Among all the artists performing at the Fourth International Piano Duo Festival, the Italian duo Pianistico di Firenze—composed of Sara Bartolucci and Rodolfo Alessandrini—is sure to be the standout performance of the program of renowned duet performers from Europe and North America. Presented by the San Francisco International Music Festival (SFIMF), the program will also feature the Bergmann Piano Duo from Canada, the ZOFO Duet (a Japanese and Swiss duo based in San Francisco), Duo Turgeon from Canada, American duo Anderson & Roe, the Angelo Piano Duo, (an Australian and American duo based in San Francisco), and the Riga Piano Duo, a Latvian and American duo based in Latvian capitol of Riga.
As a world-class destination with a unique blend of cultures, San Francisco offers an ideal setting for an international piano duo festival in the United States, which is the only event of its kind in the country.
The mission of the SFIMF is to preserve the art form of piano duo by bringing people of all ages together through performance, international festivals, educational experiences and outreach programs. Inspired by the Russian tradition of piano duo festivals, SFIMF sponsors the Milton & Peggy Salkind International Piano Duo Festival, which is the premiere international music festival in the United States.
It is solely dedicated to the art of the piano duo. Now entering its fourth season, the Salkind International Festival spotlights world-class artists in a series of concerts that capture the spirit of similar Eastern European festivals.
The Salkind International Piano Duo Festival, which will be held July 5th through 7th at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music—will showcase performances by distinguished American and international artists. The focus and theme of the festival will be “A Parisian Fete” of piano duo music from 1870 to 1925 Paris. The festival will also celebrate Debussy’s 150th anniversary as well as a closing concert of music and composers with a connection to the bicentennial year 1812, the centennial year 1912 as well as the current year.
During the “golden age” of piano duos in Paris, many new works were developed through artistic collaboration with numerous composers, artists, and dancers working together on performance projects. The 2012 festival will feature a dance program with performances of works by Debussy and Darius Milhaud with choreography by Mark Foehringer. Piano duos from Europe and North America will perform exciting and innovative programs of works by composers including Bizet, Saint-Saens, Chabrier, Faure, Dukas, Satie, Ravel, Milhaud, Hahn, and a selection of new discoveries as well.
Considered one of the most original and eclectic piano duos of recent generations, Bartolucci and Alessandrini began performing as a full-time duo 1990; the following year they began to style themselves the Duo Pianistico of Florence. Winners of major competitions including the international in Rome, Stresa, and “The Schubert,” they have since the beginning of their careers, had a tight concert schedule.
The Firenze Duo has won numerous awards and distinctions, has represented Italy at international festivals and events in France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States. The duo is highly acclaimed for its perfect ensemble, exquisite tonal balance, and refined stylistic choices. These distinguished artists have specialized in repertoire for piano duet with a particular interest in unedited or unfairly forgotten compositions.
Duo Pianistico is also known for the variety of its repertoire, as well as for its perfect set and sound quality. They have over forty premieres and many transcripts to their credit, as well as the unusual ability to build concert programs suitable for every occasion. Their repertoire currently has more than 150 works.
On May 4, 2011, the Piano Duo was celebrated at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence, during which they presented a vast and largely unknown repertoire.
The two Florentine pianists are also distinguished by their passionate activity as organizers of musical events. Sara Bartolucci and Rodolfo Alessandrini are the Artistic Directors of the National Piano Competitions: Città di Cesenatico and Muzio Clementi in Florence.
For a complete schedule, tickets, and information on the San Francisco International Music Festival visit the event website at www.sfmf.org. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is located at 50 Oak Street in San Francisco.