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Luigi Antonio Irlandini

Luigi e Shakuhachi Colorado.jpg

                                    Shakuhachi Summer Camp of the Rockies, Colorado, 2007  --  Catedral Metropolitana de Florianópolis, 2019  --  Florianópolis, 2018  


Luigi Antonio Irlandini

Luigi Antonio Irlandini, Brazilian/Italian composer and instrumentalist (piano and shakuhachi), was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in May 29, 1958. He writes instrumental and vocal music – solo, chamber and orchestral – with a special interest on percussion instruments, the shakuhachi, the piano, recorders, solo voice and vocal groups a cappella. As a composer-performer, Irlandini is often personally involved in the performance of his music both as a soloist or conductor. While his composed music is strictly connected to musical research, in which Western and non-Western, musical and philosophical, modern and ancient contents co-exist, forming his ideas of cosmofonia and musical cosmology, Irlandini's improvised music follows a completely different approach, connected to spontaneity and personal experience (as seen in his piano improvisation albums Azul e Areia, produced by Egberto Gismonti in 1985, and Surf Music, produced by Irlandini in 1999).
As a music professor at the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, UDESC, Irlandini teaches counterpoint, harmony, analysis and composition, and has his research activities centered in the interdisciplinary study of music composition. The main research topics are circular and spiral musical temporalities, the presence of non-Western and ancient contents, with an emphasis on Japanese music of the gagaku and honkyoku traditions), in 20th- and 21st century compositional poetics, and the relation of music composition with mythical thought, archetypal symbology, and the imaginary. His research has been published in academic music journals such as Perspectives of New Music (USA), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Netherlands), Opus, Revista Vórtex , and Per Musi  (Brazil), some written in English, some in Portuguese, some in both.

Performers and Interpreters

Irlandini's music has been performed in Brazil, Argentina, the U.S., Italy, Holland and Japan by several musicians and ensembles, such as Maurício Zamith, Maria Bernardete Castelan Póvoas, Berenice Menegale, Marina Iwao and Kyungmi Nam (piano), Thomas Piercy (clarinet and hichiriki), Carlos Gontijo (saxophone), soprano Martha Herr,  Silvia Cesco and Danton Oestreich (guitar),  Kirk Brundage, Jean-Pierre Bedoyan and Mark Duggan (percussion); recorder soloists David Castelo (Brasil), Eva Legêne Anderson and Kees Boeke (Holland),  Antonio Politano and Daniele Braghetti (Italy), Tosyia Suzuki and Seiko Tanaka (Japan), Brisk Amsterdam Recorder Quartet, cello and piano Duo Jarvis-Twitchell, Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais, Orquestra Sinfônica da UFRJ, Orquestra Sinfônica de Barra Mansa, Ensemble Gilberto Mendes, Grupo PIAP de Percussão da UNESP, Madrigal Contemporâneo (Rio de Janeiro), Contemporary Vocal Ensemble from University of Indiana, Bloomington, UC Davis Contemporary Music Players; conductors Cristina Emboaba, Carmen-Helena Téllez, Danielly Souza, John Boudler, David Ashbridge, José Gustavo Julião de Camargo, Marcos Arakaki, Thiago Santos and Anderson Alves) among others, in several festivals, concerts and monographic recitals, including the Bienal da Música Brasileira Contemporânea no Rio de Janeiro since 1983, the Rio International Cello Encounter (2005 and 2016), o 50mo Festival Música Nova Gilberto Mendes (2016) and the Festival Musica Riservata (1998, Vicenza and Varese, Italy).

Musical Studies and
Professional Activities

Piano studies with Nereida Nogueira (1976-1979) and Luiz Henrique Senise (1980-1982) in Rio de Janeiro.

