Carlo Siega - Contemporary Guitar

The 'Composing Performer’. Creative approaches and re-interpretation practice after the premiere

This research is based on an emerging practice in classical contemporary music that questions the role of the interpreter exclusively as an interpreter of existing scores. My aim is to expand the engagement and scope of interpreters in creative interpretation and decision-making beyond what is initially provided by the written score.

To this end, I challenge two common practices: compositions which, or composers who, use new technologies as ‘extended’ tools for controlling performers while depriving them of their own artistic freedom on stage; and traditional collaborative approaches between composer and performer that are merely concerned with creating a new repertoire without considering the possibility of recreating a work after the premiere.

In my methodological approach, I combine theories of historically-based performance practices in the field of classical contemporary music with non-academic approaches taken from pop music culture, such as mash-up and remixes. In each case study, I will look for creative ways to re-create existing works, for example, by transforming purely musical artworks into intermedial ones using new technologies.

For my research it will be necessary to stimulate performers’ extra-instrumental competencies in relation to new technologies, improvisation, and compositional thinking within the performative context, to re-evaluate existing approaches to interpretation practice in New Music, and to encourage and promote the creativity of performers beyond purely instrumental and performative qualities.

By doing so, I aim to reshape the understanding of a performer’s tasks and identity, and to develop a new form of engaged performance practice, as well as new potential for (extended) interpretation.

First supervisor: Univ. Barbara Lüneburg, ABPU
Second supervisor: Prof Dr. Karlheinz Essl, mdw.


In 2018 Carlo Siega won the renowned Kranichsteiner Music Prize for interpretation at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music and performs as a soloist and with ensembles throughout Europe.

He has performed in the La Fenice theatre opera season, in the Divertimento Ensemble - Rondò, at the M. Del Monaco Theater and TransArt Festival in Italy, in SMOG, Nuits de Beau Tas, Ear To the Ground Festival and Kunstenfestival des Arts in Belgium, at the Izlog Festival in Croatia, at the Neue Oper Vienna in Austria, at the Time for Music Festival in Finland, the Warsaw Autumn in Poland, Festival Ensems, Mixtur Festival, VANG Festival, SIRGA Festival and Universidad de Léon in Spain, SoundSpaces Festival in Sweden, NUMU Festival, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

Siega collaborates with performers and composers and premieres works by internationally renowned composers. His artistic partners include composers such as Giorgio Colombo Taccani, Chaya Czernowin (Israel/USA), Klaus Lang (Austria), Simon Løffler (Denmark), Pauline Oliveros (USA), Stefan Prins (Belgium), Rebecca Saunders (UK/Germany), Alexander Schubert (Germany), Simon Steen-Andersen (Denmark), and Frédéric Verriéres (France).

After completing his music diploma and his Master’s in classical guitar with distinction at the Music Academy in Venice, Carlo Siega continued his studies first at the Music Academy Claudio Abbado in Milan and then at the ICTUS Academy and the KASK of Gent in Belgium under the direction of Tom Pauwels. In addition, he attended masterclasses with artists such as Elena Càsoli and Yaron Deutsch, and completed his philosophy studies with distinction at Ca ’Foscari University, Venice. He is currently working on an artistic research doctorate at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz.