Biography

     “Beautiful pianism with wonderful tone; very sensitive to nuances, voicing and atmosphere; intelligent, energetic and never heavy-handed.” (The Independent)
     Italian pianist Federico Colli is internationally recognised for his intelligent, imaginative interpretations and impeccable technique, praised for his ‘crystalline brilliance and translucence that takes you to the heart of everything he plays.’ (Gramophone)
     Federico first came to prominence after winning the Salzburg Mozart Competition in 2011 and the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2012. Since then, he has been performing with orchestras including the Mariinsky Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, RAI National Symphony, BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish National, RTÉ National Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Vienna Chamber, Camerata Salzburg, Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, Polish Radio National Symphony, Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra, Orchestra della Toscana, National Philharmonic of Ukraine and Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira; at venues such as the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Beethovenhalle Bonn, NDR Landesfunkhaus in Hannover, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven,  Barbican Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Dublin National Concert Hall, Salle Cortot in Paris, Rudolfinum Dvorak Hall in Prague, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan, Lingotto in Turin, Philharmonic Concert Hall in Warsaw, Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro and the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg.
     Federico has worked with esteemed conductors including Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vasily Petrenko, Juraj Valčuha, Thomas Søndergård, Alan Buribayev, Joji Hattori, Jasper Kaspszyk, Ed Spanjaard, Roman Kofman, Alpesh Chauhan, Sir Mark Elder and Dennis Russel Davies.
     Further afield he performed at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall, Sala Nezahualcoyotl in Mexico City with the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM under Pier Carlo Orizio and he toured Japan giving performances at Nikkei Hall, Musashino Concert Hall and Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, and the Performing Arts Center in Hyogo.
     Federico records exclusively for Chandos Records, with whom he will release his first disc in May 2018 of sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. This will be followed by a disc of Bach and Bach-Busoni. To coincide with his debut at the Southbank Centre’s International Piano Series in April 2014, Federico’s debut solo CD, produced by Champs Hill Records, was released to great critical acclaim, featuring works by Beethoven, Scriabin and Mussorgsky. BBC Music Magazine wrote of the disc ‘Colli’s captivating ability to illuminate even the most densely packed musical terrain emerges as a structure of supreme logic, propelled rather than merely embellished by mystical ripplings and flutterings’.
     Performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3, he made his London concerto debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo, about which The Times wrote ‘played with formidable delicacy by Federico Colli, with limpid tone and calligraphic phrasing. Colli takes care to seduce before sweeping the listener off his or her feet’.
     Recent recitals include Rio de Janeiro City of Arts, Sociedad Filarmonica of Bilbao, Southbank Centre International Piano Series, Southampton Turner Sims, LSO St Luke’s, Società dei Concerti in Milan, Ferrara Musica and Musica Insieme Bologna; with festival appearances at the Eilat Chamber Music Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival, MiTo Settembre Musica, Brescia and Bergamo International Piano Festival, Hong Kong Joy of Music, Dvorak Prague and Duszniki International Chopin Piano Festival.
     Federico’s concerts have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, RAI radio and TV, Mariinsky TV, Polish Radio and ORF Austria. In recent seasons, Federico Colli has had the honour to share the stage with renowned musicians such as Lang Lang, Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire and Leonidas Kavakos.
     Highlights in 2017/18 include his debuts at the Royal Albert Hall performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 and at Cadogan Hall in London performing Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2, both with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Other season highlights include concerto performances with the Janáček Philharmonic, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, and the Lodz Philharmonic, and recitals at Lucerne Piano Festival, Turner Sims Southampton, Lakeside Arts Centre Nottingham and Fazioli Concert Hall. Further ahead, Federico makes his US debut and his debut at Wigmore Hall, London.
     In 2011, he received the ‘Grosso d’Argento’ from the mayor of his hometown Brescia, in recognition of his artistic achievements. In 2014,  Federico was selected by International Piano magazine as one of the ‘30 pianists under 30 who are likely to dominate the world stage in years to come’.
     Born in Brescia in 1988, he studied at the Milan Conservatory, the Imola International Piano Academy and the Salzburg Mozarteum under the guidance of Sergio Marengoni, Konstantin Bogino, Boris Petrushansky and Pavel Gililov.

 

Video

 

Discography

CDcoverCHRECORDS

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION
CHRCD079 © ℗ 2014 Champs Hill Records
FEDERICO COLLI piano

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
[1] - [3] Sonata No. 23 in F minor "Appassionata"

ALEXANDER SCRIABIN
[4] Sonata No. 10 Op. 70

MODEST MUSSORGSKY
[5] - [20] Pictures at an exhibition

[20] The Great Gate of Kiev

BUY THE CD

Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ Sonata is full of youthful fire in this performance by the Leeds winner Federico Colli. In short, it comprises the storm, the calm and the fury: I can almost imagine this is how Beethoven would have played it. Federico Colli shows his beautiful shades of colour in the wildly demanding Scriabin Tenth Sonata, where the trills and abrupt rhythms are given their full worth by the performer. With Mussorgsky’s Pictures, it can often be the case that pianists tend to overdo the drama. Federico Colli, however, is not out to score cheap points. The ‘Promenade’ binds the sections together without coming across as repetitive, and the big chords on the final pages are never harsh or banging. This is an impressive recording - the whole release is proof that the Leeds judges made the right decision in selecting Federico Colli as their number one.

