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Eminent Italian pianist Michele Campanella to conduct mini-residency at SMU, March 31 - April 4

Free public events to include afternoon master class and evening concert

Renowned Italian pianist, recording artist and conductor Michele Campanella will be a guest of the Division of Music at SMU for a mini-residency from March 31 to April 4, 2014.

He will give a master class for SMU pianists selected by the faculty on Wednesday, April 2 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, located in the Owen Arts Center at 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. The master class is free and open to the public. On Thursday, April 3 he will present a free public recital at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium. The all-Liszt program will feature ultra-virtuoso transcriptions and paraphrases from the operas of Verdi and Wagner, including the “Danza sacra” from Aida, a Rigoletto paraphrase, “Liebestod” from Tristan and Isolde and the “Overture” from Tannhäuser. For more information, call 214-768-2787.

Internationally acclaimed as one of the major virtuoso interpreters of Liszt, Campanella is a three-time winner of the Grand Prix du Disque awarded by the prestigious Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest (1976, 1977 and 1998), the latter for his recording Franz Liszt-The Great Transcriptions, I-II on the Philips label. He was awarded the “Liszt High Merit” medal by the Hungarian government in 1986 and the American Liszt Society Medal in 2002.

Trained at the Vincenzo Vitale School in Naples, Campanella is a versatile artist. He has interpreted composers as diverse as Clementi, Weber, Poulenc, Busoni, Rossini, Brahms, Ravel and Liszt. He has recently recorded an anthology of Liszt paraphrases, 12 Transcendental Studies, and a selection of works from Liszt’s late period played on Liszt’s own original Bechstein piano. The latter is the first chapter of an important 12 CD series dedicated to Liszt that will be released under the Brilliant label.

Campanella’s discography includes recordings for Emi (Ravel), Philips (Liszt, Saint-Saëns), Foné (Chopin), PYE (Liszt, Tchaikovsky), Fonit Cetra (Busoni; the recordings won the 1980 Italian Discographic Critics Award), Nuova Era (Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Balakirev), Musikstrasse (Rossini), P&P (Brahms, Liszt, Scarlatti) and Niccolò (Schumann). In 2005, the Rossini Opera Festival published a recording of the Petite Messe Solennelle in Pesaro, conducted by Campanella.

Campanella has performed with the principal European and American orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, and collaborated with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Eliahu Inbal, Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Georges Prêtre, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Thomas Schippers, Hubert Soudant, Pinchas Steinberg and Christian Thielemann. He is frequently invited to Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Argentina and China, as well as being a regular guest at international festivals such as Lucerne, Vienna, Berlin, Prague and Pesaro (Rossini Opera Festival). Recent performance highlights include all Beethoven and Mozart concertos as well as the complete piano works of Brahms. Recent engagements have included concerts in Buenos Aires, Tokyo and Chicago, where Campanella gave three performances of the Liszt Concerto No.1 for piano and orchestra with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as part of the Liszt bicentenary celebrations.

A dedicated and passionate teacher, Campanella was head of the piano department at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, from 1986 to 2010, and conducted advanced training courses for eight years in Ravello. He is the director of the Vincenzo Vitale Center for Piano Studies at the University Suor Orsola Benincasa of Naples. He is also a member of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Accademia Filarmonica Romana and Accademia Cherubini di Firenze. For nine years he has been artistic director of three different concert seasons sponsored by the Naples, Benevento and Catanzaro universities. He has recently been nominated artistic director of the “Maggio della Musica” festival in Naples. Since 2008 he has been president of the “Società Liszt,” the Italian chapter of the American Liszt Society.

Michele Campanella is a Yamaha Artist.

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