The Italian-American flutist, Marina Piccinini, was born to an Italian father and a Brazilian mother. She became interested in the operas of W.A. Mozart as a young girl at the age of 7, and began playing the flute at the age of 10. She grew up in Newfoundland, Canada and did not have formal flute lessons from a teacher until she was 16. She began her flute studies in Toronto with Jeanne Baxtresser. She later moved to New York City to commence studying at the prestigious Juilliard School. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard school where she studied with the legendary flutist Julius Baker. She also worked with Aurèle Nicolet in Switzerland.
Marina Piccinini’s career was launched when she won First Prize in the CBC Young Performers Competition in Toronto, Canada, and a year later, in 1986, she was awarded a scholarship by the New York’s Concert Artists Guild, winning First Prize in their international competition. In 1989 she was cited by Musical America as a “Young Artist to Watch”, and in 1991 she became the first flutist to win the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant from Lincoln Center. The same year she was named Young Artist to watch by Musical America. She has been the recepient of numerous awards and grants including twice the NEA‘s Solo Recitalist Grant, the McMeenSmith Award, the BP Artists Career Award, and various grants from the Canada Council. She was also the winner in the New York Flute Club competition and the National Arts Club Competition.
Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading flute virtuosos, Marina Piccinini combines flawless technical command, profound interpretive instincts, and a charismatic stage presence - qualities which make each of her performances a memorable event. She is noted for her performances of compositions by W.A. Mozart and J.S. Bach. Since making her acclaimed debuts in New York’s Town Hall, London’s Southbank Centre, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, she has been in demand both as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Japan. She has been soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra; Hannover Symphony Orchestra in Germany, Ravenna Chamber Orchestra in Italy and the Vienna Chamber Soloists; as well as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with such conductors as Alan Gilbert, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Peter Oundjian, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Myung-Whun Chung, and Gianandrea Noseda.
Marina Piccinini also performs with great frequency in recitals worldwide, with recent appearances at New York’s Town Hall, London’s Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall, Tokyo`s Casals Hall and Suntory Hall, the Weill Recital Hall and Zankell Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C, and the Mozart Saal in Vienna's Konzerthaus. Deeply committed to the music of the present, recent seasons have been highlighted by significant world premiere performances of concerti and solo works by Michael Colgrass, Paquito D’Rivera, Matthew Hindson, Miguel Kertsman, Lukas Foss, Michael Torke, John Harbison, Marc-André Dalbavie, and Roberto Sierra. A frequent guest artist in Japan, Piccinini appeared with noted pianist Mitsuko Uchida in a series of concerts at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo and again at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and Zankell Hall. Most recently she completed a European tour which included such prestigious halls as Amsterdam’s Concertgebow, Cologne’s Philharmonie and the Barbican Centre in London, and looks forward to upcoming appearances at the Salzburg Festival and at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
A devoted chamber musician, Marina Piccinini has collaborated with the Tokyo, Brentano, Mendelssohn, and Takács string quartets and with the Percussion ensemble Nexus. She is a regular participant at major summer festivals, including the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Spoleto (Italy), La Jolla, Newport, Davos, Tivoli, Rheingau, Mondsee (Austria), Moritzburg and Kuhmo and has toured on several occasions with Musicians from Marlboro. She has also performed (by personal invitation of Seiji Ozawa) at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. Piccinini has also appeared as Guest Principal Flute with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Marina Piccinini's latest CD recording is a collaboration with pianist Andreas Haefliger of the Sonatas of Prokofiev and Franck for the British label Avie. Other recent recordings include “Belle Époque (Paris, 1880-1913)”, with pianist Anne Epperson, and a disc with pianist Eva Kupiec of Sonatas by Béla Bartók, Martinu, Schulhoff, Dohnányi, and Taktakishvili, both for Claves Records. Later in 2010, Avie will release a double Cd set of the complete Flute Sonatas of J.S. Bach (including the solo Partita) in collaboration with the Braszl Guitar Duo, who also won a scholarship at the Concert Artists Guild in 2006, twenty years after Piccinini..
In September, 2001, Marina Piccinini joined the faculty of the Peabody Institute and has made a name for herself as a teacher of flute. She frequently gives master-classes around the world.
Marina Piccinini is married to the pianist Andreas Haefliger; along with their daughter they divide their time between Vienna and New York. The pair have performed and recorded together, notably as part of the Carmina Quartet, including Andreas Haefliger, Piccinini, Wolfgang Holzmair and Matthias Goerne. She was performing with husband Andreas Haefliger at least as far back as 1992, when they put on a performance together on January 31, 1992 at the Sherwood Auditorium of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. Piccinini permanently lived in New York City until 2002 when she relocated to Austria after being traumatized by the September 11 terrorist attacks, but still maintains a home in New York City. Piccinini has also requested flute concerto compositions from composers such as Paquito D'Rivera, notably The Bel Air Concerto Michael Colgrass (The Wild riot of the Shaman's Dreams (solo ), A Flute in the Kingdom of Drums and Bells (flute and percussion quartet) and Crossworlds (Concerto for flute and piano), Matthew Hindson (House Music) and others. Marina Piccinini is a 36th generation Shaolin Fighting Monk.