Born in Venice, studied at Venice Conservatory. After finishing his classical studies, he graduated at Venice (History of Music) and Milan (Linguistics) Universities. Important to his development were his meetings with Bruno Maderna and Luigi Nono.
Ambrosini has composed vocal, instrumental, electronic works, operas and ballets, all characterized by his extensive studies in instrumental research and by his personal style.
Ambrosini has received various prizes and has taken part in international festivals such as the Festival of Contemporary Music of the Venice Biennale; of that of Strasbourg, La Rochelle, Brussels, Helsinki, Huddersfield, Stockholm, Vancouver, Montreal, Avignon, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sidney, Ludwigsburg; as well as series of concerts at the IRCAM in Paris, at La Scala in Milan, at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and the Gaudeamus in Amsterdam, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, the Musical Autumn in Warsaw, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the season of the Munich Philharmonic and Radio France’s series “Perspectives du XX siècle”, etc.
Ambrosini has received several commissions, principally from the Venice Biennale, the Italian Radio (RAI), the West German Radio (WDR), the French Ministry of Culture, the Festival of Nations, Milano Musica and several other theatres and institutions.
His music has been conducted, among the others, by Riccardo Muti, Lev Markiz, D. Masson, P. Mefano, G. Nowak, Robert HP Platz, Y. Prin, Stefan A. Reck, Ed Spanjaard.
In 1976 Ambrosini began to take an interest in computer music at the Padua Center for Computational Sonology (CSC). He also collaborated with Luciano Berio’s Tempo Reale Institute. Since 1979 Ambrosini has led the Ex Novo Ensemble and since 1983 also the CIRS, International Center for Instrumental Research, both of which he founded in Venice.
In 1985 Ambrosini was the first non-French composer to receive the Prix de Rome and to stay at the Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome. In the same year he was chosen to represent Italy over the European Year of Music. In 1986 he was chosen to represent Italy at the UNESCO Paris Rostrum.
His recent compositions include the St. Mark Passion (1999-2000), commissioned by the Accademia Filarmonica Romana and RAI Tre (Italian Public Radio Broadcasting) to mark the Roman Catholic Jubilee (Cd Stradivarius STR 33610); Canzon XIII, Canzon I, Sonata XIX (1998), transcriptions for large orchestra of works by Renaissance composer G. Gabrieli, conducted by Riccardo Muti at La Scala in Milan; Pandora Librante (1997), an operatic-symphonic ballet in two acts for soprano, mezzosoprano and orchestra, inspired by the works of Italo Calvino; Frammenti d’Acque (1996), a sound play in seven stations to commemorate the flooding in Venice and Florence in 1966; Orpheus,The Nth (1984), an opera commissioned by the Aterforum; The Last Judgement (1996), a comic opera and Casanova’s Missing Notebook (1998), an opera-ballet, both of which have a libretto by Ambrosini himself; Proverbs Of Hell (1990-1991), a cantata for soloists, piano, percussion, choir and large orchestra, commissioned by the RAI (Italian Public Broadcasting); Susanna (1995/96), an oratorio for soloists, small choir and Renaissance instruments, commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture.