Sergio Cervetti left his native Uruguay in 1962 to study composition in the United States. In 1966 he attracted international attention when he won the chamber music prize at the Caracas, Venezuela Music Festival. After studying with Ernst Krenek and Stefan Grové and graduating from Peabody Conservatory, he was subsequently invited to be Composer-in-Residence in Berlin, Germany in 1969-70.
From 1972 to 1997 and 2007-08, Cervetti was Master Teacher of Music at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. During this time he composed over 150 works for the concert stage, dance, theater, and film, many of them commissioned, recorded, and performed in venues and festivals in the United States and abroad.
Cervetti’s works range from the acoustic to the electronic, and deftly blend folk elements, European tradition, and minimalist aesthetics. After an early brush with 12 tone and minimalism, imbuing minimalism with melody, for example, in early works such as Guitar Music (the bottom of the iceberg),Madrigal III and …from the earth…, his current approach is free and flexible. As much of a traditionalist as an innovator, he continues to straddle musical worlds with new works that showcase a post-modern synthesis of techniques from diverse periods as well as his rich South American heritage.