The Italian harpsichordist and organist, Francesco Cera, studied organ and harpsichord under Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini and later with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory.
Francesco Cera is now one of Italys leading early music specialists, and is greatly admired both as a performer and for his extensive knowledge of styles and different musical expressions. His distinctive interpretation can be heard not only in his approach to keyboard instruments, but also in Baroque vocal and instrumental music. He has performed as a soloist in important international festivals and on historical organs through out the whole of Europe (Bologna Festival, Musica e Poesia in San Maurizio in Milan, Flanders Festival in Gent and Bruges, Bach Tage Berlin, Saint Michel en Thierrache, Les Gouts Reunis Lausanne, Musica Transalpina in London).
Francesco Cera is particularly well-known for his performances of 17th century harpsichord and organ music. His recording of the complete works of Michelangelo Rossi, Tarquinio Merula, Bernardo Storace and Antonio Valente (Tactus), was highly acclaimed by some of the most important music magazines such as Goldberg, Amadeus, Répertoire and Diapason. His audacious interpretation of the Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas brings out their innovative rhetorical and dramatic character, as well as their brilliance. Cera has recorded three CD's of these Sonatas from the manuscript dated 1742, and took part in the performance of the complete Scarlatti Sonatas at the Flanders Festival in Gent.
Francesco Cera was a member of the ensemble Il Giardino Armonico from 1991 to 1994 and now frequently performs with the ensemble I Barocchisti, directed by Diego Fasolis, with whom he has recorded four concertos for harpsichord by J.S. Bach (issued by Amadeus). Cera specialises in voice and vocal music, and directs the Ensemble Arte Musica, with whom he performs Italian music covering the period from Gesualdos madrigals to 18th century cantatas.
Francesco Cera has held courses, master-classes and seminaries at the Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo, the Royal Academy of Music London, the Illinois University, Cornell University and the Académie dOrgue de Fribourg. Since 2001 he has lived in Rome where is the Honorary Inspector of Early Organs for Rome and the Lazio region.