Composition studies with Franco Cioci at the Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini, Firenze, Italy, 1982-1983

B.M. in Piano Performance with Estela Caldi, at the Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRio), 1983-1987

Composition and aesthetics studies with Hans-Joachim Koellreutter in Rio de Janeiro, 1985-1988

Composition studies with Franco Donatoni at the Accademia Superiore di Musica Lorenzo Perosi, Biella, Italy, 1988

Composition studies with Franco Donatoni at the Accademia di Musica Chigiana, Siena, Italy, 1989 and 1990 

M.F.A. in Composition: with Stephen Lucky Mosko at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), 1989-1990; second emphasis in Hindustani music with Taranath Rao (tablā) and Amiya Dasgupta (rāga), and Javanese Gamelan with K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat 

Ph.D. in Composition: with Brian Ferneyhough (UCSD) and William Kraft at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), 1994-1998; second emphasis on 20th-century modern music with Pieter van den Toorn and Hindustani and Middle Eastern music with Scott Marcus

Lecturer: University of  California, Santa Barbara (1998-1999), teaching composition and 20th-century music courses for graduate and undergraduate students of the College of Arts and Letters Department of Music and at the College of Creative Studies

Post Doctoral Researcher with JoAnn Kuchera-Morin at the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE, at UCSB) and with Michael Beckerman (at UCSB Music Department),  2000 - 2002

Visiting Composer: Jacobs School of Music at University of Indiana, Bloomington,
February 2007

Waldorf Teacher Training and Waldorf Music Teacher Training courses at Sunbridge College (Chestnut Ridge, NY), Rudolf Steiner College (Sacramento, CA) and Waldorf Institute of Southern California (Northridge, CA), 2000 - 2006


Music Teacher and Music Program Director - Waldorf elementary, junior and high schools in the U.S., 2001 - 2009

Shakuhachi studies at Shakuhachi Summer Camp of the Rockies in Colorado, 2006 and 2007

Music Professor: graduate and undergraduate programs at Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, UDESC, in Florianópolis, Brazil, since 2010

Shakuhachi studies with KAKIZAKAI Kaoru Sensei, Dokyoku, 2013-2017

Shakuhachi studies at the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan (KSK, International Centre for Shakuhachi Training), Dokyoku, Chichibu, Japan, March 2019

Post-Doctoral Researcher with Carole Gubernikoff at the Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRio), 2023-2024

Research activities with NAKAMURA Hitomi, Director of Reigakusha Gagaku Ensemble in Tokyo, June/July 2024.

Composition Awards

Prêmio Funarte de Composição Clássica, 2018:
Santuário de baleias, for soprano saxophone and strings orchestra, performed at the 24th Bienal de Música Brasileira Contemporânea in 2019 

Prêmio Funarte de Composição Clássica, 2016:
Peace, my heart, for choir a cappella, on a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, performed at the 23rd Bienal de Música Brasileira Contemporânea in 2017

Prêmio Elisabete Anderle de Estímulo à Cultura 2017, which provided partial funding for the production of the CD Ākāśa, released in 2019. 


Festival Tinta Fresca, 2012– Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais;
Phoînix, Bestiarium, Book I, # 2, for orchestra, special mention

New London Chamber Choir's 20th Anniversary Composition Competition:
Sacrifício, for choir a cappella, special mention

Chamber Music Corwin Competition Contest – California,1996, 1st prize:
Madrigal de fogo, for mezzosoprano, strings and percussion.

TRIMALCA (Tribuna de Música Latino-Americana e do Caribe), 1985:
A idade do ferro, for expanded piano, was chosen among three pieces to represent Brazil at the TRIMALCA.

List of Works

Pneuma espiral

2024 – Elder alto recorder


Namazu (Bestiarium, Livro 2, #2) 
2023 - percussion solo (four timpani)


Ouroboros (Bestiarium, Livro 2 #1)

2023  - shakuhachi solo with drone in two double-basses

Sūrya namaskāra (Saudação do sol - Sun salutation)

2023 -  soprano and chamber orchestra

sung in Sanskrit: traditional sun salutation mantra


Rugido de tigre provoca vento (Roar of Tiger Causing Wind)

2022 -  D shakuhachi and 13-string koto (Version I)
2023 -  D shakuhachi and piano (Version II)

Visões de Bashō (Bashō Visions) 

2021 - hichiriki and piano (Version I)

2023 - D shakuhachi and piano (Version II)

