing that not everything that is old is good and not everything that is new is bad, and that thus far we’ve made very little headway? For this reason, let’s not turn to look back and not stop, because time knows no stopping and life is limited and uncertain.”

Ferruccio Busoni, “Until when?” Aboard the R.M.S “Oceanic”, 23 December 1910


The Busoni Foundation unequivocally embraces the philosophy of Ferruccio Busoni, who throughout his lifetime was an active promoter of dialogue between tradition and innovation, an explorer on a quest for new pathways in piano technique with eyes always trained towards the future. Thanks to the support of the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music, the Busoni Foundation has been able to commission a number of new compositions for piano over the years, the world premieres of which have been performed as part of the Busoni Festival or the competition itself.


The Busoni Foundation is pleased to honor Ferruccio Busoni’s innovative spirit in this way and to promote the work of some of the contemporary music scene’s most interesting composers.



2016 | Aureliano Cattaneo, Corda


2014 | Mauricio Sotelo, Ancora un segreto for solo piano

Performed by pianist Juan Carlos Garvayo during the 2014 Busoni Festival, Ancora un segreto takes its inspiration from the reflections and conversations between Alfred Brendel and Spanish composer Sotelo as regards Liszt’s Sonata in B minor. Sotela’s work is a fascinating reflective interplay between Liszt’s timeless masterpiece and the present day.


2013 | Rebecca Saunders, Shadow

Shadow is the meaningful title of a work by English composer Rebecca Saunders in which the vertical harmonies are broken down according to their shadow sounds to project various lights on harmony. Here the pianist faces a very challenging interpretation, which requires using many different techniques, from chords played with the entire forearm to caustic plucked tones to virtuosic use of the third pedal.


2010 | (by) Nicolas Hodges, Études

This project, carried out by pianist Nicholas Hodges, revolves around the different methods of piano studies, their rethinking and their role in relation to contemporary music trends. The Busoni Foundation Competition commissioned the project (with funds from the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music), giving six études to the composers Pauset, Wuorinen, André, Hosokawa, Sørensen, Furrier, Saunders, Sotelo and to the Luxembourg Phiharmonic Orchestra for the composers Finnissy, Francesconi and Rzewski.  


2007 | Wolfgang Rihm, Sotto voce 2, Capriccio for piano and small orchestra

Performed for the first time by the Haydn Orchestra on 21 July 2007 in Erl and subsequently as a second orchestra trial during the final stages of the 2007 Busoni Competition, Sotto voce 2 is the ideal continuation of a work about piano composition started by Rihm with Sotto voce (1999), dedicated to Daniel Barenboim. Sotto voce 2 was commissioned by the Ferruccio Busoni Competition, the Tyrolean Festival Erl and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.


2005 | Stefano Gervasoni, Fantasia. Invenzione a una voce per pianoforte e orchestra

Performed for the 2005 Busoni Competition’s second final round with orchestra, Fantasia is a work comprising heterogeneous material, including musical references (Chopin’s final Étude, Op. 25) and self-references (Studio di disabitudine by the composer himself), that are merged into a composition that is almost monodic (hence the subtitle) and that tends to acquire a dimension that is virtually polyphonic.