Played instruments: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Classic Guitar
Preferred genres: acoustic music, adult contemporary music, ambient, blues, blues-rock, classical music, experimental music, free improvisation, grunge, hard rock, impressionist music, jazz-rock, minimalist music, new age music, pop rock
Spoken languages: Italian, English, French
Sergio Sorrentino is “one of the most important contemporary italian guitarists” (RAI Radio Tre). As a performer he promotes the classical guitar and electric guitar contemporary repertory.
As a composer and improviser his music is based on sonic research and combines elements of contemporary classical music, minimalism, avant-garde, ambient, experimental.
His CD Dream - American Music for Electric Guitar (Mode Records) contains works for electric guitar by John Cage, David Lang, Jack Vees, Elliott Sharp, Alvin Curran (a new piece especially written for this CD), Morton Feldman (world premiere recording on physical CD of "The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar"), Christian Wolff (complete works for solo electric guitar and the world premiere of "Going West"), Larry Polansky, Van Stiefel. Dream was reviewed and highlighted in the New York Times by Seth Colter Walls as one of the "Week’s Best Classical Music Moments”.
He plays with the legend Gavin Bryars as a member of the Gavin Bryars Italian Ensemble.
He studied with Francesco Langone, Angelo Gilardino, Mario Dell'Ara, Leo Brouwer, Mark White (Berklee College of Music Summer Course) and composition with Marco Di Bari. In 2010 he obtained the Academic Guitar Diploma with Honors at the Novara Conservatory, with a thesis on Italian avant-garde guitar music. Sorrentino started his international concert career very early and has held solo concerts and master classes in many important festivals and venues (Yale University, Sprague Hall in New Haven, Spectrum in New York, Festival de Música Contemporánea de La Habana in Casa de Las Américas, Cuba, Italian Cultural Institute of Paris, Sala Biala of the Wilanow Museum (Warsaw, Poland), International Guitar Research Conference/University of Surrey (UK), Vortex in London, Performance Room of Luxembourg, Highscore Festival, Filharmonia Gorzowska Concert Hall, ON Cologne Neue Musik Festival, In Situ Art Society in Bonn, Spectrum in Berlin, Music Society of La Scala Theater of Milan, Goldoni Theater of Venice, Lagonegro International Guitar Festival, Società del Quartetto of Vercelli, Auditorium Renzo Piano of L'Aquila, SpazioMusica Festival of Cagliari, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte di Montepulciano, AngelicA Festival of Bologna, etc.). In 2012 he performed, with the Gorzow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” for guitar and orchestra with Cecilia Rodrigo, the composer's daughter, as a special guest).
He has worked with important composers and musicians like Sylvano Bussotti, Azio Corghi, Bruno Canino, Alda Caiello, John Russell, Machinefabriek, Steven Mackey, Andrzej
Bauer, Marco Angius, Giorgio Battistelli, Carlo Boccadoro, Mauro Bonifacio, I Solisti Aquilani. He plays in duo with the great contemporary music guitarist Magnus Andersson and with the vibraphone player Antonio Caggiano. He has debuted many new guitar solo compositions (in concert and on CD). Many composers including Alvin Curran, Mark Delpriora (Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard), Mauro Montalbetti, Stefano Taglietti, Luca Lombardi, Tom Armstrong (University of Surrey, UK) have written special pieces just for him.
Van Stiefel (West Chester University) composed especially for Sorrentino “Bound”, a Concerto for electric guitar and orchestra.
Sorrentino has recorded for Mode Records, Rai Trade, Creative Sources, Silta Records, Carish, Curci, Sinfonica, Aton Records, Fratto9, Setola di Maiale. He released CDs based on contemporary classical guitar music (Tempus Fugit, pieces by Maderna, Corghi, McKenna Lee, Cifariello Ciardi and others), New Music for electric guitar (Music from a parallel world, pieces by Taglietti, Corghi, Montalbetti, Canino, De Rossi Re, Franco), impro and electronic projects (among others Vignettes with Machinefabriek). Sorrentino also released the Sylvano Bussotti Complete Music for Solo Guitar, including the World Premiere of Popolaresca, an unedited manuscript by Bussotti. As a composer, he has won the First Edition of the International Competition of Guitar Composition “Goffredo Petrassi” of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, with the piece "De Citharae Natura" for solo guitar.
Casa Ricordi and Universal have published his transcriptions for classical and electric guitar of the Azio Corghi’s compositions "Tang' Jok(Guitar)" and "De Nocturno Visu".
He plays baroque guitar and "battente" guitar with Accademia del Ricercare Ensemble and he is founder and member of the TILT Ensemble (Contemporary music). He teaches master class in contemporary classical and electric music for the Viotti Institute in Vercelli.
“The electric guitar in concert music is in wonderful hands with Sergio Sorrentino. He plays with virtuosity, sensitivity, and intelligence. We can look to him to continue the growth of the concert electric guitar’s reputation and the expansion of its repertoire” (Steven Mackey)
“Great Musician” (Ben Verdery -
Yale School of Music)
"Sergio really is one of the best guitarists I have ever met, and I have met a lot of great guitarists! He has accomplished so much, but it is really nothing to what he will do, I predict. Sergio is ambitious, not simply for himself, but for “music.” He really cares about the thing itself; it’s inspiring to be around that kind of energy and dedication. When I compose for the electric guitar, I tend to require sounds that can only be played fingerstyle. At same time, I need guitarists like Sergio who also understand the timbres of the electric guitar, its tone, special techniques, etc. This may seem surprising, but there are still only a few players in the world well versed in all of these things"
"Sergio Sorrentino's version of Dancetracks is excellent! Full of interesting choices, works well with the electronic part, subtle and not over the top. He paces it well and it ends at just the right moment - it does not seem too long, not too short. Sergio Sorrentino is a terrific guitarist and thanks again to Sergio for his terrific work" (Paul Lansky - Princeton University)
"What is quickly apparent in Sergio's playing is that he is in a very rarefied class of musicians. The traditional sense of "instrument" extends way beyond the fingers and strings. His innate musicality flows out, and though whatever devices he and his guitar are hooked to, and he plays the whole system as his instrument. It's never just instrument with added electronics or effects. It's all part of one bigger musical vision of his that takes it all in, and returns it all back, with wonderful results"
(Jack Vees - Yale School of Music)
“Thanks to Sergio Sorrentino for
amazingly playing contemporary
music!” (Leo Brouwer)
“Album of immense artistic stature that opens to the new horizons of classical guitar, building a bridge between the recent past and near future” (Rockerilla - Italian National Music Magazine, about the CD “Tempus Fugit”)