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Francesco Piemontesi


Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi, a native of Locarno, has over the years gained a reputation as one of the leading interpreters of the German Classical and Romantic repertoire. He appears as a regular guest with many of the world’s leading orchestras, in concert halls and music festivals around the globe, while still being firmly anchored on the shores of Lago Maggiore as artistic director of the music festival Settimane Musicali di Ascona. With his subtle but mesmerizing interpretations of Schubert’s piano sonatas as well as the solo works and piano concertos of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Liszt, he has been acclaimed internationally by critics and audiences alike. His playing is characterized by sensitivity, intimacy and poetry, but also by power and brilliance. Above all, it is important to him to illuminate the scores from within. 

Highlights of the 2023-24 season include appearances with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and New York Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda; NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt; Swedish Symphony Orchestra under Jukka-Pekka Saraste; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu; Wiener Symphoniker under Joana Mallwitz; and tours with the Dresden Philharmonic under Pablo Gonzales and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Jérémie Rhorer. Piemontesi will return to the Festival Aix-en-Provence and the Schubertiade and will play recitals at Wigmore Hall London, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Teatro di San Carlo Naples.

In addition to the classical and romantic periods, Piemontesi’s wider repertoire includes works by Bach and Handel in original versions and transcriptions, piano concertos by Ravel, Debussy, Bartók, Rachmaninov and Schoenberg, as well as works by Olivier Messiaen and Unsuk Chin. Among his many important musical influences, he highlights his distinguished teachers Arie Vardi and Alfred Brendel, but above all French concert pianist Cecile Ousset. It is to her that he owes his rounded tone and a somnambulistic technique that is rooted in the French piano tradition going back to Marcel Ciampi. 

Piemontesi’s musical artistry is documented on numerous recordings that have received awards and critical acclaim, such as Schubert’s last piano sonatas, Debussy’s preludes and Mozart’s pano concertos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Andrew Manze. His latest release on Pentatone is dedicated to two of the most demanding pieces of piano literature: Liszt’s Transcendental Études and the B-minor Sonata. 

Working with fellow musicians and orchestras alike, Piemontesi’s collaborations form themselves from the nucleus of friendship, appreciation and creativity. He recently has been artist in residence with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Dresden Philharmonic and Gstaad Menuhin Festival. A long-standing relationship links him to the Schubertiade Festival and London’s Wigmore Hall. As adept on the concert stage as he is in smaller chamber combinations, Piemontesi appears with a variety of partners including Renaud Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Martha Argerich, Janine Jansen, Daniel Müller-Schott, Augustin Hadelich and Jörg Widmann.

As a soloist, Piemontesi has played alongside leading orchestras such as Berlin and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, L’Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks Munich, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, the Chicago, Boston, London and NHK symphony orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra as well as the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He regularly collaborates with distinguished conductors such as Gianandrea Noseda, Fabio Luisi, Antonio Pappano, Daniele Gatti, Daniele Rustioni, Lorenzo Viotti, Robin Ticciati, Iván Fischer, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Marek Janowski, Joana Mallwitz, Thomas Søndergård, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta and Nathalie Stutzmann.

Piemontesi travels the world and has appeared in many prestigious venues including Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. As a welcomed guest he was featured in the festivals of Salzburg, Edinburgh, Aix-en-Provence, Lucerne, Verbier and Schleswig-Holstein as well as in La Roque d’Anthéron, New York Mostly Mozart, Klavierfestival Ruhr and the BBC Proms.