Giovanni Bellucci
piano | Italy, °1965
 
PIANO 1995 : Third Prize
Giovanni Bellucci is considered one of the most influential pianists of our time. His recording of Franz Liszt’s Paraphrases on Verdi and Bellini operas was included in the magazine Diapason’s selection of the Top Ten Liszt recordings in history. The music critic Alain Lompech only took into consideration artists, other than Bellucci, such as Martha Argerich, Claudio Arrau, Aldo Ciccolini, Gyorgy Cziffra, Wilhelm Kempff and Krystian Zimerman.

Diapason’s judgement must be added to the unanimous applause for the Italian artist expressed by the most prestigious specialist publications. In effect, all his CDs have won awards such as: ‘Choc’ of Le Monde de la Musique in France, British Gramophone’s ‘Editor’s choice’, 5 stars from Musica, 5 stars from the BBC Music Magazine, 4 keys (ffff) from Télérama, ‘CD exceptionnel’ from Répertoire and ‘Best CD’ from the magazine Suono.

‘There are no other ten pianists like him in the world. He takes us back to the golden age of the piano’ declared the daily Le Monde in highlighting Bellucci’s success in the World Piano Masters Competition in Montecarlo 1996 - the last in a lengthy series of successes in international competitions (from the Queen Elisabeth Competition to the Prague Spring, from the RAI Casella to the C. Kahn in Paris, from the Busoni to the F. Liszt).

‘Bellucci is a force of unleashed nature. A force that is vast and palpitating and never brutal or mechanical’. Such are the words of Piero Rattalino in his critique of the performance of Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata and in which he described the musical talent emerging in 1979, when Giovanni Bellucci was just fourteen and had inadvertently discovered the piano. Selftaught, Bellucci immediately performed Beethoven’s 32 Sonatas and, two years later, gave his first public concert with orchestra in which he interpreted Liszt’s Totentanz. At the age of twenty, he took his degree summa cum laude and honourable mention at the ‘S. Cecilia’ Conservatoire and, in 1991, the great Russian pianist Lazar Berman said of him: ‘Bellucci is one of the greatest talents I have ever heard… his phenomenal virtuosity creates an immensely innovative musical discourse’ and called him to study at the Accademia Pianistica in Imola where he was awarded a Masters in 1996. As a result, he could subsequently claim amongst his contacts, artists of the stature of Badura-Skoda, Brendel, Perahia and Pollini.

Once established in Paris, he began a highly intensive series of concerts where he performed as soloist with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonique, the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia Symphony, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, the Belgian National Orchestra, the Antwerp Royal Philharmonic, the Montpellier National, the ‘Sinfonia Varsovia’, the Virtuosi di Praga, the Singapore Symphony, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.. etc. He also worked with conductors and artists such as Abbado, Accardo, Casadesus, Dumay, Entremont, Inbal, Kavakos and Mackerras.

Giovanni Bellucci has been invited to play in some of the most famous auditoriums, traditional theatres and at some of the greatest world music festivals. Amongst these are: the Hollywood Bowl which saw his American debut in front of an 18.000 strong public, the Washington Performing Arts Society, in Newport, Yokohama, Singapore, the Sydney Opera House, Bath, La Roque d’Anthéron, Besançon, Menton, Radio-France in Montpellier, the Brussels Philharmonique, Lugano, Herkulessaal in Munich (where he also received the German press prize for the best artistic event), the Berlin Radio, the Rudolfinum in Prague, Helsinki Radio, Brescia and Bergamo, Ravello, Turin Settembre Musica, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, the Teatro Bellini in Catania, the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Parma Regio, the Rome Opera and in all the Parisian concert halls (Cité de la Musique, Salle Pleyel, Auditorium du Louvre, Salle Messiaen Radio France, Salle Gaveau, Théâtre du Châtelet).

After one of his recent concerts at the Sydney City Recital Hall - where he played the Berlioz/Liszt Symphonie Fantastique - he was awarded with the ‘Recital of the year’ prize by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Audio
Photo
Programme
Final (25/05/1995)
John Weeks Requiescat
Pyotr Tchaikovsky Concerto n. 1 in B flat minor op. 23
Giovanni Bellucci, piano
Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, dir. Pierre Bartholomée
Semi-final (11/05/1995)
Ludwig van Beethoven 6 Variations in D major op. 76
Dirk De Nef Rond'eau
Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata n. 29 in B flat major op. 106
Johann Jr. Strauss Schatzwalzer (Der Zigeunerbaron)
Léon Jongen Campeador
Giovanni Bellucci, piano
Piano 2020 postponed to May 2021
How the competition unfolds
H.M. Queen Mathilde
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