2014 has been a defining year for Francesco, with debuts with major orchestras all around the globe and a much-praised solo recording. Orchestral debuts include Frankfurt Radio Symphony with David Afkham, NHK Symphony with Roger Norrington, São Paulo Symphony with Andrew Manze, and Helsinki Philharmonic with Kazuki Yamada.
Over the summer, Francesco’s debut at the BBC Proms with Thomas Søndergård and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, where he performed Strauss’s Burleske and Mozart’s Rondò in A major, was praised in the British press: “Francesco Piemontesi sparkled with dashing insouciance, only to contrast that with playing of lyrical beauty in Mozart’s Rondo in A major, K386” (Financial Times). On the other side of the Atlantic, he performed Mozart Piano Concerto No.27 with the Cleveland Orchestra to an audience of thousands, as part of the Blossom Music Festival.
Francesco made much-awaited comebacks to orchestras such as the Hallé in Manchester, and he toured Switzerland and Italy with Royal Philharmonic and Charles Dutoit. In November, a performance of Beethoven Piano Concert No.4 with City of Birmingham Symphony and Lahav Shani was described, in a five-star review on Bachtrack, as “…one of the most assured performances of the piece I can recall hearing”.
In recital, Piemontesi returned to Rotterdam De Doelen, BOZAR at Royal Conservatoire Brussels and Wigmore Hall in London, and made his debut at Berlin and Vienna Konzerthaus.
Mozart Piano Works, released in April on Naïve Classique, has garnered widespread acclaim for its maturity and refinement, consolidating him as “a Mozartian force to be reckoned with” (Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine).
Piemontesi ends the year with a return to some of the ensembles with whom he enjoys a longstanding relationship. Together with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra he performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 3 December, taking it afterwards to Glasgow Ayr and Perth. Two weeks later, he performed the same work with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Thomas Zehetmair at Sage Gateshead, as part of the hall’s 10 years celebrations.
Piemontesi also returned for a mini-tour with Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, playing at Geneva’s Victoria Hall on the 10 December, Salle Equilibre in Fribourg on the 11 December, and the Salle de Musique in La Chaux-de-Fonds on 12 December. He performed Dvorák’s Concerto for piano and orchestra in G minor, which he recorded for Naïve in 2012. The concert in Geneva has been broadcast live on radio RTS Espace 2, which you can listen to here.
Francesco rehearsing with the Hallé in Manchester.