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Concert, Music

An Evening of Music

In collaboration with Friends of Chigiana

April 12, 2024
6:00 pm

In collaboration with
Friends of Chigiana

An Evening of Music

Boris Berman, piano
Maria Luigia Borsi, soprano
Antonio Artese, piano

Performing music by
Prokofiev, Puccini, Mascagni, Verdi

The concert will be introduced by
Michael Beckerman, NYU

About the performers:

Well known to the audiences of nearly fifty countries on six continents, Professor Berman regularly appears with leading orchestras, on major recital series, and in important festivals. He studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the distinguished pianist Lev Oborin. An active recording artist and a Grammy nominee, he was the first pianist to record the complete solo works of Prokofiev. Other acclaimed releases include all piano sonatas by Alexander Scriabin and a recital of Shostakovich piano works, which received the Edison Classic Award (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy). He also recorded three Prokofiev concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Neeme Jarvi conducting, as well as works by Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Schumann, Brahms, Franck, Debussy, Stravinsky, Janácˇek, Schnittke, Shostakovich, Joplin, and Cage. In 1984 Professor Berman joined the faculty of the Yale School of Music, where he is Professor in the Practice of Piano, coordinator of the piano department, and music director of the Horowitz Piano Series. He was the founding director of the Yale Summer Piano Institute and of the International Summer Piano Institute in Hong Kong. He also gives master classes throughout the world and is a frequent juror of international competitions. In 2005 he was given the title of Honorary Professor of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2000 Yale University Press published Professor Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench, which has been translated into several languages. In 2008 the same publisher released his book Prokofiev’s Piano Sonatas: A Guide for the Listener and the Performer. He is the editor of the new critical edition of Piano Sonatas by Prokofiev (Shanghai Music Publishing House).

Hailed by critics worldwide for her vocal dynamism and interpretive prowess, Italian lyric soprano, Maria Luigia Borsi has forged a career that has taken her throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. Ms. Borsi began her career as Liù in Turandot at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Shortly thereafter she made her Venetian debut for the historic reopening of the Teatro La Fenice singing as Violetta in La traviata, under Lorin Maazel. Ms. Borsi has performed at the Salzburg Festival (Otello), Zurich Opernhaus (La traviata), Berlin Philharmonie (Suor Angelica), Deutsche Oper Berlin (La bohème), Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona (La bohème), New National Theatre of Tokyo (Così fan tutte and Otello), Arena di Verona (Carmen), Royal Danish Opera (Madama Butterfy), Les Chorégies d’Orange (Turandot), Pittsburgh Opera (Madama Butterfy), Novaya Opera of Moscow (Il trovatore), and with the London Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Tokyo Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 2010, Ms. Borsi made her recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall. She has collaborated with illustrious conductors Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Myung-Whun Chung, Marcello Viotti, Michel Plasson, Alain Lombard, Marco Armiliato, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Pablo Heras-Casado, Carlo Rizzi, Ramon Tebar, Giordano Bellincampi, Enrique Mazzola, Donato Renzetti, Maurizio Benini and eminent stage directors Franco Zefrelli, Hugo De Ana, Damiano Michieletto, Stephen Langridge, Graham Vick, Jurgen Flimm, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Mario Martone, Daniele Abbado, Giancarlo del Monaco, Nicolas Joel and Robert Carsen. Borsi has established herself as a ‘well-rounded’ Artist, having focused as much on the symphonic repertoire as that of the operatic. She enjoyed a long collaboration with Maestro Lorin Maazel (more than 40 performances), specifically in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. Other symphonic repertoire include Respighi’s Il tramonto, Poulenc’s La Dame de Monte-Carlo, the Last Four Songs by R. Strauss, Canteloube’s Chants d’auvergne and Mahler’s 2nd and 8th Symphonies. The 2016/17 season will see her in La bohème at the Royal Danish Opera, Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro at the Gothenburg Opera and Liù in Turandot at the Pittsburgh Opera. A highlight of her recent engagements is the opening concert of EXPO in Milan, where she shared the stage with the orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, pianist Lang Lang, soprano Diana Damrau, tenor Francesco Meli and baritone Simone Piazzola. Other highlights include Otello in Oviedo, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in Moscow and a concert version of Tosca with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The 2017/18 season will see her in a new production of Don Giovanni by Hugo de Ana at Beijing’s NCPA. Ms. Borsi’s discography includes a live recording of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Zubin Mehta (Helicon), a live recording DVD of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Lorin Maazel (Kultur), Puccini’s Turandot (Fenice), Bizet’s Carmen with Franco Zefrelli, Peter von Winter’s Maometto II (Marco Polo) and her frst solo album “Italian Soprano Arias” with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yves Abel (Naxos). Born in Sora (Italy), she studied with Antonietta Stella, Lucia Stanescu, Claudio Desderi, and Renata Scotto.

Antonio Artese is an Italian pianist and composer with a multifaceted musical background.  He has performed extensively across Europe (Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, United Kingdom) and the United States, seamlessly transitioning between classical music and jazz. Artese is a graduate of the “Santa Cecilia” Conservatory in Rome in piano and holds a Doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied under Peter Yazbeck and Paul Berkowitz. Furthering his academic pursuits, he achieved a magna cum laude degree in Theoretical Philosophy from the University of Chieti, Italy, and delved into Musicology at the DAMS, University of Bologna. Artese’s career is marked by collaborations with noted jazz artists such as Bill Smith, Maurizio Giammarco, Yuri Golubev, and Gabriele Mirabassi, to name a few. In the classical sphere, his partnerships have included soprano Maria Luigia Borsi, and renowned string musicians like Robert DeMaine and Alberto Bologni. His discography features albums like “Italian Sketches” [1996], “Live in Santa Barbara” [2008], “The Change” [2006], and “Voyage” [2019]. His TWO WORLDS project, debuted at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, has been released by the Italian label ABEAT Records in December 2022. An active cultural promoter, Antonio Artese has initiated numerous music festivals in Italy, including the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival; Brainwaves Festival in Florence; the “Corsi Musicali” seminar series in Alba, “Cryptic Music” at the Marino Marini Museum in Florence. In 2020, Artese founded the new Argiano Baroque Music Festival, an annual kermesse of Baroque Music in the Argiano Winery in Montalcino, Siena. He is a co-founder and Artistic Director of the Florentia Consort in Florence. He conducts masterclasses and lecture series in Italy and the United States. Since 2017, Artese has been the dean of the Global Academic Program at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. 

FRIENDS OF CHIGIANA INC is a dedicated nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of NY in 2019. It serves a pivotal role in fostering musical talent by bridging the gap between the United States and Italy’s esteemed Accademia Chigiana. FoC’s mission is centered on providing scholarships to exceptionally talented U.S. university undergraduate and graduate students, enabling them to pursue advanced studies at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena while immersing themselves in the rich musical heritage of Italy. This prestigious institution is renowned for its high-caliber instruction, historical significance, and contributions to the arts, making it a prime destination for aspiring musicians. It also fosters exchanges between academic and artistic institutions by providing teaching and travel grants to its faculty. Through scholarships to deserving young musicians, Friends of Chigiana facilitates the growth and development of individual artists and enables the perpetuation of classical music traditions.