Concerts with Robin Ticciati and Francesco Piemontesi
3-10 September 2022
It is always a pleasure to go back to the Settimane Musicali di Ascona and perform with pianist – and artistic director of the festival – Francesco Piemontesi. He invited the COE to the festival for the first time in 2016, having got in touch with us via Twitter! Our first project together was with Sir Roger Norrington in a programme by Haydn and Beethoven. We were then invited back in 2019 with conductor Joshua Weilerstein and performed works by Brahms, Liszt, Haydn, Kodaly, Bartok and Golijov, which were based on the theme ‘Dances’. For reasons that we all know, 2020 and 2021 were rather difficult years and we are therefore delighted to have been invited again this year to work with Francesco Piemontesi and conductor Robin Ticciati on a repertoire by Weber, Schumann and Brahms. While the previous projects in 2016 and 2019 had been tied together with concerts in the Herbstgold Festival in Eisenstadt – where the COE is now resident – this year, we will then travel to Merano in Südtirol and to Bremen for their Musikfest.
We are particularly looking forward to working with Robin Ticciati again. Since our first project together in 2015, we have been developing a special relationship with Robin, which is captured in the interview below (audio only) with the COE’s podcast presenter Simon Mundy. Robin says that working with the COE for the first time was for him a ‘seminal’ moment because of the whole ‘mystique’ surrounding the Orchestra. However, during our first project, performing at the Cologne Philharmonie with Alina Ibragimova a programme by Bruch, Bach, Widmann and Haydn, Robin felt that the COE had more to give. It was only when “they got dirty with Beethoven” (in his own words!) in Dubai in 2017 that he felt he really unleashed the COE’s potential. Listen to the whole interview below:
Interview with Robin Ticciati about his experience with the COE
Robin Ticciati OBE has been Music Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin since 2017 and Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera since 2014. He was Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 2009-18.
He is a regular guest conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Guest-conducting highlights in recent years also include the Wiener Philharmoniker, Czech Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Staatskapelle Dresden.
Since becoming Music Director at Glyndebourne, he has conducted new productions of La damnation de Faust, Pelléas et Mélisande, Rosenkavalier, Entführung and La clemenza di Tito. Highlights as a guest opera conductor include Peter Grimes at La Scala, Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival, and Eugene Onegin at both the Royal Opera House and The Metropolitan Opera.
His highly acclaimed discography includes Berlioz with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Haydn, Schumann, Berlioz and Brahms with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Dvořák, Bruckner and Brahms with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; and Debussy, Duruflé, Duparc, Fauré, Ravel and Bruckner with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
Born in London, Robin Ticciati is a violinist, pianist and percussionist by training. He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain when, aged fifteen, he turned to conducting under the guidance of Sir Colin Davis and Sir Simon Rattle. He holds the position of ‘Sir Colin Davis Fellow of Conducting’ at the Royal Academy of Music. Robin was awarded an OBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2019).
Francesco Piemontesi is a pianist of exceptional refinement of expression, which is allied to a consummate technical skill. Widely renowned for his interpretation of Mozart and the early Romantic repertoire, Piemontesi’s pianism and sensibility has a close affinity too with the later 19th century and 20th century repertoire of Brahms, Liszt, Dvořák, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók and beyond. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.
The 2021/22 season leads him to orchestras such as London Philharmonic Orchestra and Robin Ticciati with whom he plays the opening concerts of the new concert halls in Ankara and Istanbul, followed by engagements with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchestra, Philharmonia Zürich, Wiener Symphoniker, Seattle Symphony and Frankfurt Museumsorchester under the baton of Constantinos Carydis. Recital engagements take him to Klavierfestival Ruhr, L’Aquila, Paris, Monte-Carlo, Wiener Konzerthaus, Basel, Las Palmas and Schubertiade Schwarzenberg.
Recent highlights include Piemontesi’s residency at the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, marking the first-ever residency the Orchestra has named, as well as his debut appearance with Berliner Philharmoniker. Francesco Piemontesi regularly appears with major ensembles worldwide: London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Cleveland orchestras, Israel Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, Munich Philharmonic, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI di Torino and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
In 2019, Piemontesi released a disc entitled ‘Schubert Last Piano Sonatas’ with Pentatone. Previous recordings include Liszt’s Années de Pelerinage, Mozart’s Piano Concertos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Manze on Linn, and for Naïve he has recorded Debussy Préludes and Mozart solo piano works.
Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi studied with Arie Vardi before working with Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Cécile Ousset and Alexis Weissenberg. He rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition. Since 2012, Piemontesi has been the Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.