Sergio Cervetti, a Uruguayan-born American composer, came to the United States in 1962 to study composition. In 1966, he attracted international attention after winning the chamber music prize at the Caracas Venezuela Music Festival. After graduating from Peabody Conservatory in 1967, where he studied with Ernst Krenek and Stefan Grové, he was invited by the DAAD to be composer-in-residence in Berlin Germany in 1969-70. From 1972 to 1997 and 2007-08, Cervetti was professor of music at New York University/Tisch School of the Arts.
With a distinguished career and extensive body of work, Cervetti remains invested in composition as an intimate medium of communication and gives each piece a complex, personal voice. He has composed over 150 works for orchestra, chamber music, song cycles, choral, solo instruments, and opera that range from acoustic to electronic, and his works are a post-modern synthesis of techniques from European tradition, folk elements, and minimalist aesthetics. They reflect his interest in literature, painting, dance, and socio-political topics as well as his rich South American heritage. Contributions to the early minimalist movement, available on previous Navona releases, are Guitar Music (the bottom of the iceberg), Madrigal III, …from the earth…, Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Timpani, and Candombe for Harpsichord. Three Next Wave Festivals at the Brooklyn Academy of Music featured his collaborations with New York City’s dance world. The Alicante Festival in Spain commissioned the harpsichord concerto Las Indias Olvidadas. The opera Elegy For A Prince was premiered in excerpted scenes by New York City Opera/VOX 2007. Career highlights also include tours in Spain with JONDE, the National Youth Orchestra of Spain, and sections of The Hay Wain, an electroacoustic tone-poem, are heard in Oliver Stone’s film Natural Born Killers.
Sergio Cervetti’s work is available at The Arthur Friedheim Library and Archives at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and the New York Public Library.
Video documentation of Sergio Cervetti’s music and dance collaborations is archived at the New York Public Library’s Dance Collection/Dance Theater Workshop Permanent Archives, the BAM/Next Wave Video Archive for Contemporary Performing Arts, and the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute of Ohio State University.