Artistic Director, Settimane Musicali di Ascona
Artist in Residence, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande 2020/21
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: Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Vienna Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Montréal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI di Torino and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Ivan Fischer, Daniel Harding, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Emmanuel Krivine, Ton Koopman, Zubin Mehta, Roger Norrington, Gianandrea Noseda, Antonio Pappano and Yuri Temirkanov.
At the beginning of the 20/21 season, Piemontesi made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and Lahav Shani. The Berliner Zeitung described Piemontesi as offering "a captivating story in constantly changing colors". Throughout the 20/21 season, Piemontesi is Artist in Residence at the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, marking the first ever residency the orchestra has named.
Piemontesi also performs chamber music with a variety of partners including Leif Ove Andsnes, Yuri Bashmet, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Stephen Kovacevich, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Jörg Widmann, Tabea Zimmermann
In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, London's Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York and Suntory Hall Tokyo.
Piemontesi has performed at the Salzburg, Lucerne, Edinburgh, Verbier and Aix-en- Provence Festivals, La Roque d’Anthéron, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg- Vorpommern Festivals and at New York Mostly Mozart.
In 2019, Piemontesi released a disc entitled Schubert Last Piano Sonatas with Pentatone. It was featured as Album of the Week by BR Klassik who wrote: “There is simply everything in this recording: euphoria and despair, abysmal calm and sweeping energy. And that is outshone by an addictive beauty that speaks to the heart in every tone. Schubert's essence is truly here”. Furthermore, the Süddeutsche Zeitung described of “rarely hearing Schubert’s work played unpretentiously and so comprehensively and thoughtfully”, and The Wall Street Journal spoke of his “pearlescent tone” and “exceptional insight”. Previous recordings include Liszt’s Années de Pelerinage, Mozart’s Piano Concertos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Manze on Linn, and for Naïve he has recorded Debussy Préludes and Mozart solo piano works.
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.