Born on 1 January 1974 in Codogno, Italy, Aureliano Cattaneo studied at the conservatories of Plaisance and Milan, learning the piano and composition with Carlo Alessandro Landini, Pippo Molino and Sandro Bo. Desirous of furthering his knowledge, the composer also followed the masterclasses of Mauricio Sotelo and Gérard Grisey, and it was under the auspices of the latter and of the Aleph Ensemble, with which he worked on his piece El cielo canta en azul, that he established his initial contacts with France.
The work of Aureliano Cattaneo rapidly attracted attention, revealing as it did some clear natural dispositions, including a feel for structure and dramatic rhythm. Winning First Prize at the Manuel Valcárcel International Composition Competition, organised by the Botin Foundation in Santander, he was also laureate of the 14th International Composition Seminar of Boswil in 2001 and finalist of the Gaudeamus Music Week three years later. His selection by the reading panel of Ircam/Ensemble Intercontemporain in 2003 was followed shortly after by that of the Berlin Academy of Arts, that awarded him a bursary in 2005.
Cattaneo’s catalogue includes works for orchestra (Violin Concerto, 2001) and for smaller formations. Chamber music holds an important though not predominant position. Alongside pieces for soloists, he has built up a vocal repertory (one that the composer at first hesitated to tackle), which would seem to indicate that the voice too represents a forceful expressive vector for focussing his undivided attention. This can be seen in Minotaurus dreaming (2003), composed to a text by Eduardo Sanguinetti, with whom three years later he developed a large-scale project in the form of a chamber opera Le philosophe dans le labyrinthe, premiered in 2006 at the 10th Biennial of Munich.
The co-founder of the festival ContemporaneaMente in Lodi, Cattaneo frequently collaborates with leading organisations: 2e2m – for which he was composer-in-residence in 2006-2007, the Donaueschinger Musiktage, etc. Forthcoming projects include the first performance of Double, a stage work inspired by Dostoyevsky by Klangforum, Wien, in 2012-2013. Aureliano Cattaneo lives and works in Spain.