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14th of March

Mozart Odyssey at the Concertgebouw


Following the success of the first concert in his Mozart Odyssey at the Wigmore Hall, Francesco performs the same programme at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on 21 March 2016. Piemontesi’s survey of Mozart’s Piano Sonatas and solo keyboard works begins with Fantasia No.3 in D minor, K.397/385g, Piano Sonata No.6 in D major, K.284, Rondo in A minor, K.511 and Piano Sonata No.11 in A major, K.331.

Of the recital in London, Seen and Heard International wrote: “This programme, intelligently constructed, and equally intelligently performed, satisfied from beginning to end.” And Classical Source commented: “The start of the A-minor Rondo…gave an idea of Piemontesi’s ability to charge the smallest inflection with meaning, and his perception of the elaborations as both integral and insubstantial arose from playing of the greatest sophistication… To witness the economy of Piemontesi’s technique as well as his precise pedalling was a masterclass in the Classical style.”

10th of February

Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead


Francesco joins the Royal Northern Sinfonia and conductor Alexandre Bloch for a performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 25 at the Sage Gateshead on 3 March 2016. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Francesco recently performed the concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and fellow Intermusica artist Andrew Manze. The Herald Scotland wrote that “Francesco Piemontesi, in performances of wonderfully-unpretentious lucidity, brought the sheer symphonic weight of Mozart’s 25th Concerto in C major to the fore, though, refreshingly, not over-dominating the structure.”

Francesco then appears in recital at Birmingham Town Hall on 16 March, performing a programme of Mozart Rondo in A minor, K511, and Piano Sonata No.11 in A major, K331, followed by Schumann Kreisleriana and Busoni Toccata.

11th of January

London Mozart cycle at Wigmore Hall


Francesco launches his Mozart cycle at Wigmore Hall on 25 January 2016, beginning his survey of Mozart’s Piano sonatas and solo keyboard works with the Fantasia in D minor. The programme also pairs the Rondo in A minor of 1787, audacious and forward-looking in its harmonies, with the equally unconventional Piano Sonata in A K331, famed for its iconoclastic Minuet and ‘Turkish’ Rondo.

The cycle continues with recitals at the Concertgebouw in March and July in addition to a further recital at Wigmore Hall, also in July.

10th of December

Return to Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with Andrew Manze


Francesco  returns to the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin on 11 January 2016 to perform Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.2 under the baton of Andrew Manze at the Berliner Philharmonie.

Later in month, Francesco begins his series of Mozart piano sonatas and solo keyboard works at the Wigmore Hall on 25 January.

29th of October

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig debut


Francesco makes his debut with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in two concerts conducted by Sir Roger Norrington on 5 and 6 November 2015. Together they perform Dvorák’s Piano Concerto in G minor, Op.33, which Francesco recorded for Naïve in 2013:

“Listening to Piemontesi…makes you wonder if it isn’t time the Dvorak gained a place in the regular concerto repertoire.”
Gramophone Magazine

Francesco and Norrington have worked together many times before, including with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in January 2015, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo in October 2014, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in December 2013.

The programme in Leipzig is completed with Elgar’s Elegy and Symphony No.1.

See the Gewandhaus Orchester website for more information and tickets.

30th of September

Debussy: Préludes


Francesco’s new recording, featuring Debussy’s complete Préludes, has been released on Naïve, his third recording on the French label.

Though widely renowned for his interpretations of Mozart works, Francesco’s pianism and sensibility has close affinity with the Préludes, which he has included regularly and to great acclaim in recital programmes. Talking about the music, he commented: “[Debussy]’s works challenge the performer in myriad ways: they are technically demanding, but in addition to virtuosic pianism, Debussy requires an equally virtuosic handling of colours, shading and character. In 20th century music, this is not always a matter of course.”

