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Michele Campanella - Piano

Accademia Chigiana-Siena, Italy

Internationally known as one of major interpreters and virtuoso of the Liszt repertoire, awarded the Grand Prix du Disque three years (1976, 1977 and 1998, the latter for «Franz Liszt - The Great Transcriptions, I-II» with Philips) by the prestigious «Franz Liszt» Academy in Budapest, Michele Campanella has faced in over 40 years of career most of the principal pages of the piano literature.

Highlights from his last important goals are the integral performance of Beethoven’s and Mozart’s Concerts and Brahms’s Integral works for piano.

Trained at the Vincenzo Vitale school in Naples, Michele Campanella is a versatile artist.

This characteristic brought him to face authors like Clementi, Weber, Poulenc, Busoni («Italian Discographic Critic Reward» for the recording with Fonit Cetra) and Rossini, Brahms, Ravel and Liszt.

His discography includes recording for Emi (Ravel), Philips (Liszt, Saint-Saëns), Fonè (Chopin), PYE (Liszt, Ciaikowsky), Fonit Cetra (Busoni), Nuova Era (Ciaikowsky, Liszt, Musorgskij, Balakirev), Musikstrasse (Rossini), P&P (Brahms, Liszt, Scarlatti), Niccolò (Schumann).

He performed with the major European and American orchestras (Philadelphia Orchestra,Chicago Symphony,San Francisco Symphony) working with conductors like Claudio Abbado, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Eliahu Inbal, Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Georges Prêtre, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Thomas Schippers, Hubert Soudant, Christian Thielemann.

His activity brings him frequently in Australia, Russia, United Kingdom, Argentina, China, and he is a regular guest in the international festival of Lucerne, Vienna, Berlin, Prague and Pesaro (Rossini Opera Festival for which he recorded Petite Messe Solennelle).

In the Nineties, he developed a strong artistic relationship with Salvatore Accardo and Rocco Filippini as ideal partners to face chamber music masterpieces.

During the last years, he has enriched his career performing as conductor-soloist with several prestigious Italian orchestras, such as the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the ORT-Orchestra della Toscana, the Orchestra da Camera di Padova e del Veneto, I Filarmonici di Verona, the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento. His repertoire has included Ravel, Fauré, Poulenc, Franck, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, Weber, Liszt, as well as Mozart and Beethoven.       

As a dedicated and passionate teacher, he was head of the piano department at the Accademia Chigiana of Siena from 1986 to 2010 and held advanced training courses for 8 years in Ravello. He also directed the Vincenzo Vitale Center for Piano Studies at the University Suor Orsola Benincasa of Naples.

From 2008 he is President of the Italian chaper of the American Liszt Society.

During 2011, the year in which the world will be celebrating the bicentenary of Franz Liszt's birth, Campanella is dedicating his entire musical activity, both as  pianist and conductor, to the Hungarian composer he has studied and loved from the age of 14 . Programmed are solo concerts at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (the Sinopoli Hall on January 7th, March 11th and October 21st), to which is added a concert of sacred choral music at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana of Siena (April 20th).

Together with the Orchestra Luigi Cherubini, Campanella acting as soloist and conductor will perform all of Liszt's repertoire for piano and orchestra in one evening, engaged in an Italian tour which includes Piacenza (March 25th), Cremona (March 26th), Udine (March 27th), Parma (March 29th) and Ravenna, in June, as part of the famous Ravenna Festival.

Among the important engagements of this busy 2011 is that of September 30th (repeated October 1st and 4th) when Campanella will join Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the climax of the Liszt celebrations performing the Liszt Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra.

In addition, in collaboration with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Campanella has created and directed at the Parco della Musica in Rome, 7 Liszt Marathons during which the integral music written by Liszt for piano is performed. Three of these have successfully taken place and 4 others are programmed for the coming months. This is an event involving 75 pianists that has taken on great interest since it is something never before been attempted.

In addition to his activity as a musician, Campanella adds the role of writer. On March 10th in the Spazio Risonanze del Parco della Musica of Rome, he will present his book Il Mio Liszt (Milano, Bompiani, 2011) that the pianist dedicates to his author of reference. This event will be also be repeated in Milan and Siena.