Alessandro Baricco is a popular Italian writer, director and performer. His novels have been translated into a wide number of languages.
After receiving degrees in philosophy (under Gianni Vattimo) and piano, he published essays on music criticism: Il genio in fuga (1988) on Gioachino Rossini, and L'anima di Hegel e le mucche del Wisconsin ("Hegel's Soul and the Cows of Wisconsin", 1992) on the relation between music and modernity. He subsequently worked as musical critic for La Repubblica and La Stampa, and hosted talk shows on Rai Tre.
Baricco debuted as a novelist with Castelli di rabbia (translated as Lands of Glass) in 1991.
In 1993 he co-founded a creative writing school in Turin, naming it Scuola Holden after J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield. The Scuola Holden hosts a variety of courses on narrative techniques including screenwriting, journalism, videogames, novels and short stories.
In the following years his fame grew enormously throughout Europe, with his works topping the Italian and French best-seller lists. Larger recognition followed the adaptation of his theatrical monologue Novecento into the movie The Legend of 1900, directed by Academy Award-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore.
He has also worked with the French band Air, releasing "City Reading", a mix of the band's music with Baricco's reading of his novel City.
He has directed the film Lezione 21 on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and its critical reception.
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