Silvio Palmieri received his musical training at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, where he studied composition and analysis with Gilles Tremblay and counterpoint and orchestration with Clermont Pépin. Many of his works were written for the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+), his number one performer and commissioner, as he himself was fond of saying. Among the notable fruit of this special partnership with ECM+ were his opera Elia, premiered in collaboration with the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal in 2004 and a finalist for the prestigious Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation composition prize in 2005; Poesiole Notturne for soprano and chamber orchestra, based on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Trois sonnets, commissioned with support from Radio-Canada in 1997; Versetti, a trio written for the 2003 choreographic seminars of the contemporary dance company Compagnie Flak; and Vers ce Silence, written for Generation (Ateliers et Concert) in 1995.
In addition, he wrote numerous preludes for piano, which have been performed by various renowned pianists, Florilège for the Alizé flute ensemble (1998), Quatuor no. 1 for the Molinari Quartet (2007), the Torquato Tasso monologue for voice and piano for Chants Libres (2008), incidental music for TNM’s production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Marc Béland (2011), the Versetto violin concerto for the Ensemble baroque de Montréal (2011), the Symphonie portuaire Enfant-phare (1999) and, more recently, Ossessione, for solo piano and chamber orchestra, premiered by Louise Bessette and the SMCQ ensemble (2015).
Other works include scores for Josette Bélanger’s video Les Années Jules-Félix and Marcel Duchamp’s film Anémic Cinéma, along with electroacoustic works such as Dada Musik (a large electroacoustic fresco for the Radio-Canada program Le Navire Night), La Liberté en Cage for the ECM+’s event Cage en Liberté and no. 59, in collaboration with Marc Hyland, for Vox Novus (60X60), in Los Angeles (2004).
Silvio Palmieri, who delighted in exploring multiple avenues of creation, describing himself as an apprentice poet, also worked as a visual artist (illustration for the magazine Circuit-Québec, Vol. 10, No. 1), occasionally exhibiting multidisciplinary works in various Montréal art galleries.