Axis mundi

2021 - strings orchestra

2020 - baritone saxophone and percussion (one or two players)

percussion: crotale tree, sizzled cymbal, small tam-tam, large tam-tam, woodblock, bongos,two tambourines, cuíca,

lion's roar, orchestral bass drum

2018 - C shakuhachi amplified with reverberation, and fixed media

Der fluß
2016 - mixed choir a cappella
Sung in German: selected excerpts from Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

Santuário de baleias (Whale sanctuary)

2016 - soprano saxophone and strings orchestra

Thirteen moons on Turtle’s back (Treze luas nas costas da Tartaruga)
(in thirteen movements played without interruption)


          I. Great Spirit moon

          II. Moon of ice crusts on the snow


          III. Moon when finback whales arrive

          IV. Moon of great sand storm

          V. Moon when ponies shed


          VI. Moon of salmon going up the river

          VII. Moo of red blooming lilies

          VIII. Moon of berries ripening in the mountain


          IX. Moon of birds flying south

          X. Moon of falling leaves

          XI. Moon of first frost


          XII. Moon when wolves run together

          XIII. The hard moon


2016 - cello and piano


2015 - viola, piano and percussion (marimba, large tam-tam, djembé)

“…śabdah khe…”

2015 - tenor, soprano saxophone, tuba, violin, double-bass, piano and percussion (cow bells, large tam-tam, orchestral bass drum)
Sung in Sanskrit. Text: excerpts from the “Bhagavad Gītā”

Khímaira (Bestiarium Book I, #3)
2013 - oboe, cello, didjeridu (or bass trombone)

Phoînix (Bestiarium Book I, #2)

2010 - orchestra

Ho-oo (Bestiarium, Book I, #1)
2008 - D shakuhachi, guitar, strings quartet (Version I)

2021 - shakuhachi solo (Version II)

2023 - D shakuhachi and guitar (Version III)


2008 –shakuhachi solo

Peace, my heart
2007 - mixed choir a cappella
sung in English: poem by Rabindranath Tagore The Gardener # LXI

2006 - mixed choir a capella 
sung in Latin: poem Luna, by Luigi Antonio Irlandini 

Trail of tears

2005 - piano and two violins

Porta do sol...nos confins do mundo (Sun door… at world’s end)
2005 - soprano and eight cellos

sung in Sanskrit. Text:  Mantra Gāyatrī

(Partita sopra “Anchor che col partire”)

2002 - six-player recorder ensemble

2002 - brass quintet

2001 tenor recorder solo

Sol das almas

1999 - guitar (Version I)

2012 - piano (Version II)

Sacrifício (Sacrifice)
1998 - mixed choir a cappella (Version I)
sung in Sanskrit; text: Ṛg Veda X, 90 

2003 - two pianos (Version II)

1998 - in two movements, OR each may be performed as a separate piece


          Agnistoma I
          1998  - soprano or tenor, two soprano recorders, didjeridu (Version I)
          sung in Sanskrit; text: 󠇫Ṛg Veda X, 3

          2006 - tenor recorder, two soprano recorders, didjeridu (Version II)

        Agnistoma II
          1998 - four-player recorder ensemble

Cosmologia II

1997 - alto flute, Bb clarinet, French horn

Cosmologia I

1996 - oboe concertante, piccolo flute, Bb clarinet, violin, cello, piano

Madrigal de fogo (Madrigal of fire)
1996 - mezzo-soprano, violin, viola, cello, double-bass, two percussionists

sung in ancient Greek: selected fragments by Heraclitus

Matrimônio do céu e da terra (Marriage of heaven and earth)

1995 - English horn tablā concertanti, two guitars, Tibetan cymbals (Version I) 

1998 - English horn/oboe and percussion concertanti, two strings trios (vn., vla., vc.), Tibetan cymbals (Version II)

1996 - English horn and percussion concertanti, chamber orchestra, Tibetan cymbals (Version III - WITHDRAWN)

Kaly Yuga

1990 four trumpets, four trombones, five percussionists


1990 - three percussionists


1989 - piano and two percussionists

“…a natureza ama esconder-se…” (“…nature loves to hide…”)
1989 - oboe, Bb trumpet, cello

