fabio grasso website – home
FABIO GRASSO aims to recreate a figure of musician that keeps together the aspect of virtuoso pianist, with wide-ranging classical and contemporary repertoire, and that of all-round cultivated composer, firmly anchored to the aesthetic heritage of the European historical avantgarde, not only interested in piano music, but also in chamber, symphonic and theatrical fields, whose creative research focuses on the construction of a strongly characterized harmonic language.
STUDIES AND TEACHING
Born in Vercelli (Italy), he began the musical studies in his town under the guidance of Mario Barasolo and Jean Micault. He took the Piano Degree at 17 with full marks and the mention ad honorem (Conservatory of Turin, section Cuneo). He obtained the Degree in Composition at the Conservatory of Milan, where he had as teachers Sandro Gorli, Umberto Rotondi and Guido Guida, and the doctor title in Classical Greek with full marks at Turin University, section Vercelli.
He attended the piano specialization courses of Marco Vincenzi and subsequently of Maria Tipo at Fiesole Music School, where he was also student of the composition special courses of Giacomo Manzoni. He followed other special courses, like a piano stage of Klaus Hellwig at HdK Berlin, and a 3-years composition course of Franco Donatoni. At last he obtained the new state doctor’s title in Piano with full marks and the mention ad honorem at the Conservatory of Alessandria.
He is currently professor at the Conservatory of Venice.
PIANISTIC ACTIVITY – or jump below to the COMPOSITIONAL ACTIVITY
In 1996 Fabio Grasso won the Orléans International Piano Competition, the most important competition dedicated to the modern and contemporary piano music worldwide. In this occasion he was highly appreciated both as interpreter and as composer. Subsequently he was invited to play for Orléans Orchestra season, Radio France Montpellier and Paris (recitals, Concertos by Mozart, Beethoven and Ligeti), Colmar Festival, Parisian series of CNSM, Salle Cortot, Théâtre du Châtelet and Salle Gaveau, where he performed his own Suite. In 2012 as jury member of the Orléans Competition he held its opening recital, premiering his own Fantasy.
He recorded 3 CDs for the French label SOLSTICE: in 1998 Busoni’s Elegies, Toccata, Albumblätter (this CD got the Recommendation by Répertoire and the CHOC du mois by Le monde de la musique), in 2002 6 Études and 8 Morceaux by Anton Rubinstein (first world recordings), and in 2004 Schumann’s Carnaval and Symphonic Etudes with Posthumous Variations, which got excellent reviews.
Moreover he recorded the 5 Fugues and a choice of 9 Sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti for Euterp.
Among the new recordings for independent productions: Chopin MP3 Album #1, 14 Valses, Fantaisie op. 49
Finalist of the Busoni Competition in 1999, Fabio Grasso is able to propose extremely varied recital programmes, with classical, romantic and modern-contemporary repertoire, including the works composed by himself.
See the GRAVITATIONAL RECITAL PROGRAMMES
See the CATALOGUE OF THE COMPOSITIONS
See the REPERTOIRE
Between 2007 and 2011 he performed BEETHOVEN'S COMPLETE SONATAS for the Viotti Society in Vercelli, ending the cycle by the Hammerklavier Sonata op. 106 and the Diabelli Variations in the same recital.
Read the BEETHOVEN PROJECT page, with the review of the last concert and the complete program notes.
Another "large-sized" projected series concerns SCHUMANN'S MAJOR PIANO WORKS, to be presented in a non-linear concert route, together with digital lectures about their literary and philosophical background.
Listen on Youtube:
Blumenstück op. 19 with videoanalysis. Please watch from the Rosenfinger page
which contains an Italian comment
Phantasiestücke op. 111. Included in the virtual recital "Piano Tour among European Cathedrals and Churches"
In collaboration with the pianist and composer Letizia Michielon he performed, both as shared recital and in the form of recital with masterclass, the complete Ligeti’s Etudes, as well as other multicultural shared contemporary programmes, mixed two and four hands, often in connection with themes of the figurative art, for several important European and American institutions, including Berlin BKA Theater and the musical Universities of New York (NYU), Vienna (MDW), Montreal (McGill) and Warsaw (Chopin Academy).
Read more at the page LIGETI AND OTHER MULTICULTURAL PROJECTS
Winner in 1996 of the First Prize of the Buenos Aires Ginastera Competition with the work for guitar and orchestra Katoptroeidès (LISTEN ON YOUTUBE, Buenos Aires Teatro Colón performance) and In 1999 of the Prize Journées de la jeune musique de Marseille with La Sérénade aux tristes sourires (LISTEN ON YOUTUBE) for 11 instruments, awarded with unanimous vote of the jury and the special mention of the public, Fabio Grasso shows his varied compositional research in a catalogue which includes instrumental and vocal solo, chamber and symphonic compositions, performed by himself and by other remarkable players (always with high appreciation of his writing) in prestigious European and American venues.
Browse the CATALOGUE OF THE COMPOSITIONS for all details and links to listenings.
Read the NY reviews (New York Times and Musical America) of Blumentraum, performed in New York, Merkin Hall, for the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, 2010.
Read about and listen to
...As doth eternity... Washington Square Ensemble, New York 2018, with video
Several Fabio Grasso's works are inspired by literary themes. Some examples:
Listen on YouTube to Tháleia, homage to E. Dickinson, and L'Aurore au plumage noir, homage to S. Mallarmé, both performed in Venezia, Teatro La Fenice, Plurimo Ensemble, with the composer at the piano.
Read about and listen to
Der gefesselte Strom for two pianos (from Hölderlin)
From other poems of F. Hölderlin the composer has drawn the text for Der Sternenkuss, for soprano and string quartet, performed in Venezia, Teatro La Fenice, by the Ex Novo Ensemble, as a part of the PROGETTO PROMETEO AGIMUS VENEZIA, and recorded on a Rosenfinger CD that collects the whole production. Tracks and excerpts at
Further pieces inspired by ancient Greek Literature, Byron, Mallarmé and other poets are available with comments at Rosenfinger pages
SHRINES OF MEMORY www.rosenfinger.com/cvs03.htm
POETRY AND HARP www.rosenfinger.com/cvs04.htm