Federico Colli, piano


Praised by The Daily Telegraph for “his beautifully light touch and lyrical grace” and called by Gramophone “one of the more original thinkers of his generation”, Federico Colli has been rapidly gaining worldwide recognition for his compelling, unconventional interpretations and clarity of sound. The remarkable originality and highly imaginative, philosophical approach to music-making have distinguished Federico’s performances and recordings as miraculous and multidimensional. Federico’s first release of Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, recorded on Chandos Records for whom he is an exclusive recording artist, was awarded “Recording of the Year” by Presto Classical. The second volume of Scarlatti’s Sonatas was named “Recording of the Month” by both BBC Music Magazine and International Piano Magazine and it has been chosen by BBC Music Magazine as "one of the best classical albums released in 2020".

Following his early successes including the Gold Medal at the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, the International Piano Magazine selected him "as one of the 30 pianists under 30 who are likely to dominate the world stage in years to come". Henceforth, Federico went on to perform with renowned orchestras including the Mariinsky Orchestra and St Petersburg Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Arena di Verona Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Armenian State Symphony and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Hamburger Symphoniker and Orchestre national d’Île-de-France. He has also worked with esteemed conductors including Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yuri Temirkanov, Juraj Valčuha, Ion Marin, Thomas Søndergård, Ed Spanjaard, Fabio Luisi, Vasily Petrenko, Case Scaglione and Sakari Oramo.

One of the most prolific and intriguing recitalists, Federico showcased his mastery in some of the world’s most famous halls such as Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Mariinsky Theatre and Philharmonia in St Petersburg, Berlin Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and Elbphilharmonie, Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, London Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Prague Rudolfinum, Paris Philharmonie, Rome Auditorium Parco della Musica, Stockholm Konserthuset, Tokyo Nikkei Hall, Hong Kong City Hall, Seoul Kumho Art Hall, New York Lincoln Centre and Chicago Bennet Gordon Hall. He has appeared in festivals such as Klavier Festival Ruhr in Dortmund and Bechstein Klavierabende in Berlin, International Piano Series in London, International Festival MiTo in Turin, Dvorak International Festival in Prague, Chopin and his Europe International Festival in Warsaw, White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Lucerne Festival, The Gilmore in Kalamazoo and Ravinia Festival in Chicago.

Some concerts in 2022/23 season include performances at the Dublin National Concert Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra under Case Scaglione (Beethoven piano concerto no. 4) and Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra under Gabriel Bebeșelea (Beethoven piano concerto no. 1). Solo recitals are planned at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London for the International Piano Series, Turner Sims in Southampton and Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and in Concert season of the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava.

In addition to live performances, Federico maintains busy recording schedule. His future releases projects on Chandos include a Russian project focused on Shostakovich and Prokofiev, as well as spread over five years a multi album Mozart project with solo and chamber music repertory.

Born in Brescia in 1988, he has been studying at the Milan Conservatory, Imola International Piano Academy and Salzburg Mozarteum, under the guidance of Sergio Marengoni, Konstantin Bogino, Boris Petrushansky and Pavel Gililov. The Music Section of the UK Critics’ Circle included him among the recipients of its 2018 Awards.

Concerto repertoire

Johann Sebastian Bach

Harpsichord concerto d-minor BWV 1052
Harpsichord concerto f-minor BWV 1056

Béla Bartók

Piano Concerto No. 3, Sz 119

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73, "Emperor"

Johannes Brahms

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

George Gershwin

Rhapsody in Blue

Edvard Grieg

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Franz Joseph Haydn

Piano Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11

Franz Liszt

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124/R455

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, KV 467 "Elvira Madigan"
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, KV 488
Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, KV 491
Piano Concerto no. 27 in B flat Major, KV 595

Sergei Rachmaninov

Piano Concerto no. 2 in C-minor, op. 18
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Maurice Ravel

