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Short Biography

Domenico Melchiorre is founder of the instrument development company LUNASON, composer, artistic director of DeciBells and solo timpanist of the Sinfonieorchester Basel. His works are published by Verlag Neue Musik Berlin. Domenico maintains an active collaboration with contemporary composers and regularly conducts performances of new works and contemporary programmes.


Domenico Melchiorre (born in Basel in 1982) has been the solo timpanist for the Basel Symphony Orchestra since the 2007-08 season. He studied percussion at the Freiburg Conservatory with Professors Bernhard Wulff, Taijiro Miyazaki, and Pascal Pons. He taught drum at the Lugano Music Conservatory from 2007 to 2010. Domenico is a three-time winner of the first prize in the Swiss Percussionist Competition and also won the Austrian Percussionist Competition in 2003. As a soloist and member of various ensembles, he regularly performs at many festivals in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Korea, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Australia, and America. Domenico is co-founder and permanent member of the twelve-member drum ensemble ENSEMBLE XII, launched in 2005 at the Lucerne Festival. Pierre Boulez repeatedly conducted ENSEMBLE XII and encouraged the creation of a number of new compositions premiered by the ensemble. In 2009, the ensemble recorded these works in the United States with Steven Schick conducting. The drum duo EARDRUM, consisting of Domenico and Johannes Fischer, received the Carl Seemann Prize in 2006 and won the Drummers and Dialogue Partners competition in Morschen and the Music Competition of the Cultural Association of the Federation of German Industries. Since then, EARDRUM has made several international concert tours. Domenico Melchiorre works closely with contemporary composers and is committed to the performance of new works not only as a soloist but also as a conductor. With his solo programme BAG ON TOUR, he focuses on solo literature for the drum specifically written by various composers for this programme hat can be transported in a carry-on bag. As the artistic director of the ensemble DeciBells, he has premiered the works of contemporary composers on tour in both Europe and Asia. In 2016 he founded LUNASON. A company to research and develop progressive, contemporary instruments. He has been co-director of the international percussion festival "Up Beat" in Lugano, the percussion happenings "What was once the fathers of the vanguard is now the grandfathers", Fritz Hauser's "Schraffur" at Theater Basel, and artistic director of "Percussion&Bytes".

Works for the Instruments of LUNASON

Domenico Melchiorre schreibt Werke, die als Kerninstrumentarium die Musikinstrumente seiner Firma LUNASON enthalten. Dies führt zu einer progressiven, neuartigen Klanglichkeit und schafft eine unverwechselbare musikalische Identität.


Sphaira for sound sculpture and six percussionists Year of composition: 2020 Premiere: Opening concert of the Stadtcasino Basel after its renovation in August 2020 Thales for Sound Sculpture, Cello Quartet, Brass Octet,  three Percussionists and Bassdesmophone  Year of composition: 2021 Commissioned by F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG The work was performed at the 125th anniversary celebration "Celebrate Life" of F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG on 28 September 2021 at the Tinguely Museum Basel. Incircles for Percussion Sextet Year of composition: 2019 Premiere: 13 September 2019, Münsterplatz Basel In the context of the 1000th anniversary of Basel Minster and the opening concert of the Festival for New Music and Architecture ZeitRäume Basel 2019. Airë  for organ, soprano and LUNASON instruments Year of composition: 2023 World premiere: Basel Organ Festival at Stadtcasino Basel, September 2023. Theia for chamber orchestra and LUNASON instruments Year of composition: 2023 World premiere: Stormen Konserthus Bodø, May 2023 Composer in Residence at Bodø BEAT percussion festival 2023

Since 2017, Domenico Melchiorre has been the artistic director of the DeciBells ensemble. Most of his works are premiered by DeciBells.

With their novel, progressive instrumentation, the music ensemble presents itself as a distinctive sounding body. Their innovative instruments were developed and produced by the company LUNASON. These instruments give DeciBells a unique profile.  

Bag on Tour

"Bag on tour" was born out of Domenico Melchiorre's desire to be able to travel as a percussion soloist with his own colourful programme like a violinist or a flutist. To be more precise: without a van or a truck. Over the years, composers from all over the world have written solo works for this project and so "Bag on tour" has grown and become richer with many exciting works for this solo repertoire. The instrumental limitation and the therefore necessary compositional use of resources gave the project a special originality and a unique flexibility as a programme in the hand luggage of an aeroplane. A selection of works written for Bag on Tour and premiered by Domenico Melchiorre: Alberto Carretero (*1985) Metàforas for percussion and live electronics George Christofi (*1983) L'âme du vin for one Percussionist Rocco de Cia (*1982) Gate 5 per un percussionista e la sua valigia Yair Klartag (*1985) All day I hear the noise of waters for Percussion Set-up Juan de Dios Magdaleno (*1984) Coyolxauhqui for 1 percussionist Francesco Maria Paradiso (*1960) Batto quattro per sei claves Antonin Servière (*1977) Le jour ou la nuit pour percussions e bande

Eardrum Percussion Duo

The Eardrum Percussion Duo was founded by Johannes Fischer and Domenico Melchiorre at the end of 2005. In addition to the traditional repertoire for percussion duo, they both work to expand this repertoire with new commissioned works. In 2006 they received the Carl Seemann Prize as well as the 1st prize at the German University Competition. Furthermore, they are prize winners of the music competition of the Kulturverein im Bund Deutscher Industrie. The percussion duo Eardrum has had several concert tours in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Italy, China, Mongolia, Korea, Vietnam. In 2007, Eardrum commissioned works from composers such as Nicolaus A. Huber, Gerald Eckert, Jeffrey Trevino and Dieter Mack and performed them at concerts all over the world.

Ensemble XII

Domenico Melchiorre was a founding member of Ensemble XII. It was formed in 2004 as a percussion group for the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra under the direction of Pierre Boulez and with the percussionists of the Ensemble Intercontemporain. At that time they performed Notations for Orchestra by Pierre Boulez. Following the success of Notations, the section was asked to return to the Academy in 2005 to perform Varese's works alongside a large percussion work by Yan Maresz entitled Festin. The enthusiasm for this performance was the impetus for the group's residency at the Lucerne Festival in 2006, 2007 and 2008. During this time, the group commissioned works under the name Lucerne Festival Percussion Group from Dai Fujikura, Philippe Schoeller, Liza Lim, Fritz Hauser, Yann Robin, Johannes Fischer and Gary Berger. All of these works were composed for twelve musicians on a large set of tuned and untuned percussion instruments that remained essentially the same from piece to piece. The group also held two workshops for advanced young composers from around the world. These six works were polished in Lucerne and provided an invaluable opportunity for students to learn the intricacies of percussion composition. The group's work with Fritz Hauser on his piece Bricco Lu led to experimental performances of structured improvisation in a variety of settings. Hauser worked closely with Ensemble XII to explore the potential of a 12-piece percussion troupe and the intricacies of the extended techniques of their unique instrumentation. Ensemble XII has performed these and other works at the Lucerne Festival, the Austrian Klangspuren Festival and the Essen Philharmonic in Germany.

Empfehlungsschreiben von Pierre Boulez

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