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Sandro Ivo Bartoli in Barga

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Il Maestro Sandro Bartoli will be in Barga over the next few months recording a series of CD’s of music by Tchaikovsky. The music will be recorded in the Teatro dei Differenti starting in February  for the Dutch music label Brilliant Classic.

Sandro Ivo Bartoli was born in Pisa in 1970. Having begun his musical studies at the age of twelve, at fifteen he gave his first public recital. He studied at the Boccherini Musical Institute in Lucca and at the Florence State Conservatory with Giancarlo Cardini, receiving his Professorship in 1991. Subsequently, he moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music (where he won numerous prizes and scholarships), and collaborated privately with the late Ukrainian pianist Shura Cherkassky

Since the early Nineties, with Cherkassky’s support and encouragement, Bartoli revisited the Italian literature from the early Twentieth century, establishing a trend and rapidly becoming its leading interpreter. His rediscovery of the concertos of Respighi (Bedford, 1991), Malipiero (London, 1994) and Casella (1995), was followed by the first modern performance in the United States of Ottorino Respighi’s Toccata for piano and orchestra, with the Johnson City Symphony under Lewis Dalvitt; the concert was broadcast live by PBS and subsequently included in the station’s Great Performances series. As a result, Bartoli signed his first recording contract, with ASV, for an album dedicated to the piano works of Malipiero, to which followed one year later another recording with music by Casella (performed by “a fantastic pianist”, wrote Der Spiegel Kultur). His international career developed rapidly: in 1997 he appeared in Sweden, where Svenska Dagbladet heralded him as “an outwordly virtuoso”; Norway followed, with concerts at the Bergen festival and the Grieg Museum. Meanwhile, he began his collaboration with Italian author Antonio Tabucchi, performing Italian music at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence to rapturous success. In 2000 he appeared in Germany, where his interpretation of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto received significant acclaim (“such a performance of the Emperor concerto had not been heard for more than a decade” wrote the Thüringer Allgemeine), then in the UK, where his rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody with The Hallé under Nicolae Moldoveanu received a standing ovation.

In 2002 Sandro Ivo Bartoli produced the scene music for Fernando Pessoa’s Book of disquiet, performed at the Festival d’Avignon in the adaptation of Antonio Tabucchi, and appeared in the triple capacity of pianist, arranger and composer. The same year, he founded in London Opera Etcetera, a series of concerts devoted to the non-vocal music of opera composers, and the Lyric Club Renato Bruson of Turin awarded him the Gina Rosso Prize for his work in the arts. More significant engagements followed: Shostakovich’s First Concerto in Stockholm, Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto in London, Beethoven’s Third Concerto in Bedford, and a cycle of live concerts for the Spanish National Radio where he performed various works by Malipiero, Casella, Respighi, Pizzetti, the new Sonata of Luciano Berio and the Fantasia contrappuntistica of Ferruccio Busoni. In 2005 Sandro Ivo Bartoli took part in a grand benefit concert at Munich’s Philharmonie with Martha Argerich and Rodion Shchedrin, and completed the world premiere recording of Malipiero’s piano concertos with the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Saarbruecken under Michele Carulli for CPO. The important event was the subject for a documentary film by French director Miroslav Sebestik. The double CD was received with enthusiasm by the international press in France, United States, Germany, the Uk and Austria. In Italy, the magazine Musica wrote [Dec/January ’08 issue]: “we must praise the extremely accurate and detailed performance of the soloist and the orchestra”. The French magazine Diapason awarded the CDs with the Concertos of Gian Francesco Malipiero with the Diapason D’Or/Découverte. His discography is available on ASV, NEOS, Timbre, Opera Etcetera, Fenice and CPO.

Chopin Brillante – Fenice DM, 2008
Malipiero: Piano Concertos, Variazioni Senza Tema. Radio Orchestra of Saarbruecken, M. Carulli. CPO, 2007.
Fugitives – Timbre Records, Feb 21, 2005
Encores – Opera Etcetera, 2004
Saint-Saens: Carnival of the animals – NEOS, 2003
Casella: Piano Music – ASV, Mar 17, 1998
Malipiero: Piano Music – ASV, Sept. 1995

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