1988 –piano

Quatro cenas d’O Olhar de Orfeu (Four Scenes from O Olhar de Orfeu)

1987 - two actors and four musicians playing several instruments

1986 - jazz orchestra, written for the UNIRio Orquestra de Música Brasileira (Version I)
2010 – piano (Version II)

Livro de Canções (Song Book)


             I – Lamento (Lamentation)

          II - Por mais que eu ame (As much as I love)

          III - Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon)

          IV - Manhãs, tardes e noites (Mornings, afternoons and evenings)

          V - A cidade e o tempo (Time and the city)

(1983-1986) - songs for voice and piano on poems by Luigi Antonio Irlandini


          I - Dronos
          II -Mysterion
          III -Dythirambos


1986 - voice and six+ musicians playing several world instruments


A idade do ferro (The age of iron)
          I - Requiem (Requiem)

          II - Os Trabalhos e os dias (The works and days)

          III - Música da decadência (Music of decadence)

          IV - Londres depois da bomba (London after the bomb)

1985 - expanded piano

De natura
1984 - violin and piano

Vox clamans in deserto

1984 - tenor saxophone and piano (Version I)

1990 - Bb clarinet and piano (Version II)

1998 - French horn and piano (Version III)

2000 - orchestra (Version IV)

Três canções de Fernando Pessoa


            I - Vai alta no céu a lua da primavera

          II - Bendito seja o mesmo sol de outras terras

          II - Para ser grande

1984 - voice and piano
sung in Portuguese on poems by Fernando Pessoa

Summer 84
1984 – piano



1983 –piano


1982 - mixed choir a cappella


1982 four singers (SATB) and piano

sung in Portuguese on a translation of Hermann Hesse's poem Stuffen

A aqueles que vierem depois de mim

1982 - four singers (SATB) and piano

sung in Portuguese on a translation of a poem by Bertold Brecht


may be performed as three separate pieces or as a piece in three movements

          I - Oryx (1979) - piano

          II - Oryx gazella (1980) - violin and piano

          III - Oryx tao (1982) - piano and strings quartet

No vagão a incerteza (In the wagon, uncertainty)
1981 – piano


A cidade maravilhosa (The wonderful city)

1981 -piano

Published Scores

L.A.I. Editio Princeps - Luigi Antonio Irlandini–Editio Princeps
Original publications by the author. All scores are available directly from

Fortissimo Music Publications, Oleiros, Portugal

Porta do Sol... nos Confins do Mundo FMP 82011702


Orpheus Music, Armidale Australia

Partita OMP 142

Orpheus Music, Armidale, Australia

Agnistoma II OMP 062

Partita e Agnistoma II partituras Orpheus Music.png

Published Writings

The music journal websites are sometimes unstable or poorly maintained, and this results in the articles not being always available or found. For this reason, the music journal’s links to the articles listed below are not mentioned here. However, all articles are available at, and can be downloaded from, Irlandini’s page at the following link of the site




IRLANDINI, Luigi Antonio. (2022) 

"Musical Time in Tōru Takemitsu’s November Steps". Per Musi no. 42, General Topics, pp. 1-28, 2022. eISSN 2317-6377. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte. ENGLISH

__________. (2022) "Integration and Opposition of Western and Japanese Traditional Instruments in Tōru Takemitsu’s November Steps". Per Musi no. 42, General Topics, pp. 1-15. eISSN 2317-6377. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte. ENGLISH

__________. (2021) "Dragonslayer: musical composition and mythical thought". Revista Vórtex, vol. 9 no. 3, pp. 1-41, Dezembro, 2021. Dossier SiMN 2021. ISSN: 2317-9937. Universidade do Estado do Paraná, Curitiba. ENGLISH and PORTUGUESE


__________. (2020). “Non-European Musical Instruments and Contemporary Composition”. Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2020. Published on September 3, 2020. ENGLISH

__________. (2018) "Som-silêncio em Concretion 1960 de H. J. Koellreutter". (“Sound-silence in H.J.Koellreutter’s Concretion 1960”). Revista OPUS  vol. 24 no. 2, pp. 22-57, maio/ago 2018. PORTUGUESE.

