He trained culturally and musically in the cities of Genoa (Conservatorio N. Paganini), Bologna (Alma Mater University) and Rome (conducting with Franco Ferrara), perfecting himself with Aldo Clementi and Franco Donatoni, with whom he subsequently embarked on a fruitful collaboration that led him to conduct many of their works in first performances.
From 1984 to 1988, he collaborated with Luciano Berio.
Personalities from the 20th century musical world have written about his work and conducting activities, including Luciano Berio, Massimo Mila, Sandro Cappelletto, Jean-Noel von der Weid, Michelangelo Zurletti, Dino Villatico and Renzo Cresti.
(Luciano Berio RCA RL711140, 1986) "Flavio Scogna: a musician who contributes responsibly - and as much as ever - to the varied climate of young Italian music".
(Massimo Mila, La Stampa no. 248 of 22/10/1987) on his opera "Anton" ...I must say that when I learned that the subject of the opera was Webern's death, I almost had an accident...a drama of such realism and suspense that Cavalleria rusticana is laughable in comparison...Under this recited and mimed plot runs a completely autonomous score, which allows us to identify Scogna as a very well-prepared and promising modern composer. He conducts it himself with effectiveness and confidence.
(Sandro Cappelletto from the presentation notes of the CD RCA CCD 3004) ... "Considering his Ligurian origins, the pertinent sobriety of the titles chosen by Scogna to baptize his works should come as no surprise. No adjectives, no images, not even metaphors; just a single word, instead, always dense with history and meaning... The reading of the scores is enthralling: there is almost no bar devoid of signs of expression, immune to deliberate timbral effects. An ancient vocabulary is combined with an entirely contemporary research into the possibilities, evidently not yet fully explored, of the instruments. But there appear, frequently, other dips backwards: the tale willingly bends towards the lines of counterpoint, understood as a well-known, secure horizon within which to lead and risk the daring of instrumental invention. Perfectly known and dosed by one who, in addition to composing, also works as a conductor, with remarkable results, both for the most enigmatic of the classics (Schubert, for example), and when dealing with new scores...
Michelangelo Zurletti RCA RL 71140 1986) "...difficult to find attractions elsewhere: the pleasure of narrating seems extinct. Still, we sometimes find it. In Scogna, for example. Thirty years old, a Ligurian, conductor as well as composer, Scogna is one of the most performed young composers...The materials arranged here testify to a working tension and a taste for craftsmanship that in turn testifies to the nature of the debt to that great craftsman that is Berio, plus there is a taste for clear polyphonies, the canon and contrapuntal games that are rooted in Flemish history.
(Dino Villatico 1987 Lp Pan Prc S20-56)..." Scogna, in short, belongs to that type of musician who likes to say a lot with a little...he often seems to weave spidery threads that have the consistency, however, of silver. Cultural roots or affinities can be sought far away, I don't know, Ockeghem or better, Josquin Desprez... This music obsessed with order and clean counterpoint is a music that needs that order and cleanliness to measure otherwise unutterable throbs and breaths. To them, however, it also entrusts the secret of its own elusive sweetness."
(Renzo Cresti)... "Musicality and a sense of form are also - obviously - to be found in the conductor Scogna, as committed as ever to spreading the Italian music of recent years. The list of world premieres is very long, demonstrating Scogna's constant commitment to enhancing today's music, a list that is very diverse in terms of compositional styles; evidently Scogna is good not only at technically mastering scores with different layouts, but also at entering into them emotionally, participating in the act of communication. The first performances concern historical maestros such as Petrassi, Berio, Clementi, Donatoni, Pennisi and even Vandor, Guarnieri, Manzoni up to composers of more recent generations, demonstrating that Scogna does not stop at a consolidated style but loves to traverse today's Italian music, so much so that with his catalogue of first performances one could make a history of Italian music from the early 20th century to today!
At this level, only the extraordinary figure of Boulez comes to mind, obviously with due generational distances; however, Scogna's personality, with his preparation and the path he has taken, stands out above the national panorama and beyond, precisely by virtue of his being a total musician, a rarity that is increasingly needed in the asphyxiated panorama of music 'professionals' and therefore a highly appreciable rarity/quality.
