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Sergio Fiorentino (Piano)

Born: December 22, 1927 - Naples, Italy
Died: August 22, 1998 - Naples, Italy

The Italian pianist, Sergio Fiorentino, showed his exceptional talent at an early age. Being granted a scholarship by the Ministery of Education in 1938, he studied at the Conservatorio "San Pietro a Majella" under Luigi Finizio and Paolo Denza, earning his diploma in 1946. In 1948 he attended a master-class of Carlo Zecchi in Salzburg. By that time he had already begun his career as a solo and trio player in his native country, and had won several national and international piano competitions.

Hailed by critics for his unusual technical and musical endowments, Sergio Fiorentino's concert career grew steadily and took him to nearly all countries in Western Europe. His debut in New York's Carnegie Recital Hall took place in October, 1953, a South American tour in 1954 led him to Argentina and Uruguay. He was under contract with concert agencies such as Adler, Gérard and de Valmalète. However, a near fatal plane accident at the end of his South American tour resulted in a severe cut-back of his activities. He took on a post as a teacher at his old conservatory in Naples. Even though he overcame his physical handicap after awhile, the demands of his position in Naples and his absence from the international concert stages caused him to lose his agents.

A new start was made in the late fifties in England. Sergio Fiorentino played frequently in Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London and in other cities in the UK. The London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra accompanied him in performances of works by Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov, de Falla and Gershwin. Most of his recordings were made during those years.

Various circumstances, among these a growing unease with the strenuous life of being an itinerant musician and teacher simultaneously, prompted Sergio Fiorentino to withdraw again from an extensive concert life. He limited his rare appearances in public to his native country and started to give regular master classes, working also occasionally for Italian radio RAI.

When Sergio Fiorentino resigned from the conservatory in 1993 he once again took an interest in playing in public to a greater extent. One year earlier an invitation to Germany to play four recitals turned out to be a great success and resulted in annual appearances in that country. The esteem of his artistry was such that he became once again a highly sought-for pianist. He travelled to America in 1996, 1997 and 1998 to give concerts at the prestigious Newport Music Festival, in New York City (Alice Tully Hall) and in Boston and Providence. He went to France (Angoulême) and Taiwan (Taipeh) and received invitations again to France (Montpellier), to Russia (Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk), Holland (Utrecht) and Canada (Ottawa). Since 1994 he had also embarked upon a major recording project in Berlin, being able to confide his unique art to no less than 10 CD's released on a regular basis exclusively by the British label APR. The "Indian summer" of his on-an-off-career, alas, was cut-off by his sudden death, depriving the musical world of a master of rare stature worth being mentioned only in context with the greatest names in his profession. Luckily, however, and due to the tireless work of Concert Artist/Fidelio Recordings, a substantial part of his recorded repertoire which never saw publication, is now prepared for release by both Concert Artist/Fidelio and APR. All these recordings were made in England during the fifties and sixties and are to be considered as a major extension of his already large recorded repertoire.

Source: Discography of Sergio Fiorentino (Ernst Lumpe) Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2007)

Sergio Fiorentino: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works | Piano Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Discography and Memorial Site of Sergio Fiorentino (Lumpe)

Concert Artist Featured Artists - Sergio Fiorentino
Sergio Fiorentino (Wikipedia) [Italian]

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