Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition. He was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist (2009-11), and is regarded as one of the new great Mozartian pianists.
But he consciously seeks to balance this both in recital and in the concert hall with other, post-classical repertoire – Debussy, Ravel, Liszt, Dvořák, Bartók, as well as the composers of the great German repertoire.
Piemontesi’s playing is characterised by consummate technical skill, a wide and rich palette of colour and a refinement of expression. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.
In 2012, Piemontesi was announced as Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona, by his hometown Locarno.
Francesco Piemontesi now appears with major ensembles worldwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, DSO and Berlin Radio Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBCSO, Israel Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale. He has performed with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Marek Janowski, Sakari Oramo, Vasily Petrenko and Charles Dutoit and has also established a close musical partnership with, for example, Sir Roger Norrington, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, David Afkham, Nicholas Collon, and Andrew Manze.
Piemontesi is a natural and keen chamber musician and plays with a variety of partners – the Emerson Quartet, with Antoine Tamestit and Jörg Widmann, in trio, with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Clemens Hagen, Yuri Bashmet, Angelika Kirchschlager and during his formative years, with Heinrich Schiff.
In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rotterdam De Doelen, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Tokyo Suntory Hall and in Rome, Zurich, Paris, and Brussels. Festival invitations have come from the Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, New York Mostly Mozart, Chopin International Music Festival in Warsaw, Lucerne Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Festival.
Francesco Piemontesi has released a number of fine recordings, including Schumann Sonatas and a mixed recital of Handel, Brahms, Bach, and Liszt for Avanti Classics and more recently, three recordings for Naïve Classique – Mozart Piano Works, Schumann and Dvořák‘s Piano Concerti with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek, and the Debussy Preludes, to be released later in 2015.