Corghi was born in Cirié, near Turin, on 9 March 1937. Until 1950 he divided his studies between painting and music.
In 1956 he enrolled at the Conservatory of Turin, where he attended classes of piano and music history held by M. Zanfi and Massimo Mila respectively. In 1962 he moved to Milan and attended the Conservatory of Milan, studying composition, choral music, conducting (choral and orchestral) and vocal polyphonic composition with Bruno Bettinelli, A. Bortone, A. Votto and G. Farina respectively.
In 1967 he won the Ricordi-Rai competition with his Intavolature
, which was performed at La Fenice in Venice.
He taught at the Conservatory of Turin, then at the Conservatory of Milan. In 1973 the Fondazione Rossini of Pesaro and Casa Ricordi entrusted him with the preparation of the critical edition of Rossini
's L'italiana in Algeri
For the 1989-1990 season, Blimunda
, an opera with a libretto by the composer and José Saramago, was staged at La Scala. A jury chaired by Goffredo Petrassi awarded him the "Omaggio a Massimo Mila" prize for his teaching activities.
For the Rossini bicentenary he composed Suite dodo
, after Rossini's Péchés devieillesse
and his ballet Un petit train de plaisir
was performed in Pesaro and broadcasted live throughout the world.
On 31st October 1993 Divara, Wasser und Blut
, a music drama with libretto by Corghi and Saramago, was staged in Münster. He was appointed academician of Santa Cecilia, coordinator of courses and professor of composition at the Accademia Petrassi.
On the invitation of the 2nd "Umberto Micheli" International Piano Competition he composed the concerto study "...ça ira!". For the Donizetti centenary celebrations he was commissioned to transcribe some ariettas from Nuits d'été à Pausilippe
. On a commission from La Scala, he composed Tat'jana
, an opera based on Chekhov. In 2000, on a commission from the Rai Orchestra, he composed Amori incrociati,
after the Decameron
in a version by Aldo Busi. In 2001, for the Städtische Bühnen Münster he wrote Cruci-Verba
, a reading and comment from Saramago's Gospel according to Jesus Christ
on Liszt's Via Crucis
For the Bellini centenary he composed ...malinconia, ninfa gentile
for the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania.
The Accademia di Santa Cecilia chaired by Luciano Berio commissioned him to write De paz e de guerra
, on a text by Saramago. On 8th July 2004, on a commission from the Accademia Chigiana, his ¿Pia?,
a music-drama dialogue freely based on Marguerite Yourcenar's Dialogue in the Swamp was produced at the Teatro dei Rozzi in Siena. In 2005 he wrote Il dissoluto assolto
, a one-act piece of music theatre with a libretto by himself and Saramago, a co-production of the Teatro San Carlos of Lisbon and La Scala in Milan.