Ludovico was born in Turin, Italy, and introduced to the piano by his music-loving, piano-playing mother while his older sister introduced him to the liberating 1960s worlds of Hendrix, Dylan and the Stones. At 16, he was studying classical composition and by the late 1970s learning under avant-garde titan Luciano Berio.
His music can be described as a late, post-rock, post-classical part of the tradition crudely labelled minimalism. It can appear in the stacked-up modern playlists that streaming algorithms generate alongside anyone from Richter and Johannsen, to Vangelis, Newman and Morricone. His music is as tough as nails as it is tender and hyper-soft, sentimental but with a certain steel at the center, and its combination of strength and fragility makes it very versatile. It can change shape depending on where it plays and for whatever reason.
Einaudi’s latest, ninth album Elements has become a series of pieces that are themselves inspired by the idea of the elements, from the ancient classical Greek ideas to the Russian artist Wassily Kadinsky and his theories on the spiritual elements of art. There are twelve pieces, overlapping sequences of three and four pieces, that create their own internal rhythms and currents rather than any cozy nostalgia for the 20th century record.