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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

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 2002). As a music professor at the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, UDESC, he teaches counterpoint, harmony, analysis and composition, and has his research activities centered in the interdisciplinary study of circular and spiral musical temporalities, the presence of non-Western and ancient contents in 20th- and 21st century compositional poetics, as well as 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), Per Musi, Opus, and Revista Vórtex (Brazil).

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 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 Luiz Henrique Senise in Rio de Janeiro, 1980-1982

Composition studies: Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini, Firenze, Italy, 1982-1983

B.M. in Piano Performance: 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: California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), 1989-1990, with Stephen Lucky Mosko; 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: University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), 1994-1998 with Brian Ferneyhough (UCSD) and William Kraft; 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

Post Doctoral Researcher: Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE, at UCSB)  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/Chikushinkai, 2013-2017

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

Post-Doctoral Researcher: Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRio), 2023-2024

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


2024 - flauta doce contralto Elder


NAMAZU (Bestiarium, Livro 2, #2) 
2023 - percussão solo (quatro tímpanos) - percussion solo (four timpani)


OUROBOROS (Bestiarium, Livro 2 #1)

2023  - shakuhachi solo (com ou sem drono em dois contrabaixos - with or without drone in two double-basses)

SŪRYA NAMASKĀRA (Saudação do Sol - Sun Salutation)

2023 - soprano e orquestra de câmara - soprano and chamber orchestra

cantado em sânskirot: mantra tradicionais da Saudação do Sol - sung in Sanskrit: traditional Sun Salutation mantra


RUGIDO DE TIGRE PROVOCA VENTO (Roar of Tiger Causing Wind)

2022 - shakuhachi em Ré e koto de 13 cordas (VersãoI) - D shakuhachi and 13-string koto (Version I)
2023 –shakuhachi em Ré e piano (VersãoII)
 - D shakuhachi and piano (Version II)

VISÕES DE BASHŌ (Bashō Visions) 

2021 -hichiriki e piano (Versão I) - hichiriki and piano (Version I)

2023 –shakuhachi em Ré e piano (Versão II) - D shakuhachi and piano (Version II)


2021 –orquestra de cordas - strings orchestra

2020 - saxofone barítono e percussão(um ou dois percussionistas) - baritone saxophone and percussion (one or two players)

percussão: árvore de crótalos, prato sizzled, pequeno tam-tam, tam-tam grande, woodblock, bongos, 2 pandeiros, cuíca,

rugido de leão, bumbo orquestral 

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

lion's roar, orchestral bass drum

2018 –shakuhachi em Dó amplificado e reverberado, com meios fixos - amplified C shakuhachi with reverberation and fixed media

2016 –coro misto a cappella - mixed choir a cappella

texto em alemão: trechos selecionados do romance Siddhartha, de Hermann Hesse
Sung in German: selected excerpts from Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha


2016 –saxofone soprano e orquestra de cordas - soprano saxophone and strings orchestra

THIRTEEN MOONS ON TURTLE’S BACK (Treze luas nas costas da Tartaruga)
2016 -piano e violoncello (cello and piano)


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

“…śabdah khe…”

2015 – tenor, saxofone soprano, tuba, violino, contrabaixo, piano e percussão (sinos de vacas, tam-tam grande, bumbo orquestral)

tenor, soprano saxophone, tuba, violin, double-bass, piano and percussion (cow bells, large tam-tam, orchestral bass drum)
Texto em sânscrito: excertos do Bhagavad Gītā

KHÍMAIRA (Bestiarium Livro I, #3)
2013 -oboé, violoncelo, didjeridu (ou trombone baixo) - oboe, cello, didjeridu (or bass trombone)

PHOÎNIX (Bestiarium Livro I, #2)

2010-orquestra - orchestra

HO-OO (Bestiarium, Livro I, #1)
2008 –shakuhachi em Ré, violão, quarteto de cordas (Versão I) - D shakuhachi, guitar, strings quartet (Version I)

2021 - shakuhachi solo (Versão II) - shakuhachi solo (Version II)

2023 –shakuhachi em Ré e violão (Versão III) - D shakuhachi and guitar (Version III)


2008 –shakuhachi solo

2007 – coro misto a cappella texto em inglês: poema de Rabindranath Tagore The Gardener # LXI 
mixed choir a cappella, sung in English: poem by Rabindranath Tagore The Gardener # LXI

2006 – coro misto a cappella, texto em latim: poema de Luigi Antonio Irlandini

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


2005 - piano e dois violinos  - piano and two violins

2005 -soprano e oito violoncellos - soprano and eight cellos

texto em sânscrito: Mantra Gāyatrī - sung in Sanskrit: Mantra Gāyatrī


2002 – ensemble de flautas doce (seis musicistas) - six-player recorder ensemble

2002 –quinteto 
de metais - brass quintet

2001 – flauta 
doce tenor - tenor recorder solo


1999 - violão (Versão I) - guitar (Version I)

2012 - piano (Versão II) - piano (Version II)

SACRIFÍCIO (Sacrifice)
1998 –coro misto a cappella (Versão I) - mixed choir a cappella (Version I)
texto em sânscrito: Rg Veda X, 90 (Puruṣa Sūkta) - sung in Sanskrit: Rg Veda X, 90 

2003 – dois pianos (Versão II) - two pianos (Version II)

1998 –em duas partes, podem ser tocadas como peças separadas - in two parts, each may be performed as separate pieces

Agnistoma I 1998 – soprano ou tenor, duas flautas doce soprano, didjeridu (Versão I)

soprano or tenor, two soprano recorders, didjeridu (Version I)

