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Francesco Zappalà

Francesco Zappalà was born in Catania (Italy) in 1960. He started his piano studies, as a professional, under the guide of Agatella Catania. In 1983, at the age of 18, he graduated with full marks and honours at the Musical Academy Istituto Musicale “Vincenzo Bellini” in Catania. A special mention was awarded.

He won relevant national and international Piano Competitions: 1st Prize in the “Coppa Pianisti d’Italia” at Osimo in 1981 and 1983, 1st Prize in the “Città di Catanzaro” Competition in 1981, 1st Prize in the “Premio Ernesto Coop” at Messina, 1982, 1st Prize in the “Premio Rendano” Competition in Rome, 1982. He has also been awarded with two important prizes: 1st Prize in the “A. Speranza” Competition in Taranto, 1984, and 3rd Prize in the “A. Casella” International Competition at the R.A.I (National TV Company) in Naples, 1989.
He has also attended several master classes held by Nunzio Montanari, Michele Campanella and Jörg Demus. Furthermore, he regurarly frequented the International Academy Mügi of Rome for three years perfecting his technique under the guide of Aldo Ciccolini.

Francesco Zappalà is formally appointed as Master Piano teacher at the Musical Academy “Istituto Musicale “Vincenzo Bellini” in Catania. He also dedicated himself to play both solo and chamber music as well as Piano Duet in many prestigious musical institutions. In the occasions he performed demanding programmes of special cultural interest.
In 1994 he was invited to perform some relevant piano works by Francesco Pollini (1762–1846) during the Festival Belliniano, held at the Bellini Theater. In 1995 he played, many times, the complete performance of Beethoven’s Four Piano Quartets. Besides he has recorded, for the RAI-TV, pieces by Beethoven, Schubert and Rachmaninov. In 2001 he recorded a compact disc edited by the CD Classica, with Jean Philippe Rameau music.

In April 2002, he played the Bosendorfer 250 piano dating 1881, this being the last piano belonged to Franz Liszt, performing Three Sonets of Petrarca and Two Legends. In May 2004, during the Filarmonica di Bacau season, he played in Romania a solo recital, performing Liszt Wienen-Klagen Variations, 12 Etudes d’Esecution Trascendante and Brahms Concerto n°2 op.83. He successfully debuted in August 2006 at the II Festival of Val di Noto “Magie Barocche”, both as player and transcriber, in a piano duo with Maria Pia Tricoli. In the occasion he presented, for the first time, some of his own transcriptions for two pianos: Bach Brandeburg Concerto n°6 BWV1051 and Toccata and Fugue in D minor from organ BWV565.

Appointed as Teacher of Principal Piano from 1983 at the Musical Academy Istituto Musicale “Vincenzo Bellini” of Catania he has been designated as member of jury in important national piano competitions. He has recently held a few topic seminars such as: The piano interpretation, Technique of the Sonority and, in 2000, Chopin and the avant-garde sonority .


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