__________. (2018) “Cosmicizing Sound: Music – Cosmos – Number”. MusMat: Brazilian Journal of Music and Mathematics. Vol. I, No. 2. November 2017 (pp. 25-61) ENGLISH.

__________. (2017) "Expanded Modal Rhythm". Revista Vórtex (Vortex Music Journal) Universidade Estadual do Paraná, Curitiba, vol.5 no.1, 2017 (pp 1-24). ENGLISH.

__________. (2013) “An introduction to the poetics of sacred sound in twentieth-century music”. Revista Vórtex (Vortex Music Journal) Universidade Estadual do Paraná, Curitiba, vol. 1, no. 2, 2013, pp. 65-86. ENGLISH.

__________. (2012) Gagaku, de Messiaen”. Per Musi (UFMG), v. 25, 2012, ISSN 1517-7599,  pp. 49-56. PORTUGUESE translation of “Messiaen’s Gagaku”. 

__________. (2010) “Messiaen’s Gagaku. Perspectives of New Music, v. 48, 2010, ISSN 0031-6016, pp. 193-207. ENGLISH. 





IRLANDINI, Luigi Antonio. (2020) “A autenticidade dos conteúdos antigos e não-ocidentais na composição musical dos séculos XX e XXI".  In: Lia Tomás; Raimundo Rajobac. (Org.). Música, Filosofia e Crítica: Problemas Transversais. 1 ed., Pelotas: ANPPOM, 2020, v. 9, p. 273-314. PORTUGUESE

__________. (2016) "Música e sacrifício". Fronteiras da Música: Filosofia, Estética, Histórica e Política – Lia Tomás (org.) Série Pesquisa em Música no Brasil Vol. 6 - Editora ANPPOM 2015, pp. 301 -323  ISBN - 978-85-63046-05-5. PORTUGUESE.







IRLANDINI, Luigi Antonio Irlandini. (2017) “Oboés e charamelas na música de Luigi Antonio Irlandini”. (“Oboes and shawms in Luigi Antonio Irlandini’s music”) In: Anais do I Encontro Internacional da Associação de Palhetas Duplas, pp. 147-162. PORTUGUESE.


__________. (2014) "Tempo musical cíclico no Miserere mei, Deus de Gregorio Allegri". (“Cyclical Musical Time in Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere mei, Deus”). In: XXIV Congresso da ANPPOM, 2014, São Paulo, SP. Caderno de Resumos e Anais do XXIX Congresso da ANPPOM, 2014, São Paulo, SP. PORTUGUESE. 

__________. (2013) Metagon – Tempo musical espiral”. “Metagon – Spiral musical time”). In: Simpósio de Estética e Filosofia da Música – SEFiM, 2013UFRGS, Porto Alegre, ANAIS: Simpósio de estética e Filosofia da Música – SEFiM v. 1, n. 1, 2013. ISBN 978-85-66106-05-3, pp. 931-946. PORTUGUESE.

__________. (2013) “Ser e devir no tempo musical”. (“Being and becoming in musical time”). In: III Encontro Internacional de Teoria e Análise Musicais, 2013, São Paulo. Anais do Encontro Internacional de Teoria e Análise Musical 3 (ETAM 3) ... São Paulo: ECA-USP, 2013, ISSN 2237-0757, pp. 189-199. PORTUGUESE.

__________. (2012) “O uso de instrumentos tradicionais japoneses em Yūgen de H. J. Koellreutter”. (“The use of traditional japanese instruments in H.J.Koellreutter’s Yūgen”). In: XXII Congresso da ANPPOM, 2012, João Pessoa, PB. Anais do XXII Congresso da ANPPOM, 2012, ISBN 19835981, pp. 1642-1649. PORTUGUESE.

__________. (2012) “Cosmologia da composição e suas interações com a teoria e análise musicais”. (“Cosmology of composition and its interactions with musical theory and analysis”). In: IV Encontro de Musicologia de Ribeirão Prêto, 2012, Ribeirão Preto, SP. Anais do IV Encontro de Musicologia de Ribeirão Prêto, 2012, ISBN 9788577470396, pp. 239-245. PORTUGUESE.

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