The Tonto Community Concert Association opens the second half of its 2010-2011 season with an Italian beauty and the piano classics.
Hailed by The New York Times as “an artist of the highest caliber,” Italian born pianist Cristiana Pegoraro has performed in some of the greatest concert halls in Europe, United States, South America, Asia, Middle East and Australia.
She will be featured in a TCCA program at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26 in the high school auditorium. Earlier in the day Pegoraro will present a program specially designed for students of Payson schools.
Pegoraro embarked on the path of a classical pianist at an early age.
She devoted the years of her artistic development to perfecting her technique and developing her execution of the works of the great composers. Meanwhile she earned recognition from the music world and consolidated her craft and expertise.
Her passion, personality and creativity push her beyond classical music. Critics recognize her as one of the best interpreters of Latin American composers and one of the most interesting composers of the newer generations.
Pegoraro graduated at 16 from the Conservatory of Terni, her birth city, with the highest grades and honors. She continued her studies with Jörg Demus in Vienna and Hans Leygraf at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin.
Subsequently she perfected her art with Nina Svetlanova at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
Her skills displayed great technical and interpretive abilities, and she won various international competitions. In Prague, 1989, she won the Best of the Year for Classical Music Award “for her natural talent, great personality, mastery of phrasing and expressive maturity.” The New York Times defined her as “an artist of the highest caliber” following her stunning 1996 debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Since childhood Pegoraro has performed consistently as a soloist and with orchestras for some of the most important organizations and concert halls around the world. Her tours in the Gulf countries made her the first Italian female pianist to perform classical concerts in Bahrain, Yemen and Oman.
She played for Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of Italy; the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations; and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.
In 2008 she was the only European representative at the Spring Festival at the United Nations in New York, and she performed in the hall of the General Assembly. That same year she debuted at the Musikverein in Vienna and at the 16th edition of Umbria Jazz, with two sold-out concerts.
Along with her concert activity, Pegoraro is a composer. Among her compositions used for films and documentaries is the soundtrack to the video “For whom the Sirens Toll,” produced by the UN Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and presented at the UN on Sept. 11, 2004, in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack.
Her vast discography counts 22 CDs recorded for Decision Products, Nuova Era, Dynamic and Diva. It includes three albums with her original compositions: “A Musical Journey,” “Ithaka” and “La mia Umbria”; numerous recordings of classical composers; new interpretations of Astor Piazzolla’s tangos, which Pegoraro arranges for solo piano; and performances of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona.