Carlo Grante

piano
biography

Carlo Grante is one of the most active pianists performing and recording today. His concert repertoire is one of the largest among contemporary pianists; it includes masterpieces by core composers as well as important works by lesser-known composers. His discography runs to more than fifty CDs and ranges from
Domenico Scarlatti (the complete sonatas, a 40-CD project under the auspices of Bösendorfer and Badura-Skoda in Vienna), to Platti, Clementi, Liszt and Schumann, to twentieth-century composers such as Godowsky, Busoni and Sorabji. Recent recordings include works by Vlad (Opus Triplex) and Finnissy (Bachsche Nachdichtungen), both dedicated to Mr. Grante and inspired by Bach and Busoni, and Flynn (Glimpses of our inner lives), also dedicated to him; Franz Schmidt's two piano concertos, with the MDR Leipzig under Fabio Luisi; three Mozart piano concertos with Orchestra of St. Cecilia, and the Concerto K.271, recorded live in Vienna with Concertino Wien; the Busoni Concerto, recorded live in Vienna with the Vienna Symphony under Fabio Luisi; Robert Schumann's three piano sonatas; and works by Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Bloch, Liszt and Godowsky (whose complete works he is recording). In 1995 Carlo Grante gave the world premiere of 53 Studies on the Études of Chopin by Godowsky at the Newport Festival.

Carlo Grante is one of Europe's foremost concert artists, having performed in such major venues and prestigious halls as the Grosser Saal of the Konzerthaus and the Goldener Saal of the Musikverein in Vienna; Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall in London; the Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome; Leipzig Gewandhaus; Dresden Semperoper; Stuttgart Opera; and in New York, Chicago, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hanoi, Zagreb, Bucharest, Lima and Rio de Janeiro. He has performed at the festivals of Vienna, Istanbul, Husum, Newport, Miami, Tallin, Ravello, and MDR Musiksommer, and the "Neuhaus Festival" in Saratov. He has appeared as soloist with major orchestras including the Dresden Staatskapelle, Royal Philharmonic in London, Vienna Symphony, Orchestra of St. Cecilia, Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, MDR Leipzig, Capella Istropolitana, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Concertino Wien.

In 1996, on the occasion of two recitals at Wigmore Hall in London, the reviewer of Musical Opinion wrote, "the discs of Grante had shown astonishing qualities...his live performances have then proved him to be the first-rate pianist that his discs suggested." In 1997, after a series of six recitals in New York, Bernard Holland of The New York Times wrote, "Carlo Grante...systematically demonstrated technical ability, but it was a prowess that went beyond muscle and speed. Here was not just attractive color but color with a purpose." Eminent author and critic Harold Schonberg said that Grante demonstrated "real, stylish virtuoso playing, nimble and confident, backed by a splendid piano tone. Fingerwork is impeccable...[The] playing has color and imagination."

Mr. Grante's recitals and concerto performances have been greeted with enthusiasm; a reviewer described Grante's Mozart Fantasia as "a small, quiet miracle" (Leipziger Volkszeitung); another dubbed Grante "a knight of the piano, without blemish and without fear..." (Schmidt, Die Presse, Vienna); another praised "Grante's meticulous, thoughtful virtuosity and stylistic insights...like Horowitz, Grante is a master at creating a multicolored portfolio of legato shadings through fingers alone, pedaling ever so discreetly" (Gramophone).

Carlo Grante graduated from the Conservatory S. Cecilia in Rome, studying with Sergio Perticaroli, after which he studied in the U.S. with Ivan Davis at the University of Miami and at The Juilliard School in New York with Rudolf Firkušný; he then studied intensively in London with Alice Kezeradze-Pogorelich.

A Bösendorfer artist, Carlo Grante is also a widely-published writer on the piano literature. He lives in Rome. 


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    Reviews
     Gramophone,
    "In my review of Volume I [Scarlatti] I praised Grante's thoughtful virtuosity and stylistic insights, together with his wide range of agogic stresses, articulations and embellishments, not to mention an acute sense of textural diversity and registral differentiation that have as much to do with Grante as with the vintage Boesendorfer grand used. These words apply even more to Volume 2, where Grante's highly detailed fingerwork goes right to the heart of each sonata's character... or masterful contrapuntal interplay between hands in the E minor Kk198, Grante and Horowitz run neck and neck.
      "
      (Jed Distler)
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