Piano Concerto in G major

Camille Saint-Saëns

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22

Robert Schumann

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Dmitry Shostakovich

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
November 2022
For Beethoven's 1st Piano Concerto in C major, Italian pianist Federico Colli had been invited. It was a happy choice, for in Colli's hands, Beethoven's melodies were transformed into pure light, they were weightless, carried only by gentle currents of air, where every note, every phrase was conjured up with a unique lyrical sense. The collaboration between Colli and the orchestra with the American conductor Case Scaglione was telepathic and agreeable (…)The audience's standing ovation was an expression of genuine enthusiasm - and well deserved.
IL MANIFESTO, by Dino Villatico
September 2022
Listening to this CD brings to mind Roland Barthes's Le plaisir du texte. A pleasure that goes beyond the knowledge and respect for the philology. Colli takes the liberty of not respecting the refrains, but the proposal remains interesting: it reveals a Mozart recording his own improvisations. The contrasts so frequent in Mozart between a forte and a sudden piano or vice versa are strictly respected, but above all it attracts the fluency, the fickleness of the cantabile. Mozart is an unpredictable composer and Colli gives us precisely this unpredictability, this freedom of invention. The rigor of architecture, instead of suffocating, enhances the freedom.
June 2022
Never for a moment does Colli play within controversial parameters. His pianism could hardly be more vibrantly alive or brilliantly etched, offering him a dynamic range from the merest whisper to a blazing forte.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, by Michael Church
June 2022
It’s not a question of ‘liberties’ taken: it’s about a kind of musical free-association, a grabbing of clues in the score which most pianists follow to the letter, but which Colli takes in both hands and runs with. (…) His C minor K475 Fantasie is a journey through a craggy landscape full of beauty and mystery; the K296 Fantasie is willfully discursive, but has powerful eloquence. (…) The closing sonata is a delight: the Allegro nimbly but delicately delivered, the Andante pure tenderness, and the disintegrating finale bursts with exuberant energy.
GB OPERA, by Giorgio Audisio
April 2022
Federico Colli…charm the audience with a new sound, brilliant and full of passion. His touch, light and lively, always emerges from the rich orchestra and it grows naturally in all the hall. The phrasing, captivating and passionate, has its climax in the big original Cadenza of the first movement where the lines of the piano sound like an improvised toccata thanks to the apparent freedom of play.
OPERA CLICK, by Marco Vizzardelli
April 2022
It is always precious to hear this pianist perform live with his unique “perlage” of sound. Yes, “perlage”. The sound of the piano becomes like a pearl necklace. (…) Colli ’s interpretation of Beethoven 4 was deep in the lightness. And in his touch: that very first G major chord, an incredible deep but transparent sound under his hands, was a poetry which he let fade in the air for a moment. Then the pearl necklace spreads out, but there is no danger of aestheticism because Federico is intelligent and awake and the result is actually a musical drama, in thousands inner voices in the interrupted dialogue between piano and orchestra.
REVUE, by Martin Heinritz
November 2021
This level of artistry indeed feels as if it’s transmitting the divine. And Federico Colli is utterly in command as he channels that source of magnificence. What a gift it is that those in attendance on Sunday got to bear witness to such mastery.
November 2021
It was an astounding musical experience, a stunning display of much more than pianism and virtuosity – although they were there, in spades - but musical sensitivity, original thinking, and an acute awareness of the infinite palate of colours afforded by the piano.
DER TAGESSPIEGEL, by Isabel Herzfeld
Jaunuary 2020
In the Bechstein-Reihe of the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Italian Federico Colli impresses with his attention to details: Through an approach of absolute clarity and transparency, Colli reveals subtle tactile abilities, creating interruptions of tension to enhance the richness of the nuances and the daring changes of the harmony, so making the alternation of the atmospheres even more alive.
Press Service

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

Photo: Eveline Beerkircher

Photo: Kate Kondratiev

Photo: Bonsook Koo

Photo: Marcello Nan

Photo: Roberto Mora