Francesco Piemontesi is a pianist of exceptional refinement of expression, which is allied to a consummate technical skill. Widely renowned for his interpretation of the Classical and early Romantic repertoire, Piemontesi’s pianism and sensibility also has a close affinity with the later 19th and 20th century repertoire of Brahms, Liszt, Dvořák, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók and beyond. Piemontesi says that Alfred Brendel, one of his most influential mentors, taught him “to love the detail of things”.
Piemontesi appears worldwide with many of the most respected conductors like Zubin Mehta, Iván Fischer, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gianandrea Noseda, Marek Janowski, Sir Mark Elder, Manfred Honeck, Sakari Oramo, Pablo Heras-Casado, Andrew Manze and Sir Roger Norrington and with major orchestras such as the London Symphony, Philharmonia, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Berlin and Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NHK Symphony and Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Highlights of the 2018/19 season are debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Manze, the National Symphony Orchestra and Noseda and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with Norrington as well as returns to the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Pappano, the Oslo Philharmonic with Janowski, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic with Koopman, NDR Radiophilharmonie and Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Manze, Swedish Radio Symphony and Helsinki Philharmonic with Gražinytė-Tyla, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France with Metzmacher, Hallé Orchestra with Elder and Konzerthausorchester Berlin with Inbal. In August 2018 Piemontesi launched a major Schubert cycle at the Schubertiade and returned to the Salzburg Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. Further recital highlights this season are at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Lincoln Centre in New York and the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.
In recent seasons, Piemontesi performed a complete Mozart Piano Sonata series at the Wigmore Hall and has appeared in many prestigious venues and festivals including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Zürich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Carnegie Hall New York, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Salzburg Festival, Verbier Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d'Anthéron, Lucerne Festival, Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, Rheingau Festival and New York Mostly Mozart Festival.
In chamber music, Piemontesi plays with a variety of partners – Leif Ove Andsnes, Yuri Bashmet, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuel Pahud, Daniel Müller-Schott, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Tabea Zimmermann and the Emerson Quartet.
In 2018 he released Liszt’s “Première année: Suisse” from Années de pèlerinage and St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots, combined with a documentary by French filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon, a double CD and DVD for Orfeo. Piemontesi’s prior recordings include Mozart Piano Concertos Nos 25 & 26 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Manze on Linn, and for Naïve he has recorded Debussy Préludes, Mozart solo piano works and Schumann and Dvorak Piano Concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek. In 2016 he appeared on Decca/Deutsche Grammophon’s complete edition of Mozart’s works.
Born in Locarno, 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 2009-11 he was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist.
Since 2012, Piemontesi has been the Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.
photo credit: Marco Borggreve