Francesco Piemontesi - Reviews


"The concert opened with an unaffected, alternately sparkling and passionately inward rendition of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, featuring Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi in his L.A. Phil debut.

Piemontesi, 33, counts Alfred Brendel and Murray Perahia among his mentors. Although he shares Brendel's insistence on musical integrity and attention to detail and Perahia's Romantic spirit, Piemontesi showed an unpredictable temperament all his own, beginning the famous hushed opening bars in the first movement Allegro with a brief glissando. For a moment, it wasn't clear which concerto he was about to play. Perhaps intended as an attention-getter, Piemontesi's gambit reduced any possibility of a too self-consciously poetic entrance before the orchestra replied.

Using Beethoven's dramatic cadenza, the pianist also displayed a fiery quality, playing in ways that felt both epic and intimate." - Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with Los Angeles Philharmonic, THE LA TIMES, August 12, 2016

“Mozart‘s seldom-heard Rondo in A for Piano and Orchestra restored equilibrium, played with wonderfully nonchalant grace by Piemontesi...“   - Strauss‘ Burleske w/ the BBC National Symphony of Wales, THE TIMES, August 14, 2014

“What the Burleske does have to offer is a virtuoso piansdfdfafsado part, and Francesco Piemontesi sparkled with dashing insouciance, only to contrast that with playing of lyrical beauty in Mozart’s Rondo in A major, K386, after the interval.”   - Strauss‘ Burleske w/ the BBC National Symphony of Wales, FINANCIAL TIMES, August 12, 2014

“[Piemontesi] was hard-hitting and energetic, yet admirably witty, debonair and flamboyant…. Piemontesi is an exquisite Mozartean, elegant in style and fully aware of the emotional depths beneath the graceful surface.”   - Strauss‘ Burleske w/ the BBC National Symphony of Wales, THE GUARDIAN, August 12, 2014

“Hands firmly positioned over the keys, the touch of this Swiss-Italian pianist remained deliciously light through all the work’s technical difficulties. Brilliant cascades shot out to dazzle us. He even generated appreciative chuckles as he jumped down to the lowest register in a chain of abrupt, knotty chords as the work’s whimsical end approached... Piemontesi’s exquisitely poised encore, a limpid sliver of a Mozart sonata, proved the ideal icing on the cake – and just the squirt of civilisation needed before Nielsen’s menacing side-drum arrived.“   - Strauss‘ Burleske w/ the BBC National Symphony of Wales, THE ARTS DESK, August 12, 2014

“Piemontesi’s encore, the Adagio cantabile (Variation XI) from the finale of the D major Sonata (K284) best showcased his pianism: for an exquisite moment the Royal Albert Hall became an intimate salon.“   - Strauss‘ Burleske w/ the BBC National Symphony of Wales, CLASSICAL SOURCE, August 11, 2014

“A stellar Mozartean, an artistic temperament both soulful and playful, whose sound Sunday was crystalline and yet not weightless or too ethereally pretty. His was Mozart of shape and substance, just the thing to enchant a houseful of first-time guests.“   -Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 w/ Cleveland Orchestra, THE PLAIN DEALER, July 22, 2014

“Francesco Piemontesi combines stunning technique with an intellectual capacity that few can match.“   - "I think I‘ve found the new Alfred Brendel", Damian Thompson, THE SPECTATOR MAGAZINE, June 21, 2014

“Piemontesi is a highly intelligent musician, with a wide-ranging repertoire, but his Mozart playing is certainly special, intensely thoughtful and scrupulously prepared.“   -CD: Mozart Piano Sonatas, THE GUARDIAN, April 30, 2014

“(Debussy’s La Cathédrale Engloutie) was so unusual in its rapid swirling tempo, and so beautifully suggestive in its colouring, that it formed the highlight of the evening.“  Mozart Piano Concerto w/ Bournemouth Symphony, THE TELEGRAPH, April 30, 2014

“But really the night belonged to the astonishing Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi for his dazzling and amazingly fleet performance of Mendelssohn‘s First Piano Concerto, one of those rare performances that reveals the mastery and genius of a composition and asks why we hear the piece so infrequently.“   - Mendelssohn Piano Cto. No. 1, Scottish Chamber Orchestra with David Afkham, THE HERALD, January 14, 2013

“He played the streams of arpeggios and scale passages in the outer movements with effortless aplomb. However, his talents really came to the fore in the lyrical andante where he basked in the honeyed glow of the cello and viola accompaniment. Piemontesi then topped his own performance with Debussy’s shimmering Feux d’artifice as an encore.“   - Mendelssohn Piano Cto. No. 1, Scottish Chamber Orchestra with David Afkham, THE SCOTSMAN, January 12, 2013

“At 29, the Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi is still at the beginning of his career, but his recitals and recordings attest an artistry which is world-class in its mature refinement...He combined the black and white notes of ‘Brouillards’ to create soft grey tonalities, and went on to dazzle us with a wonderful range of effects in which a flawless technique was put to the service of some very original interpretations.“   - Recital at Queen Elizabeth Hall, THE INDEPENDENT, November 9, 2012

“With some young pianists, native brilliance and joy in sheer digital dexterity sometimes runs ahead of musical intelligence. That’s never the case with Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi. At the age of 29 he’s already a superbly self-possessed artist. He has technique to burn, but the striking moments in this recital – and there were plenty of them – owed nothing to the ‘wow’ factor.”   - Recital at Queen Elizabeth Hall, THE TELEGRAPH, November 8, 2012