Born in Bergamo, Stefano Gervasoni studied the piano and, following the advice received from Luigi Nono at the age of 17, studied composition at the Giuseppe Verdi conservatory in Milan with Luca Lombardi. Gervasoni continued his studies in composition with Niccolo Castiglioni, whose spiritual and poetic stature Gervasoni admired, and with Azio Corghi, under whom he acquired a deeper understanding of the profession of composer. Later, Gervasoni studied with György Kurtág in Hungary in 1990, then at IRCAM in 1992. His encounters with Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös, and Helmut Lachenmann—Gervasoni worked with Lachenmann for a month in Vienna— were essential in his training.
It is important to note that as a young musician, Gervasoni turned towards Nono in an Italian context where other personalities such as Berio, Sciarrino, and Donatoni were present. It seems that Gervasoni sought that worrying creativity from the author of Prometeo that questions the very meaning of music beyond overly systematized or mannered languages, even in the sonorous sophistication of a Sciarrino and works like Berio’s Coro were important for him in the beginning. This is why the later meeting with Lachenmann was so important, as if the German composer, himself a student of Nono, could transmit the thoughts of his teacher, but with even more rigorous artisanal expectations. His encounter with Grisey was also essential, even though Gervasoni has remained far from the spectral school, whose systematic character he does not like, like that, later, of Holliger, whi whom he has obvious sympathies.
Stefano Gervasoni lived in Paris from 1992 to 1995 and was a resident at the Académie de France in Rome from 1995 to 1996. He took part in the Forum Junger Komponisten in Cologne and in the Internationales Komponistenseminar in Vienna in 1994. In 1998 he was invited to give a seminar at Darmstadt and in 2001 to teach a master class in Royaumont. In 2005, he received a scholarship from DAAD, making it possible to spend a year in Berlin. The following year, he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris.
His catalogue includes over 60 works that range from solos to large orchestral works in addition to numerous works for voice. His comic opera, Limbus-Limbo premiered at the Musica festival in Strasbourg in 2012.