Pianist Magazine   ★★★★★

Federico Colli's captivating ability to illuminate even the most densely packed musical terrain emerges as a structure of supreme logic.

Julian Haylock, BBC Music Magazine

Entirely individual, Federico Colli nonetheless takes you back to the far-off days of Lupu and Perahia. I can celebrate a crystalline brilliance and translucence that takes you to the heart of everything he plays.

Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

 

CDcoverMOZARTEUM

UNIVERSITAT MOZARTEUM SALZBURG
UNIMOZ 53 © 2014
FEDERICO COLLI Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
[1]
 Variations in F Major KV 398 on “Salve tu, Domine”
[2] Rondo in D Major KV 485
[3] Eine kleine Gigue in G Major KV 574
[4] - [6] Sonata in G Major KV 283 

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
[7] - [10]
Sonata no. 1 in F minor Op. 2 Nr. 1

[1-10] Recorded December 13th and 14th, 2011 at the Solitar of the Mozarteum University Salzburg by Ton und Videostudio
Direction: Peter Schimdt - Producer: Sascha Tekale - Sound engineers: Michael Wacht, Hermann Urabl 

MAURICE RAVEL
[11] - [13]
Gaspard de la nuit

[11-13] Recorded live June 1st, 2013 at the Dortmund Amphi Saal for the Klavier Festival Ruhr
Sound engineer: Cristoph Martin Frommen

[10] Prestissimo

[11] Ondine

Editor: Stefan David Hummel - Cover photo: Sarah Ferrara

 

CDCoverKPHILBONN
LIVE RECORDING AT THE BONN BEETHOVENHALLE
© 2011 Klassische Philharmonie Bonn
Klassische Philharmonie Bonn

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
[1] - [3] Piano Concerto no. 5 in E flat major Op. 73
[4] - [7] Symphony no. 7 in A flat major Op. 92

Piano: Federico Colli   Conductor: Heribert Beissel   Orchestra: Klassische Philharmonie Bonn

[3] Rondo - Allegro

Mastering recording: G. Gutten - H. Herzig   Opening comments: I. Forst - G. Massenkeil
Pages layout: M. Steymans Brenner   Illustrations: O. Runge "Der grosse Morgen" (Ausschnitt)

 

Reviews

If anyone had arrived at the concert wondering why Federico Colli had won the Salzburg Mozart Competition and the Gold Medal at The Leeds, their wondering would have turned to just plain wonder after only a few bars of hearing him play.

William Ruff, Nottingham Post

Federico Colli- piano playing of wonderful subtlety.
The slow movement- one of the most beautiful things in Schumann's output, surely- was moody, rapt and gloriously poetic.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian  ★★★★★

Something magical began to happen with the first variation of the Beethoven's second movement: a pattern of figuration that in other hands can be nothing more than that, but that for Federico Colli became a shifting lattice of subtle voices, light and shade- as if he could hear and imagine things that the rest of us can't.

Jessica Duchen, JDCMB

Federico Colli is undoubtedly an interpreter of extraordinary freshness, elegance and originality. The expressive tension, the tonal variety and the richness of accents in the phrasing are irresistible to the listener's ears.

Gianni Villani, L'Arena di Verona

Federico Colli has obviously a wonderful technique, which allows him to penetrate the work in different ways. His interpretation of Beethoven’s Emperor was clearly structured and logically expressed.

Harald Budweg, Frankfurter Allgemeine

Cutting a dandyish figure in his grey suit and trademark silk cravat, Federico Colli launched the Mozart Sonata regarded by many pianists as downright trivial, but which in his hands opened up like a spring flower, its outer movements shot through with brilliant lights, and its Andante exquisitely shaded; he tended to brush the keys rather than striking them, and he was very sparing with the pedal.

Michael Church, The Independent   ★★★★★

With clear and shrill sound, Federico Colli not only conquers the goal- showing a technique of extreme virtuosity- but also manages to give a his own reading of the demoniac Rach 3. He reveals the nature "liberty", decorative and insinuating of the concerto, more American than Russian, more silky than furry. Very well.

Carla Moreni, Il Sole 24 Ore

With Federico Colli, winner in 2012 of the renowned Leeds Piano Competition, Italy has gained, after a long time, a young pianist who has every chance of reconnecting with the great tradition of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Maurizio Pollini. His sense for the strong contrasts, for a brilliant and resolute sound aims to the passion. His dizzying coherence in the interpretation and his focus on the changing lights are not exhausted in a virtuosic performance, but they serve to the structural explanation of the work.

Werner Haussner, Dortmund Revier Passagen

Played with formidable delicacy by Federico Colli with limpid tone and calligraphic phrasing, it’s a Valentino kiss this work. Cool, a little sad, unhurried, elegant. But Federico Colli takes care to seduce before sweeping the listener off his or her feet.

Anna Picard, The Times

Federico Colli is a prodigious young talent, making effortless work of Beethoven’s masterful but technically demanding ‘Emperor’ piano concerto. Visually, the cravat is the most flamboyant thing about him- his playing style is composed, with all his internal energy being channelled through long, elegant fingers and into a fluidly graceful, but technically impeccable, performance. The flourish of the opening movement was impressive, but the central Allegro was a thing of beauty.

Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo

His playing was consistently detached, but never mechanical and he was phenomenal with his clarity of playing.

Michael Tumelty, The Herald