2006 –flauta doce tenor, duas flautas doce soprano, didjeridu (Versão II)

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

Agnistoma II
1998 – ensemble de flautas doce (quatro musicistas) - four-player recorder ensemble


1997 – flauta contralto, clarinete em Sib, trompa - alto flute, Bb clarinet, French horn


1996 –oboé concertante, flauta piccolo, clarinete em Sib, violino, violoncelo, piano

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

MADRIGAL DE FOGO (Madrigal of Fire)
1996 – mezzo-soprano, violino, viola, violoncelo, contrabaixo, dois percussionistas

mezzo-soprano, violin, viola, cello, double-bass, two percussionists

texto em grego antigo: fragmentos escolhidos de Heráclito

sung in ancient Greek: selected fragments by Heraclitus

MATRIMÔNIO DO CÉU E DA TERRA (Marriage of Heaven and Earth)

1995 – corno inglês e tablā concertanti, dois violões, címbalos tibetanos (Versão I)

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

1998 –corno inglês/oboé e percussão concertanti, dois trios de cordas (vn., vla., vc.), címbalo stibetanos (Versão II)
English horn/oboe and percussion concertanti, two strings trios (vn., vla., vc.), Tibetan cymbals (Version II)

1996 –corno inglês e percussão concertanti e orquestra de câmara, címbalos tibetanos (Versão III –DESCARTADA)

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


1990 – quatro trompetes, quatro trombones, cinco percussionistas - four trumpets, four trombones, five percussionists


1990 –três percussionistas - three percussionists


1989 –piano e dois percussionistas - piano and two percussionists

“…a natureza ama esconder-se…” (“…nature loves to hide…”)
1989 – oboé, trompete em Sib, violoncelo
 - oboe, Bb trumpet, cello

1988 –piano

QUATRO CENAS D’O OLHAR DE ORFEU(Four Scenes from “O Olhar de Orfeu”)

1987 –dois atores e quarto musicistas tocando diversos instrumentos - two actors and four musicians playing several instruments

AURORA 1986 – orquestra jazz - jazz orchestra


I -Lamento

II - Por mais que eu ame

III -Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

IV -Manhãs, tardese noites

V -A cidade e o tempo
(1983-1986) canções para voz e piano com poemas de Luigi Antonio Irlandini

songs for voice and piano on poems by Luigi Antonio Irlandini


I - Dronos II -Mysterion III -Dythirambos
1986 -Voz e seis+ musicistas tocando diversos instrumentos do mundo - 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 –Músicada decadência (Music of decadence)

IV –Londres depois da bomba (London after the bomb)
1985 – piano expandido - expanded piano

1984 – violino e piano - violin and piano


1984 –saxofone tenor e piano (Versão I) - tenor saxophone and piano (Version I)

1990 –clarinete baixo em Sib e piano (Versão II) - Bb clarinet and piano (Version II)

1998 –trompa e piano (Versão III) - French horn and piano (Version III)

2000 –orquestra (Versão IV) - orchestra (Version IV)


I -"Vai altano céu a lua da primavera"

II -"Bendito seja o mesmo sol de outras terras"

II -"Para ser grande"
1984 –voz e piano - voice and piano
Texto em português: poemas selecionados de Fernando Pessoa - sung in Portuguese on poems by Fernando Pessoa


1983 –piano


1982 –coro misto a cappella - mixed choir a cappella


1982 –quatro cantores (SATB) e piano - four singers (SATB) and piano

texto em português: tradução do poema Stuffen, de Hermann Hesse

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


1982 –quatro cantores (SATB) e piano - four singers (SATB) and piano

texto em português: tradução do poema de Bertold Brecht (sung in Portuguese on a translation of a poem by Bertold Brecht


I -Oryx (1979 –piano) - piano

II -Oryx gazella (1980 –violino e piano ) - violin and piano

III -Oryx tao (1982 –piano e quarteto de cordas) - piano and strings quartet


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

All articles are available at Irlandini's page at
AND in the sites of the respective Music Journals as indicated below.


Articles published in Musical Journals

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. Available at

__________. (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. Available at

__________. (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.


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

__________. (2018) "Som-silêncio em Concretion 1960 de H. J. Koellreutter". Revista OPUS  vol. 24 no. 2, pp. 22-57, maio/ago 2018. Portuguese. Available at 

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

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

__________. (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. Available at

__________. (2012) “Gagaku, de Messiaen”. Per Musi (UFMG), v. 25, 2012, ISSN 1517-7599,  pp. 49-56. Portuguese.  Available at

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



Articles published as a Book Chapter


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

__________. (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. Available at



Articles published in Annals of Congresses


IRLANDINI, Luigi Antonio Irlandini. (2017) “Oboés e charamelas na música de Luigi Antonio Irlandini”
In: Anais do I Encontro Internacional da Associação de Palhetas Duplas, pp. 147-162. Portuguese. Available at


__________. (2014) "Tempo musical cíclico no Miserere mei, Deus de Gregorio Allegri" In: XXIV Congresso da ANPPOM, 2014, São Paulo, SP. Caderno de Resumos e Anais do XXIX Congresso da ANPPOM, 2014, São Paulo, SP. Portuguese, available at 

__________. (2013) “Metagon – Tempo musical espiral” 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. Available at

__________. (2013) “Ser e devir no tempo musical”. 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 Yûgen de H. J. Koellreutter”. In: XXII Congresso da ANPPOM, 2012, João Pessoa, PB. Anais do XXII Congresso da ANPPOM, 2012, ISBN 19835981, pp. 1642-1649. Portuguese. Available at

__________. (2012) “Cosmologia da composição e suas interações com a teoria e análise musicais”. 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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