Giovanni Bellucci is considered one of the most influential pianists of our time. His recording of Franz Liszt’s Paraphrases of Verdi and Bellini operas was included in Diapason magazine’s selection of the all-time top 10 Liszt recordings. Apart from Bellucci, the music critic Alain Lompech only took into consideration artists such as Martha Argerich, Claudio Arrau, Aldo Ciccolini, Gyorgy Cziffra, Wilhelm Kempff and Krystian Zimerman. For the British magazine Gramophone, Bellucci is an artist born into the great Italian tradition and brought up to it – a tradition historically represented by Busoni, Zecchi, Michelangeli, Ciani, Pollini.
“Bellucci is a force of unleashed nature. A force that is vast and palpitating and never brutal or mechanical” – such are the words of Piero Rattalino in his critique of the performance of Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata and in which he described the musical talent emerging in 1979 when Giovanni Bellucci was just fourteen and had inadvertently discovered the piano. Self-taught, Bellucci immediately performed Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas and, two years later, gave his first public concert with orchestra in which he played Liszt’s Totentanz.
At the age of twenty, he took his degree summa cum laude and honourable mention at the ‘S.Cecilia’ Conservatoire under the direction of Franco Medori. In 1991, the great Russian pianist Lazar Berman said of him: “Bellucci is one of the greatest talents I have ever heard… his phenomenal virtuosity creates an immensely innovative musical discourse” and called him to study at the Accademia Pianistica in Imola where he was awarded a Masters in 1996. As a result he could subsequently claim amongst his contacts artists of the stature of Badura-Skoda, Brendel, Perahia and Pollini.
“He takes us back to the golden age of the piano” declared the daily Le Monde in highlighting Bellucci’s success in the World Piano Masters Competition in Montecarlo 1996 – the last in a lengthy series of successes in international competitions (from the ‘Queen Elisabeth’ in Brussels to the ‘Prague Spring’, from the RAI ‘Casella’ to the ‘C. Kahn’ in Paris, from the ‘Busoni’ to the ‘Franz Liszt’). Once established in Paris, he began a highly intensive series of concerts where he performed as soloist with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonique, the Accademia Nazionale di S.Cecilia Symphony, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, the Philharmonique de Liège, the ‘Sinfonia Varsovia’, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the National Theater Orchestra of Mannheim, the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra of Prague, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders, the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestra dei Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra etc.
Giovanni Bellucci has been invited to play in some of the most famous auditoriums, traditional theatres and at some of the greatest world music festivals. Amongst these are: the Hollywood Bowl which saw his American debut in front of a crowd of 18,000, the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the “Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Festival” of Brescia and Bergamo, the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, the Prague Spring Festival, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Yokohama Festival in Japan, the Grande Auditório in Lisbon, the Bath Festival in England, the Piano Festival in Singapore, the Société Philharmonique of Brussels, the Festival de La Roque d’Anthéron, the Folle Journée of Nantes, the Lugano Festival, the Ravello Festival, the Montpellier Radio France
Festival, the Teatro la Fenice in Venice, the Mannheim’s National Theatre. After his first triumphant concert tour in Australia, he was awarded with the ‘Recital of the year’ prize by the Sydney Morning Herald. He recently made his debut at the Théatre des Champs Elysées in Paris, he performed at the Festival of Radio France the complete Hungarian Rhapsodies by Liszt and he presented at the Nohant Festival (France) as well as at the Husum Festival (Germany) his transcription for piano solo of the Concerto no. 1 op. 11 (Concerto without Orchestra) by Fryderyk Chopin. In 2011-2012 Giovanni Bellucci played in duo with the violinist Uto Ughi for the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia in Rome, the Serate Musicali in Milan and the “Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Festival” of Brescia and Bergamo.
All his CDs, published by DECCA, WARNER CLASSICS, ACCORD-UNIVERSAL, OPUS 106, ASSAI, DANACORD, have been awarded by the most prestigious specialist publications: “Choc de l’année” by the Classical magazine Répertoire and “Choc” of Le Monde de la Musique in France, UK Gramophone’s “Editor’s choice”, “5 Stars” from Musica, “5 stars” from the BBC Music Magazine, “Cd exceptionnel” from Répertoire, “ffff” from Tèlérama, “Best Cd” from the magazine Suono, etc. The recording company Universal has just published the complete Hungarian Rhapsodies S244 by Franz Liszt (with a double CD including a rare work, such as the Romanian Rhapsody S242) and the CD “Chopin Métamorphoses”, where Giovanni Bellucci played some works as world premiere, like the Concerto No. 1 by Chopin/Tausig and the Polonaise op. 53 “Heroic” by Chopin/Busoni. The Concerto op 39 for piano and orchestra by Ferruccio Busoni, recorded by the Italian pianist with the Orchestra and Choir of the Mannheim National Theater will soon be published.