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Debora Petrina

Composer, songwriter, pianist, keyboard player, guitar player, and also dancer, performer and writer, "synthetizes in a visionary style her oblique and sensual songwriting and the experimentations of avant-garde jazz-rock and electronics." (Enrico Bettinello, Blow Up).


Winner of several Italian Awards (the Ciampi Award among them) and producer in full of her music, she has recorded six albums as a songwriter (with David Byrne, John Parish, Jherek Bischoff and Elliott Sharp among the guests) which go from piano-voice to symphonic music, to rock orchestration, to electronics.

She is in four albums as a piano performer of contemporary music (Morton Feldman and Sylvano Bussotti).


She is the only Italian songwriter (together with Carmen Consoli) whose songs David Byrne has published in his favourite radio-playlist.

She has re-composed a piece by John Cage, whose score is now worldwide published by Edition Peters (NYC) - publishers of John Cage's music and of a big section of classic and contemporary repertoire – with the double name Cage/Petrina and the new title Roses of the Day.


The piano/voice album which takes the name from Cage/Petrina's song Roses of the Day has been chosen by Paolo Fresu to launch his label dedicated to voices.

Petrina's interpretation of Only, piece for solo voice by Morton Feldman contained in this album, has been included by Chris Villars in his Morton Feldman Page, world point of reference for all concerning the American composer's works.


Together with Paolo Fresu, on 2016, Petrina has also recorded an album published by one the most important Italian publishing groups, La Repubblica, for its 40th anniversary.


She has presented in a solo performance her latest album Be Blind in New York, Washington DC, Istanbul, Ethiopia, and she has previously played in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, La Havana, London, Berlin, Koln, Madrid, Strasbourg, Tokyo and Osaka.


On 2016 she is a main character with Nicholas Isherwood in two contemporary operas written by Giovanni Mancuso and produced by Teatro La Fenice in Venice and Teatro Comunale of Treviso.

On 2018 she was one of the four performers of Tastieren! by the same composer, a piece for an obsolete keyboards orchestra, premiered by Centro d'Arte of Padua.


On 2018 the Teatro Stabile of Veneto gives to her and to the writer Tiziano Scarpa (winner of the Strega Award) a creative residence to produce the show Le cose che succedono di notte (“Things that happen at night”) for which she has composed music and songs being the only musician on scene.


As a performer of contemporary music she has recorded in the United States and Europe four albums of unpublished piano works by Morton Feldman and Sylvano Bussotti, for OgreOgress and Stradivarius, and she has been part of A Call for Silence curated by Nicolas Collins for Sonic Arts Network – UK.


She has played premieres by Nino Rota, Bruno Maderna, Camillo Togni, Sylvano Bussotti, John Cage, Eunice Katunda, Morton Feldman at Theater la Fenice, Mills College (Oakland), Conway Hall in London, Cini Foundation, Teatro Fondamenta Nuove in Venice, Italian Institute of Strasbourg, Festival Musica/Realtà and Spazio Oberdan in Milan, Theater of Como, for Amici della Musica and Centro d’Arte of Padua, at Biennale of Young Artists of the Mediterranean in Rome, at RSI (Italian Swiss Radio) and Italian National Radio.


She has collaborated and played with David Byrne, John Parish, Elliott Sharp, Jherek Bischoff, Mike Sarin, Nicholas Isherwood, Paolo Fresu, Mario Brunello, Sylvano Bussotti, Roberto Citran, Tiziano Scarpa.


She has conducted a cycle of broadcasts at RSI (Italian Swiss Radio) and she has been Karol Armitage's assistant during her direction of the International Contemporary Dance Festival at the Biennale Venice.


She is also dancer and performer: she has danced in international projects by Iris Erez and Sara Wiktorowicz, and she has directed She-Shoe, a solo dance, voice, sounds and video performance whose videoclip has been invited by the International Dance Film Festival in Yokohama, Japan.

She has danced for the Biennale Venice 2013 and she has collaborated with SaMPL, Sound and Computing Music, in Padua.


Nel 2020 she should have played in a solo performance at IIC of New York and Budapest, at Washington DC, in Germany, in Luxemburg, in Liège and in Bruxelles, and more at Stresa Festival, Time in Jazz Festival and Venice Jazz Festival.

She has been able to play in presence at Salone Internazionale del Libro of Turin, at Turin Jazz Festival, al Theater of Avigliana for RivoliMusica and at Centro d'Arte of Pauda, and she was part of the Satie Pandémie organized by Miela Theater in Trieste.


In occasion of the International Jazz Day organized by University of Padua, she has been invited to partecipate to the Pansodia project which has given birth to a gigantic digital mosaic about the condition of the artists during the lockdown.


On October 14 her fifth album as a songwriter has been published, L'ETA DEL DISORDINE ("The age of disorder"), arranged with Marco Fasolo (I Hate My Village, Jennifer Gentle). The videoclip of the first single, Ginnastica (now available on YouTube), has been presented in preview on TgSky24, and there is another videoclip now, Begonie.

On September 1st another album has been published, by zOaR Records (Elliott Sharp, NYC) and it has triggered the enthusiasm of Terry Riley: the NUOVOMONDO SYMPHONIES, written and recorded with composer Giovanni Mancuso, tell about an imaginary exploration to unknown and fabulous places. The album has had the prèmiere in Teatro Valli, Reggio Emilia, with and enthusiastic review by Il Giornale della Musica.


Petrina is also a writer. She has just published a book, Se li sogni sono segni ("If you dream them they are signs") with a long afterword by Tiziano Scarpa. Some tales written by her has been published by the literary magazines "Il primo amore" and "Stanza 251".

Debora Petrina
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