Italian Benedetto Lupo has been described as “an exceptionally fine pianist who has a remarkably fine touch and beautiful tone control” (The Oregonian). Making his long overdue debut appearance for the VRS, Lupo doesn’t merely play the piano with immense clarity and articulation, he makes it sing.
“His pianism was never less than gracious, the musical sensitivity behind it generous and true.” –Chicago Tribune
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Three Intermezzi Op. 117
Fantasien Op. 116
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
Grand Piano Sonata in G major Op. 37
Benedetto Lupo has been described by critics as an “exceptionally fine pianist … who has a remarkably fine touch and beautiful tone control” (The Oregonian). Praised for his “keen musical intelligence and probing intellect” (Miami Herald), and for combining “meticulous technique with romantic sensitivity” (Birmingham News), he has gained worldwide recognition. After winning the bronze medal in the 1989 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, he made acclaimed debuts with several major American orchestras, as well as chamber appearances with the Tokyo String Quartet. His New York City recital debut at Alice Tully Hall followed in 1992, the same year he won the Terence Judd International Award, which in turn led to his debut at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Next season, two debuts in North America are notable: Lupo will perform Bartók’s Concerto No. 1 with the Baltimore Symphony, before playing Chopin’s E-minor Concerto with I Musici de Montréal. He will also return to the Huntsville Symphony to perform the Schumann Concerto. Overseas, he will partner with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and conductor Alain Lombard, the Liege Philharmonic on occasion of its Rachmaninov Festival, and the Göttingen Symphonie Orchester and Real Orquesta Sinfonia in Sevilla. In his native country he will be soloist with the Santa Cecilia Symphony in Rome and Verdi Orchestra in Milan, and will tour with the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese performing Beethoven’s Concertos No. 1 and 2.
The 2011-12 season brought another two milestones with Lupo’s Tanglewood Festival debut (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 18, K. 456) and Los Angeles Philharmonic debut (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, K. 595). Other highlights included the Montreal Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, and the Malaysian Philharmonic. In Italy he was heard with the Verdi Orchestra in Milan, the National RAI Orchestra in Turino and the festivals of Brescia and Bergamo.
Lupo’s prior season focused on three anniversaries. He celebrated Liszt’s 200th birthday by performing the composer’s Concerto No. 1 and Totentanz with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, the Verdi Orchestra in Milan and the Austin Symphony. As a prominent proponent of Nino Rota he played the Concerto Soirée on occasion of the composer’s 100th birthday with the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid as well as other European orchestras. And he joined other noted pianists in celebration of the Liege Philharmonic’s 50th anniversary. Other appearances during the season brought him together with the NWD Philharmonie, Northern Sinfonia, Les Violons du Roy, and the symphonies of Bilbao, Lecce, and Phoenix.
The 2009-10 season continued the array of debuts with key orchestras in the United States. Lupo made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Vladomir Jurowski, as well as with the symphonies of Colorado, San Antonio, Virginia and Kansas City. Overseas, he could be heard with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome under Kent Nagano, the Orchestra Verdi in Milan and on a tour of the Tuscany region with the ORT Orchestra. Other concert appearances included San Remo (Italy), Limburg (Netherlands), Odense (Denmark) and with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Navarra (Spain).
Earlier highlights have included his New York orchestral debut during the 2008-09 season with the Mostly Mozart Festival and subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony. The previous year Lupo reunited with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig and Vladimir Jurowski, performing Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand, and later performed Ravel’s other piano concerto with the London Philharmonic at Royal Festival Hall. Other highlights were the Cliburn Concert Series in Ft. Worth, the opening of the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Festival of Brescia, Bergamo with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy under Sir Neville Marriner, and touring with the London Philharmonic under Jurowski to Bucharest, Merano, Verona, and Zagreb. He also appeared repeatedly with the symphonies of Montreal, Vancouver, Seattle, St. Louis, Utah, Oregon, Columbus, Jacksonville, Louisiana, and Huntsville, as well as the Hallé, Bergen (Norway), Rotterdam, Liege and Slovak philharmonic orchestras. He has performed at numerous music festivals worldwide, including Montreal’s Lanaudière Festival, Tivoli in Copenhagen, the Villa Medici in Rome, the Chopin Festival in Poland, the Schubert Festivals in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and Chicago’s Grant Park Festival.
Lupo’s recordings include an acclaimed version of Nino Rota’s Concerto Soirée with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana on the Nuova Era label, and a new recording of the same work on Harmonia Mundi for which he received the prestigious Diapason d’Or award. With Peter Maag and the RSI Symphony Orchestra he has recorded Schumann’s complete works for piano and orchestra, including the first CD recording of the piano version of Konzertstück, Op. 86, for the Arts label.
Benedetto Lupo teaches at the Nino Rota Conservatory in Italy, gives master classes around the world, and has served on the jury of both the Cleveland International Competition and the Gina Bachauer Competition in Salt Lake City, from which he previously won second and third prize, respectively. He is featured on the Emmy-award winning documentary Here to Make Music: The Eighth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the seven-part series Encore! The Final Round of Performances of the Eighth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, both for PBS.