Education and training
Born in Milano in 1970, Riccardo Ceni studied composition with Bruno Bettinelli and Azio Corghi, conducting with Maurizio Benini, Daniele Gatti, Guido Maria Guida, Gilberto Serembe, Erwin Acél and Carlo Maria Giulini, choir conducting with Franco Monego, Tōnu Kaljuste and Norbert Balatsch (at the Bayreuther Festspiele), graduating in Composition, in Vocal Polyphony, in Choir Conducting (at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, Milano) and in Orchestra Conducting (at the Conservatorio G.B. Martini, Bologna). Furthermore he studied piano and violin.
He got a specialization degree in Composition with Azio Corghi at the Accademia di S. Cecilia in Roma (president of the examination panel, Luciano Berio), and the Laurea cum laude at the Università degli Studi di Milano in literature (specialization in musicology) with the dissertation “Styles, Topics and Figures: the Wordless Theatre in Mozart” (supervisors: Emilio Sala and Cesare Fertonani). In 1999 he was one of the four conductors, selected and granted by international audition to actively participate in the first edition of the workshop for young conductors held by Carlo Maria Giulini at the Fondazione Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, in collaboration with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana (OGI). Furthermore he attended lessons with György Ligeti (Szombathely, Hungary) and Yuri Temirkanov (Siena, Accademia Musicale Chigiana).
In the field of management, he deepened fundraising for artistic HEIs (Rome, National Academy of Dance - Bologna Process, 2013; Birmingham, AEC-IRC Conference 2018), designing of European programs (Corfu, AEC-IRC Conference 2015), the internationalization of HEIs through the development of joint courses (Rome, Fondazione CRUI and CIMEA, 2015) and the organization of the AFAM sector (Milano, Conservatorio, 2018).
In the field of conducting, after an apprenticeship as a coach (Laboratorio Lirico in Alessandria, in coproduction with Teatro Regio di Torino and Teatro alla Scala) and choir conductor (Nuova Polifonica Ambrosiana, Arion Choir, Choir of Collegio Ghislieri, Piccolo Teatro in Milano), he became resident conductor of the Orchestra Guido Cantelli. He is also invited, in opera productions and concerts, by the Teatro alla Scala Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Arturo Toscanini, Teatro Massimo di Palermo Operalaboratorio, Arena di Verona, Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, I Pomeriggi Musicali, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
He was finalist at the competition “Young Orchestra Conductors of the EC” (Spoleto, 2003, president of the jury: Piero Bellugi).
Among his collaborations as a conductor: Francesco Manara, Christophe Desjardins, Bruno Canino, Gianluca Cascioli, Sergej Galaktionov, Pippo Delbono, Moni Ovadia, Gabriele Vacis, Tamas Aschef and Marcello Fois. He premiered music by Nicola Campogrande, Gianluca Cascioli, Paolo Coggiola, Gianvincenzo Cresta, Luis de Pablo, Fabrizio Festa, Ennio Morricone, Enrique Muňoz, Cesare Picco, Marco Tutino, Nadir Vassena. He conducted the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna in the final concerts of the International Composition Competition 2 agosto (Bologna, 2010 and 2011).
Enthusiast performer of the contemporary repertoire, after a collaboration with the Traiettorie Sonore Ensemble, he was director of the Ensemble 2 Agosto in Bologna, debuting at the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano 2009; since 2010 he has cooperated with the Fundación Sax-Ensemble, regularly invited at the festival Música para el Tercer Milenio in Madrid and at Festival Zahir Ensemble in Sevilla. With the Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino he cut the cd “Skin” (2006); he published “Dolly today - around Fauré” for the label Stradivarius (2009) and the dvd “Luis De Pablo – Música para Saxofón” (Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid, 2010) and a new monographic cd on Enrique Muňoz’s music.
He wrote an opera taken from Offenbach's music, commissioned for ensemble by the Münster’s Theater. He cooperates with publishing houses (vocal scores of contempoary operas by Bruno Cerchio and Azio Corghi for Ricordi), as an essayist with the magazine Musik and Ästhetik and as a musical consultant with the tv broadcasting Raisat.
His musical activity has been reviewed and presented by newspapers, magazines, broadcasting networks: Corriere della Sera, la Repubblica, Il Sole 24 ore, Amadeus, Suonare News, Panorama, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, L’Arena, Il Giorno, Westfälische Nachricthen, Münsterische Zeitung, Die Glocke, Rai 3 TV and Radio, Radio3 Suite, RTVE (Radiotelevisión Española) and others.
Teaching and institutional experience
Full professor of Harmony and Analysis at the Conservatorio Arrigo Boito in Parma since 2011, he also teaches Elements of musical analysis at the University of Parma, analysis at the Hochschule of Lugano (Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, since 2007); he was professor of Conducting for the applied music and recording at the Conservatorio Girolamo Frescobaldi in Ferrara (2008-2015), visiting professor at the Real Conservatorio Superior in Madrid (2008) and designer, professor, scientific advisor and coordinator of the EQF 6 Specialization Course “Musica d’oggi” at the Conservatorio Niccolò Piccinni in Bari, in cooperation with the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano, Fondazione Petruzzelli, Grame – Lyon, Accademia del Teatro alla Scala.
He was appointed International Relations Coordinator and elected member of the Academic Board at the Conservatorio of Parma (2013-16), where he also founded and coordinated the Laboratory on Musical Rhetoric (2014-16).
Member of the board of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani, of the Comitato Nazionale per le celebrazioni del centenario della morte di Arrigo Boito, and of the Fondazione Bellentani, since novembre 2016 he has been elected Director of the Conservatorio of Parma for the academic years 2016-19 and reelected in 2019 for the academic years 2019-22.