GIOVANNI BELLUCCI is considered one of the most influential pianists of our time. His recording of Franz Liszt’s Paraphrases of Verdi and Bellini operas was included in Diapason magazine’s selection of the all-time top 10 Liszt recordings. Apart from Bellucci, the music critic Alain Lompech only took into consideration artists 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, UK 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 French daily paper Le Monde in highlighting Bellucci’s success in the World Piano Masters Competition in Monte-Carlo 1996 – the last in a lengthy series of successes in international competitions (from the ‘Queen Elisabeth’ in Brussels 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. Self-taught, Bellucci immediately performed Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas and, two years later, gave his first public concert with orchestra in which he played Liszt’s Totentanz. At the age of twenty, he took his degree summa cum laude and honourable mention at the ‘S. Cecilia’ Conservatoire.
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 Philharmonic, 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, and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. 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 a crowd of 18,000, 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 Philharmonic, Lugano, Herkulessaal in Munich (where he also received the German press prize for the best artistic event), 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. The current season will find Giovanni Bellucci in concert at the Accademia di S. Cecilia, the Vienna Musikverein, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the Grande Auditorium Belém in Lisbona, the Lugano Swiss Radio, the Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Mannheim’s National Theatre etc…
In early 2009, the Lontano label (distributed by Warner Classics) published the first three CDs dedicated to the awesome complete cycle of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas and 9 Beethoven/Liszt Symphonies played by this astonishing Italian artist.