There is little that we have anticipated as eagerly as the Rudolfinum debut of Pablo Heras-Casado. Just the list of orchestras with which Pablo Heras-Casado appears would be plenty to recommend attending his concert: the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and many more. Pablo Heras-Casado is a Spanish patriot and the chief guest conductor at the Teatro Real in Madrid, where he is performing Wagner’s complete cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. Maestro Casado records for the Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Sony, and Harmonia Mundi labels, and although he is just 41 years old, he has been decorated for his musical artistry by both the Spanish and the French governments.
Like Pablo Heras-Casado, the Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi also returns to his homeland to share his artistry. In Ascona, near his native Locarno, he directs the festival Settimane Musicali, and he divides his time equally between activities as a soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. At the beginning of his career, he recorded the Dvořák and Schumann concertos with Jiří Bělohlávek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. At the Rudolfinum, he made his debut two years ago in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto and with a solo recital, and the success of both appearances immediately led us to invite him back for the 2019/2020 season.
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat Major, Op. 83
Symphony No. 4 in E Flat Major (“Romantic”)
Francesco Piemontesi is a pianist of exceptional refinement of expression, which is allied to a consummate technical skill. Widely renowned for his interpretation of Mozart and the early Romantic repertoire, Piemontesi’s pianism and sensibility has a close affinity too with the later 19th century and 20th century repertoire of Brahms, Liszt, Dvořák, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók and beyond. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.
Francesco Piemontesi appears with major ensembles worldwide: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, DSO and Berlin Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Danish National Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Sir Mark Elder, Ton Koopman, Andrew Manze, Zubin Mehta, Sir Roger Norrington and Sakari Oramo.
Piemontesi is also a natural and keen chamber musician and plays with a variety of partners – the Emerson Quartet, Antoine Tamestit and Jörg Widmann in trio, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Angelika Kirchschlager, Stephen Kovacevich and Heinrich Schiff.
In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Tokyo Suntory Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In January 2016, Piemontesi launched his complete Mozart Odyssey at the Wigmore Hall, performing the sonatas in a series of recitals over the course of three seasons:
“[The D-major Fantasia] was a good introduction to Piemontesi’s balance between musical intelligence, judgement and intuition, which poured into his reading of the KV 284 Sonata… The detail of decoration and dynamics Piemontesi released in the penultimate section – a full-scale Adagio vocalise of great intensity – made Mozart’s supernatural eloquence soar.”
Piemontesi has performed at the Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, New York Mostly Mozart, Chopin International Music Festival in Warsaw, Lucerne Festival, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, and Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein festivals.
Francesco Piemontesi has released a number of fine recordings, including three recordings for Naïve Classique: the Debussy Préludes, released in autumn 2015, Mozart Piano Works, and Schumann and Dvořákʼs Piano Concerti with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek.
Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi studied with Arie Vardi before working with Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Cécile Ousset and Alexis Weissenberg.
He rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and between 2009–2011 he was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist.
In 2012, Piemontesi was announced as Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.
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