In the press, Francesco’s performances of the Préludes have often been mentioned as the evening’s highlights: “his playing took the breath away. He combined the black and white notes of Brouillards to create soft grey tonalities, and went on to dazzle us with a wonderful range of effects in which a flawless technique was put to the service of some very original interpretations” (Michael Church, Independent), while another review wrote “Francesco Piemontesi, at 30 a fully fledged master, played four Debussy Préludes in a manner to rival Pollini’s” (International Piano)

Francesco’s recording is based on a new edition of the Préludes by Durand-Salabert-Eschig, co-directed by renowned French piano music scholar Roy Howat, who also wrote the liner notes for the CD. The recording is dedicated to Francesco’s teacher and mentor, pianist Cécile Ousset, who first introduced him to the music and advised during the recording process.

The recording will be released on the 9 October in France, Benelux, Switzerland, Spain and Italy, and digitally worldwide; it will be available from 23 October in Germany and Austria, 30 October in the UK, and 13 November in the United States. Purchase the recording here.

V5415 K Debussy Piemontesi

30th of September

Recitals in Berlin and Zurich


This October, Francesco appears in the main recital halls in Berlin and Zurich, presenting a new and wide-ranging programme which pairs composers of the ‘Wiener Klassik’ era, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, with the contemporary sounds of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

In Berlin, on the 11 October he makes his debut at the Berliner Philharmoniker recital series at the Kammermusiksaal: the programme features Haydn’s Variationes in F minor Hob. XVII:6, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata op.109 and 110, and Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor KV397, which he recorded for his Piano Works disc on Naïve, juxtaposed to Stockhausen’s Klavierstück IX and V.

The same programme is performed at the Tonhalle in Zurich on the 15 October, where Francesco returns after performing there earlier this year with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington.

7th of August

“A magical performance”: Francesco Piemontesi’s BBC Proms 2015 performance reviewed


Thank you to everyone who came to Francesco’s concert at the BBC Proms on 2 August 2015 with the Aurora Orchestra. It is available to listen to online on BBC iPlayer until the end of August. Click here to listen.

Francesco’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.26 ‘Coronation’ has been met with wonderful reviews; read what the critics said below:

“The high point of this Prom was Francesco Piemontesi’s perfectly-judged performance as soloist in Mozart’s ‘Coronation’ piano concerto, with a celeste briefly roped in for a cadenza.”
Independent

“The highlight [was] Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.26 (not played at the Proms since 1974). Francesco Piemontesi’s probing performance — gloriously accompanied — somehow suggested that while he was playing a serious piece by Mozart he was listening to a much sillier one. This combination of the sweetly childlike and the intellectually questing reached its height in a first-movement cadenza (written by Christian Zacharias) that saw Collon partnering Piemontesi on tinkling celeste. This was pure Magic Flute, and echoes of Mozart’s operatic swansong cast an autumnal glow over the rest of a magical performance.”
Times 

“Memorable, too, was Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi’s clean and authoritative account of Mozart’s Coronation Concerto, which included a perfectly poised slow movement and an intriguing first-movement cadenza by Christian Zacharias, in which Collon moved over to a celesta to filter in one or two magical, music-box-like phrases.”

Guardian 

“Most memorable of all was the Mozart, the so-called ‘Coronation’ Concerto, for which it seems Mozart didn’t write all of the left-hand part. There is an established left-hand part dating from the work’s first publication three years after Mozart’s death, but Francesco Piemontesi supplied his own left-hand writing where needed. And totally in keeping it was too. Piemontesi has a clear, focussed and unfussy manor at the keyboard, to which the Aurora Orchestra responded in kind.

Most intriguing was the first-movement cadenza (both that and for the finale were credited to Christian Zacharias). I’d noticed a celesta stage-left. Bizarre, I thought. But then, as Piemontesi started the cadenza, Collon walked over to the unexpected instrument and, for a few seconds, did a duet with the piano. It should be a music box, but that was thought an insufficient presence in the Royal Albert Hall.

