“It was playful, assertive, intelligent music-making, with bone-china clarity from Piemontesi”
The New York Times
“Mr. Piemontesi drew out the reflective undercurrents even while playing with grace and élan… I hope he returns to New York soon.”
“Piemontesi’s reentry balanced lyricism with panache, and he sailed through the movement’s octaves, trills, rapid runs and other technical hurdles with thorough command and conviction, pointing towards a coda grand and victorious.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[Piemontesi] played with grace, delicacy, and wonderful awareness of his musical partners … The sheer variety of pianistic touch was a joy to behold. Legato and pianissimo weren’t just smooth and soft here. In Piemontesi’s hands, they were silken and preciously quiet.”
“He devoted the first half to Bach, a tremendous, majestic unfolding chiefly of Busoni arrangements of organ works…Here was a new immensity of approach, and it resulted in a mesmerising, prodigious account of Rachmaninov’s Sonata No 2 … and, though it may, with its irresistible blend of swashbuckling power and searching reflectiveness, have felt like the ultimate piano sonata before, it certainly did so in Piemontesi’s triumphant rendering.”
The Wall Street Journal
“[Piemontesi] performs these three outstanding works with fleet fingers and exceptional insight. His deep affinity for the music is evident in the way he captures the ebb and flow of each movement; the pearlescent tone he delivers when appropriate; and the abundance of telling details…”
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”.
The 2022/23 season leads the “Wizard of Sound” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) to orchestras such as Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Dallas Symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Wiener Symphoniker, and Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Artist in Residence this season both at Dresdner Philharmonie and at Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Piemontesi reveals all mesmerizing facets of his artistry in concerto, recital and chamber music appearances and takes his audience on a discovery journey through the Classical, early Romanticism and French early 20th century periods. Praised by Sir Antonio Pappano for the “wonderful combination of head and heart in his playing”, Piemontesi returns to the Orchestra Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to work with Juraj Valčuha and brings Beethoven’s ‘The Emperor’ concerto to l’Orchestra Sinfónica della RAI with Constantinos Carydis. He also reunites with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer for a tour of Spain and performs Schumann’s piano concerto – the first significant piano concerto of the early Romanticism – at Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin and on tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In recital, Piemontesi delivers pure piano poetry to Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Rheingau Musik Festival and to the Wigmore Hall, where he was celebrated for the Mozart Odyssey of complete piano sonatas performed throughout previous seasons. Following a major Schubert cycle in the past, Piemontesi returns to Schubertiade Schwarzenberg with three performances.
Piemontesi appears alongside the world’s leading orchestras from the Berliner Philharmoniker to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and from London to NHK Symphony Orchestras and is regular guest at festivals such as the Salzburg, Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein Musk festivals, as well as the BBC Proms. Recent highlights include appearances with the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Swedish and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestras, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Ivan Fischer, Daniel Harding, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Paavo Järvi, Ton Koopman, Zubin Mehta, Roger Norrington, Gianandrea Noseda, Yuri Temirkanov, Joana Mallwitz, Herbert Blomstedt, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Karina Canellakis and Thomas Søndergård. As adept on the concerto stage as he is in smaller chamber combinations, Piemontesi appears with a variety of partners including Leif Ove Andsnes, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Stephen Kovacevich, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Jörg Widmann, Tabea Zimmermann, Janine Janssen, Augustin Hadelich and the Emerson Quartet. In the past he has appeared in many prestigious venues including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York. He has performed at the Edinburgh, Verbier and Aix-en-Provence Festivals, La Roque d’Anthéron, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festivals and at New York Mostly Mozart.
The Wall Street Journal commented upon Schubert’s last three sonatas recorded by Piemontesi for Pentatone in 2019: “His deep affinity for the music is evident in the way he captures the ebb and flow of each movement, the pearlescent tone he delivers when appropriate and the abundance of telling details”. Other recordings include a 2022 recording for Pentatone of Ravel’s Piano Concerto, Messiaen’s Oiseaux exotiques and Schönberg’s Piano Concerto with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande as part of his residency there, which was to become the first residency the Orchestra has ever named, Liszt’s Années de Pelerinage for Orfeo, Mozart’s Piano Concertos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and on Linn. Piemontesi also demonstrated his deep affinity with Debussy’s Impressionist world in his recording of the “Préludes” for Naïve.
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. Since 2012, Piemontesi has been the Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.