«Suite “colori”» by Mario Bertoncini: From Performance to Archival Research


  • Luisa Santacesaria Tempo Reale and Università di Firenze
  • Valentina Bertolani University of Birmingham and Carleton University


Mario Bertoncini, Archives, Experimental music, Prepared piano, Music heritage


This article examines several distinctive elements and some intrinsic issues in Mario Bertoncini’s oeuvre using the work «Suite “colori”» for prepared piano as a case study. Indeed, Suite “colori” is an emblematic work showing a wide array of preparations and objects that Bertoncini created and devised throughout his artistic life. In the first part, pianist and musicologist Luisa Santacesaria details her close work with Bertoncini to learn how to play this piece and reflects on this multi-year process. In the final part musicologist Valentina Bertolani reflects on the fluidity of Bertoncini’s material heritage and the constitution of Bertoncini’s archive. With this article the researchers aim to contribute to the current conversation on archival practices for twentieth and twenty-first century musics, committed to understand archival formations as communal and shared responsibilities.



2023-06-30 — Updated on 2023-06-30