Marino Formenti - piano
"… a Glenn Gould of the 21st century, a visionary for whom the usual limitations of either technique or tradition are not an issue" ~ Los Angeles Times

Italian born pianist/conductor Marino Formenti has distinguished himself as a compelling and original interpreter of contemporary music, winning particular acclaim for performances juxtaposing modern and classical repertoire to illuminating, exhilarating effect.

He has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Orchestre de la Suiss Romande; worked with conductors including Franz Welser-Most, Gustavo Dudamel, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Daniel Harding; and appeared at the international festivals of Salzburg, Lucerne, Edinburgh, Schleswig-Holstein, Ravinia and Aspen, among others.

Formenti began his 2010/11 season with a new project entitled “Nowhere,, a week-long 24/7 performance in the public eye at the Graz Steirischer Herbst Festival, and repeated in a 15-hour version at the Festival Wien Moderne. He performs his program “Kurtag’s Ghosts” at London’s Wigmore Hall, and in the US at the Cornell Concert Series and Duke Performances. He also unveils “The Eclectic Nite: Song Project No. 1 ”, a dialogue between the music of Jacques Brel, Billie Holiday, and Thelonious Monk with John Cage, Harrison Birtwistle, Erik Satie and other at New York City’s (le) Poisson Rouge. Orchestral concerts include the Münchner Kammerorchester and debut performances at the New York Philharmonic, for Hungarian Echoes: A Philharmonic Festival, where he plays the Ligeti Piano Concerto with Esa-Pekka Salonen.

A new recital project, “Liszt Inspections,” pairing major Liszt works with compositions by Morton Feldman, Brian Ferneyhough, John Adams, Karlheinz Stockhausen and others, will be premiered this spring at the Laieshalle in Hamburg. In the summer he brings “Nowhere” to the Bregenz Festival, performs a solo recital at the Salzburg Festival, and in the fall presents projects at the Festival D’Automne in Paris and a concert/lecture cycle at the Vienna Konzerthaus.

In the 2009/10 season Formenti played the Lou Harrison Concerto with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, following his 2008 debut performing Messiaen's “From the Canyons to the Stars”, with Esa-Pekka Salonen. Other highlights included Kurtag and Mozart with Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Salzburg Mozartwoche and at the Philharmonie in Cologne, and the Alban Berg Chamber Concerto for Piano and Violin with Klangforum Wien, led by Sylvain Cambreling. Formenti presented “Kurtag's Ghosts” at the Vienna Konzerthaus, at Peak Performances at Montclair State University, and as artist-in-residence at the Weimar Festival, where he also performed works of Luigi Nono with Stephen Asbury. In a return engagement for San Francisco Performances, he presented "Aspects of the Divine", a cycle featuring Haydn and Bernhard Lang’s “Seven Last Words” and Messiaen's “Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus”. He also performed the “Seven Last Words” program at the Hitzacker Festival and in Graz, Austria.

Formenti worked with some of the world’s greatest living composers, among them Helmut Lachenmann, Gyorgy Kurtag, Salvatore Sciarrino, Olga Neuwirth, Beat Furrer and Bernhard Lang.

As a conductor, Formenti has appeared at the Teatro alla Scala, Salle Pleyel Paris, the Musikverein Vienna and Konzerthaus Berlin.

In 2009 Marino Formenti was awarded the Belmont Prize for contemporary music by the Forberg-Schneider Foundation. He has recorded for Kairos, col legno and BIS. His most recent recording, a 2-CD set of “Kurtag's Ghosts,” is now available on Kairos.

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