After his lovely performance, Piemontesi gave us a Mendelssohn encore: ‘Duetto’ (Opus 38/6 in A flat) from Songs without Words – just as charming and unfussy as he’d been in the Concerto.”
Classical Source 

“Here, the lauded young Mozart interpreter Francesco Piemontesi gave us his own completion of the piano part. In true Mozartian fashion, his marvellous playing seemed to swim in and out of the foreground, while conductor Nicholas Collon achieved a refined play of dynamics from the orchestra”
Daily Telegraph 

27th of July

Francesco Piemontesi plays Mozart at the BBC Proms 2015 with Aurora Orchestra


Francesco Piemontesi plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.26 K.537 ‘Coronation’ with the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon, at the BBC Proms on Sunday 2 August.

The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and will be filmed and made available online on the BBC Proms website.

‘I’m someone who loves to analyse a piece,’ says Francesco Piemontesi. ‘But with Mozart, once you’ve done that, there is still something you cannot explain.’

The Swiss pianist, who performs the ‘Coronation’ Piano Concerto at the Proms this year, has made a name for himself as an interpreter of Mozart. And this concerto is one of his favourites: ‘There is a simplicity that composers seem to get in their last works. This concerto may be less elaborate than the middle-period concertos but under the smooth surface you find so many different aspects.

Something else that’s particular to this concerto is that large sections of the left hand part are missing. So Piemontesi has written his own. ‘I wasn’t very happy with the part given its existing condition – it’s not completely what I would have expected. So I studied the way Mozart had written the left hand in other concertos and made my own version. It was a lot of work, but to be able to compose this was wonderful.’

The conductor is Nicholas Collon, one of Piemontesi’s favourite musicians to work with, and also a great friend. ‘There are some musicians whose breathing is exactly the same as yours,’ says Piemontesi: ‘you don’t have to look for every upbeat, you’re both receptive to the other person. We know we can trust each other.’

© BBC Proms

The programme on 2 August 2015, which the orchestra performs completely from memory, also includes contemporary music with Brett Dean’s ‘Pastoral Symphony’ and Anna Meredith’s ‘Smatter Hauler’, and Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 ‘Pastorale’.

Piemontesi’s appearance at the BBC Proms in 2014, with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Thomas Søndergård, gathered unanimous praise for his interpretations of Strauss’s Burleske and Mozart’s Rondò in A minor K.386:

“Hands firmly positioned over the keys, the touch of this Swiss-Italian pianist remained deliciously light through all the work’s technical difficulties. Brilliant cascades shot out to dazzle us. He even generated appreciative chuckles as he jumped down to the lowest register in a chain of abrupt, knotty chords as the work’s whimsical end approached. The jewellery became more polished still after the interval in Mozart’s A minor Rondo, K.386, despatched with just the elegant ease and clarity this composer needs” Arts Desk

5th of May

Royal Festival Hall debut with Philharmonia Orchestra


Francesco returns to the UK this month for four concerts with Jérémie Rhorer and the Philharmonia, beginning on 12 May 2015, and making his Royal Festival Hall debut on 14 May. Piemontesi plays Schumann Piano Concerto in a varied series of programmes that also features Dukas Overture to Polyeucte, Schubert Overture in the Italian Style and Mendelssohn Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Overture The Hebrides and Symphony No.4. The concerts will take place at De Montfort Hall, Leicester (12 May), Bedford Corn Exchange (13 May), the Royal Festival Hall (14 May) and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival at St Andrews Hall, Norwich (15 May).

The Cube Electrolux 02

Prior to this, Piemontesi travels to Stockholm for two concerts on 8 and 9 May with the Swedish Radio Symphony and David Afkahm. Piemontesi will perform Bartok Piano Concerto No.3, and the first concert will be broadcast live on Swedish Radio.

© 2017 Francesco Piemontesi. Designed by kroeger-photography.com