CRISTIANA PEGORARO, PIANIST and COMPOSER
Acclaimed as one of the most gifted musicians of her generation, Italian-born pianist Cristiana Pegoraro has consistently entertained and enlightened audiences with her inspired performances and original programming.
Her skills display great technical and interpretative abilities. Her numerous awards and prizes include the Prague Best of the Year for Classical Music Award "for her great personality, strong musical temperament, mastery of phrasing and expressive artistry." The New York Times called her "an artist of the highest caliber" following her stunning 1996 debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.
Ms. Pegoraro has performed in some of the greatest concert halls in Europe, United States, South America, Asia and Australia, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, the Guggenheim Museum (New York); the Sydney Opera House; Grosses Saal, Festspielhaus (Salzburg); Musikverein, Palais Metternich, Bösendorfer Saal (Vienna); Royal College of Music (London); Auditorium Parco della Musica - Santa Cecilia Hall, Sinopoli Hall, Petrassi Hall, Casa del Jazz (Rome); Serate Musicali (Milan); Centro Cultural de Belem (Lisbon); Theatro Municipal (São Paulo); Theatro Municipal (Rio de Janeiro), the Opera House (Manaus), Budapest Spring Festival, Umbria Jazz Winter, Sorrento Jazz Festival, S. Petersburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr – Germany, Shabyt Festival Astana – Kazakstan, 2005 Aichi World Expo – Japan and 2008 Saragoza World Expo - Spain), among others.
On November 2003, she played for the President of Italy, Mr. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Later that same month, on the occasion of the Italian Presidency of the European Council, she performed in her eighth (sold out) concert at Lincoln Center in the presence of the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
In 2006, at the United Nations Headquarters, she played for Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.
In December 2006 and November 2007 she toured the Gulf Countries, becoming the first Italian female pianist to perform classical concerts in Bahrain, Yemen and Oman.
In 2008, she was the only European representative at the Spring Festival at the United Nations in New York, and performed in the hall of the General Assembly in front of ambassadors and dignitaries from 192 countries. That same year, she made her debut at the Musikverein in Vienna playing the last three Beethoven Sonatas and at the 16th edition of Umbria Jazz Winter with two sold-out concerts.
In 2009, she played in Moscow in the presence of the Italian Minister of Economic Development.
In 2010, in Rome, she performed for the President of the Austrian Senate.
Hailed by the critics as among the best interpreters of Cuban and South American music, Ms. Pegoraro has premiered the works of Latin-American composers such as Astor Piazzolla, Joaquin Nin and Ernesto Lecuona to European audiences. She also has arranged for solo piano some of their great works including the best tangos of Astor Piazzolla and a Fantasy on Cuban dances by Ernesto Lecuona.
She has been a featured artist on radio and television, on WQXR New York (USA), RAI, Mediaset, Radio Vaticana, Discoteca di Stato (Italy), the BBC (Scotland), ARD (Germany), RTP (Portugal), Nine Network (Australia) and CBC (Japan). She has been a guest on the Italian TV shows: “Porta a Porta” with Bruno Vespa (RAI 1), “Sottovoce” with Gigi Marzullo (RAI 1), “Vivere Meglio” with Fabrizio Trecca (Rete 4).
Her piano artistry can be heard on twenty-four compact discs released by Decision Products, Dynamic, Nuova Era, and DIVA. Gramophone magazine heralded her second recording of Ernesto Lecuona’s piano music on Dynamic Records with glowing praise: ”Cristiana Pegoraro plays not only with brilliance, but with a most engaging finesse.” Peter Burwasser of Fanfare magazine has described her as a multi-faceted artist who eagerly searches for passion and musical inspiration in her life and her performances.
In the last years, Cristiana has taken up the challenge of composition, releasing three highly acclaimed albums “A Musical Journey”, “Ithaka” and "La mia Umbria."
Her compositions have been used for films and documentaries. She composed the soundtrack to the video “For whom the sirens toll” produced by the United Nations Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and presented at the United Nations on September 11th, 2004, in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack. She is also the author of the soundtrack of the short movie "La casa dell'orologio" by Italian director Gianni Torres.
She is the author of a book of poems called “Ithaka” and a series of children’s books based on Italian operas.
Cristiana regularly presents master classes across the U.S. (including at The Juilliard School in New York), Europe, The Middle East, Asia and Australia. She supports various international organizations such as UNICEF, Amnesty International, World Food Programme and Emergency in their humanitarian efforts.
In 2005 at her 10th (sold out) concert at Lincoln Center, she received the “World Peace Award” from the Circolo Culturale Italiano of the United Nations for her effort in advancing peace in the world.
In 2007, in Naples, Italy, along with other important artists including Maestro Claudio Abbado, she received the Sebetia Ter – President of Italy Award for her activity as a performer and composer. That same year, at her concert at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, she was honored with the title of Ambassador of the Right to Music, a program under the tutelage of the Commission of Culture of Rome and the Commission for Youth Policies whose goal is to promote musical culture in all its aspects.
In 2010, she was anointed as “2010 ILICA woman of the year” by the Italian Language Intercultural Alliance in New York.
In 2011, she was honored with the “Rotary Umbria” prize for her professionalism, social commitment and her constant promotion of Umbria throughout the world. She also received the “Messenger of the Territory” award from the Chamber of Commerce of Terni, and the “Melvin Jones Fellow” award for dedicated humanitarian services from the Lions Clubs International Foundation.
In 2013, she received from the hands of the Mayor of Rome the prestigious “Premio Simpatia”, awarded to performing artists, authors, ambassadors and sports figures who exemplify a commitment to Italy, and conceived in recognition "of individuals who enrich and exalt the essential values of life through their work”. Past recipients include Directors Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli, Actress Sofia Loren and Nobel Laureate Dario Fo. She is a testimonial of Umbria’s tourism campaign throughout the world.
Since 2011, she is the Artistic Director of Narnia Arts Academy (www.narniaartsacademy.com) and Narnia Festival (www.narniafestival.it). The 2014 edition of the Academy and Festival received the President of Italy gold medal.
At current time, Cristiana Pegoraro is the first female Italian pianist to perform all 32 Sonatas for piano by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Ms. Pegoraro graduated with highest honors from the Conservatory of Terni, Italy, at the age of sixteen. She continued her studies with Jörg Demus in Vienna and Hans Leygraf at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. She later studied with Nina Svetlanova at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.