Francesco Prode, piano

For French composer Mark Andre, Francesco Prode is ‘… one of the greatest pianists in the world …’ and for a renowned Italian music writer and critic Mario Gamba, Francesco is nothing less than ‘a phenomenon. A great virtuoso, great mind and a real re-creator.

Admired by the audiences and music critics alike as one of the most exciting driving forces of Italian contemporary music, Francesco continuously amaze all with his unique artistic ability to give flow and meaning to contemporary music, making it enjoyable for the audience. Francesco has been exploring sounds of the piano and electronics, searching for the unseen, seeking for new sounds to play out, to make them alive and share

Since working with Karlheinz Stockhausen in 2005, Francesco has been deeply involved with contemporary music, giving it life and substance that goes beyond everyday experience. His wide interests of various musics and sounds brought him to the stages of the most prominent Italian and European stages and collaboration with some of the most important contemporary composers.

2016: Fast Forward Festival, Rome: The project ‘Mirrors’, Teatro dell’Opera, Rome

As a hommage to Ravel from 1906, Francesco takes us on a journey using the mirror not as a reflection of reality but as a tool to investigate more and more daring and boundless awareness. Five Italian composers wrote for Francesco five original movements, five new Miroirs inspired by Ravel: Ivan Fedele, Riccardo Panfili, Allesandro Solbiati, Marco Stroppa and Martino Traversa.

HIGHLIGHTS 

58th Festival Biennale Musica di Venezia, New York Electroacoustic Festival, Rome ‘EMUFEST’, Latina Festival ‘LE FORME DEL SUONO’ ; Rome ‘EMUFEST’.

Performed the world premiere of Steve Reich’s ‘2×5’ and ‘City Life’ at the Sala Sinopoli of the Parco della Musica in Rome. Francesco performed Marco Stroppa’s ‘traiettoria… Deviata’ and ‘Dialoghi’ together with Stroppa who played the electronic sounds; Giacinto Scelsi’s ‘Rotative’ for two pianos and percussion and the Italian premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s ‘Hommages’ for two pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart and played by a single pianist.

In a tribute to Elliot Carter, he performed the ‘Piano sonata’ and ‘90+’ at the American Academy. He opened the 3rd Rome International Electronic Music Festival in November 2010 with Mauricio Kagel’s ‘Transición II’ for piano, percussion and two magnetic tapes. He was invited by Nuova Consonanza as a special guest to perform the works of the finalists in the Franco Evangelisti International Composition Competition for piano and electronics. He was the pianist for the Parco della Musica Contemporanea, founded by the Music for Rome Association at the Parco della Musica Auditorium.

He opened the 2nd Rome International Festival of Electronic Music, performing works by Riccardo Bianchini and Giacinto Scelsi, and closed Nuova Consonanza Festival of Contemporary Music with works by Beat Furrer, György Ligeti and Franco Evangelisti.

Francesco played for Nuova Consonanza, performing music works with an accompanying video display, and opened the 1st Rome International Electronic Music Festival, performing Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ‘Kontakte’ for piano, percussion and magnetic tape at the Auditorium of Rome’s Tor Vergata University and the Sala Accademica of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory. He performed the same work with the Eko Ensemble, the group he formed that year, in various Italian cities, including Milan, Palermo, Trapani and Latina, which received wonderful reviews.

Francesco Prode began playing piano aged nine.  He received distinction and special commendation as the best graduate from the Santa Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome. He then went to the Royal College of Music in London to study under John Barstow, the Mozarteum in Salzburg under Hans Graf, the Russische Schule in Freiburg under Vitalij Margulis and finally in Milan with Vincenzo Balzani and Bruno Canino.

Francesco’s repertoire covers everything from Bach to Ravel, Berio, Furrer, Haas, Sciarrino and Fedele. Combining music from different and distant time periods has always been a staple of his concerts, which invariably include pieces by both classical and modern composers.