In 1995, he was called upon to conduct the opening concert of the centenary of the International Festival of Biennial Music in Venice with Adriano Guarnieri's opera "Quare tristis" on a text by Giovanni Raboni with the Filarmonica Toscanini.
In 1998, with the radio opera "L'Arpa Magica" on a text by Edoardo Sanguineti, he represented RAI at the Prix Italia.
From 2000 to 2005, he worked alongside Luigi Pestalozza on Novecentomusica with the Fondazione Orchestra Cantelli in Milan.
He has collaborated with the most prestigious names in Italian theatre and cinema, including: Gabriele Lavia,
Oreste Lionello, Ugo Pagliai, Antonio Pierfederici, Alessandro Haber, Cosimo Cinieri,
Claudio Santamaria, Sandro Lombardi, Enzo Decaro, Franco Di Francescantonio and writers
such as Andrea Camilleri, Edoardo Sanguineti and Gina Lagorio.
From his catalogue, we recall operatic works such as "Anton" (performed at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo in 1987 and in 1990 at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with 14 consecutive performances), "La Memoria Perduta" commissioned and performed in 2002 by the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome with a libretto by Gina Lagorio and the direction of Pier'Alli, "Wir bauen eine stadt" together with Luciano Berio (Vienna, Konzerthaus 1988), theatrical works for RAI radio: "Memorie" (RAI Radiotre Commission 1997), "L'arpa magica" (opera presented by RAI at the Prix Italia 1998) on a text by Edoardo Sanguineti and sketches by Emanuele Luzzati with the voice of Oreste Lionello.
The remainder of his musical production (solo, chamber, symphonic and concert) has been performed in major venues, theatres, Italian and International Festivals, including, Biennale di Venezia, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Festival dei Due Mondi di Spoleto, Festival di Alicante, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.
Parallel to composition, he has devoted himself to conducting in both the traditional and operatic repertoire (with the rediscovery of important works from the past for which he has often made his own revisions: Pergolesi, Boccherini, Rossini), as well as in the repertoire of twentieth-century and contemporary music with an impressive number of first performances for which he is considered one of the reference conductors of the major living and historical twentieth-century composers, including Satie and Rota (whose works "I due timidi" and "La Notte di un nevrastenico" he recorded the world premiere of). Among the hundreds of conducted world premieres (many of which were dedicated to him) of the greatest composers of the 20th century are Aldo Clementi, Luciano Berio, Franco Donatoni, Cristobal Halffter, Luis De Pablo, Azio Corghi, Ennio Morricone, Mikis Theodorakis, Manuel De Sica, Francesco Pennisi, Ivan Vandor, Marco Frisina, Giacomo Manzoni, Sylvano Bussotti, and countless composers of the latest generations.
He has collaborated with the Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Radiotelevisione Spagnola RTVE, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia, , Orchestra del Teatro Lirico Verdi di Trieste, Orchestra Haydn, Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, I Pomeriggi Musicali, Filarmonica Toscanini, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy, Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra, Raanana Sinfonietta of Israel, Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, together with prestigious ensembles such as Alternance in Paris, Ensemble Apostrophe (of the Philharmonie in Nice), Accademia Bizantina, the Instrumental Ensemble of the Teatro alla Scala, and as Principal Guest Conductor with several orchestras, including the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Fondazione Cantelli, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Bari and the Ensemble Contemporaneo of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
In 2007 for the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia he conducted the Italian premiere of Bussotti's opera 'Silvano, Sylvano' directed by Francesco Micheli, in 2017 at the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna he conducted and recorded (in a world premiere recording for Brilliant Classics) Pergolesi's "La Serva Padrona" in the critical revision and reconstruction by Francesco Degrada and, finally, in 2019, for the inauguration of the Pergolesi/Spontini Festival in Jesi, the world premiere of Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco's "Aucassin et Nicolette.
His rich discography includes recordings for BMG (RCA Red Seal), Brilliant Classics, Curci, Ricordi, Fonit Cetra, Tactus, Bongiovanni and Dynamic, whose works by Schnittke received the highest rating (10) from the prestigious magazine Répertoire in 2000.
In 2013 he was unanimously awarded the De Sica Prize for Classical Music by the Accademia del Cinema Italiano.
He is a Knight Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.