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Cristina Berio

"Lately I have had a chance to listen to and transcribe some unreleased interviews on tape that my mother originally gave in Italian, a few years before she died. She speaks mostly of her personal life, but occasionally she talks in detail about the genesis of some of the milestone compositions that marked her career.
It has been such a wonderful and heartwarming experience for me to hear her chat and laugh about all those memories, and it almost feels like she’s in the next room: I can hear her… I just can’t see her. I would love to be able to share the sound of her voice at this Conference, but since it’s in Italian, my only viable option is to translate this material and humbly read it aloud to you, hoping that somehow you will get a better glimpse of how wonderful, brilliant and witty Cathy was, even when she was chatting with a friend in the next room…"

Cristina Berio was born in Milan, Italy to Cathy Berberian and Luciano Berio, the only child of that marriage. She studied piano at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi di Milano and at Julliard School of Music, but did not complete her studies because her musical curiosity brought her to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she settled, became a professional percussionist & vocalist, and had three children. Her musical interests ranged from Afro-Brazilian to Progressive Jazz, and she performed and recorded with numerous artists there, including Sarah Vaughan.

Her marriage to a film director initiated a parallel career in film production, which eventually led her to settle in Los Angeles in 1994, where she still resides. Since then she has been producing documentaries (mostly for European Broadcasting stations, like BBC and VPRO TV) and occasionally she still plays percussion with TribalJazz, a world-rhythm band founded by John Densmore, the drummer of The Doors. Their new cd will be released sometime this year.

Since her mother’s death in 1983, Cristina has been looking for an organization interested in properly storing and organizing Cathy’s archives, comprised of letters, costumes, books, notated scores and all the research material used in the creation of her many wonderful recitals. Luckily in the past few years there has been a growing interest shown by some very reputable European institutions. Cristina hopes that soon Cathy’s archives will find a proper home and will finally be available to music students and academics from around the world, as they deserve to be.

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