Aldo Ciccolini

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Aldo Ciccolini in 2005 Aldo Ciccolini cropped.JPG
Aldo Ciccolini in 2005

Aldo Ciccolini (Italian pronunciation:  [ˈaldo tʃikkoˈlini] ; 15 August 1925 – 1 February 2015) was an Italian-French pianist.

Pianist musician who plays the piano

A pianist is an individual musician who plays the piano. Since most forms of Western music can make use of the piano, pianists have a wide repertoire and a wide variety of styles to choose from, among them traditional classical music, jazz, blues, and all sorts of popular music, including rock and roll. Most pianists can, to an extent, easily play other keyboard-related instruments such as the synthesizer, harpsichord, celesta, and the organ.



Aldo Ciccolini was born in Naples. His father, who bore the title of Marquis of Macerata, worked as a typographer. He took his first lessons with Maria Vigliarolo d'Ovidio, and entered Naples Conservatory in 1934 at the age of 9, by special permission of the director, Francesco Cilea. There he studied piano with Paolo Denza, a pupil of Ferruccio Busoni, and harmony and counterpoint with Achille Longo.

Naples Comune in Campania, Italy

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Francesco Cilea Italian composer

Francesco Cilea was an Italian composer. Today he is particularly known for his operas L'arlesiana and Adriana Lecouvreur.

Ferruccio Busoni Italian composer, pianist, conductor, editor, writer, and piano teacher

Ferruccio Busoni was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor, editor, writer, and teacher. His international career and reputation meant that he met and had close relations with many of the leading musicians, artists and literary figures of his time, and he was sought-after both as a keyboard instructor and a teacher of composition.

He began his performing career playing at the Teatro San Carlo at the age of 16. However, by 1946 he was reduced to playing in bars to support his family. In 1949, he won, ex-aequo (tied) with Ventsislav Yankov, the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris (among the other prizewinners were Paul Badura-Skoda and Pierre Barbizet). He became a French citizen in 1969 and taught at the Conservatoire de Paris from 1970–88, where his students included Akiko Ebi, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Artur Pizarro, Géry Moutier, Nicholas Angelich, André Sayasov and Jean-Luc Kandyoti. [1] Other students included Francesco Libetta, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, [2] Domenico Piccichè, Ivan Donchev and Jean-Marc Savelli.[ citation needed ]

Ventsislav Yankov is a Bulgarian pianist and pedagogue. He was born in Sofia. Trained in Berlin, he settled in France in 1946; three years later he won ex-aequo with Aldo Ciccolini the III Concours Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud's Grand Prize. An intercontinental concert career ensued. Yankov is a professor emeritus at the Conservatoire of Paris, where he held a professorship (1977–1991). As of 2005, he was still active as a concert pianist in France. He is a recognized interpreter of the music of Frédéric Chopin.

The Long–Thibaud–Crespin Competition is an international classical music competition for pianists, violinists and singers that has been held in France since 1943. It was created by the pianist Marguerite Long and the violinist Jacques Thibaud. Thibaud died in 1953, Long in 1966. Until 2011 it included only pianists and violinists and was known as the Marguerite Long–Jacques Thibaud Competition. That year, in honour of the French soprano Régine Crespin (1927–2007), it was expanded to include singers, and renamed.

Paul Badura-Skoda is an Austrian pianist.

Ciccolini was a celebrated interpreter and advocate of the piano music of the French composers Camille Saint-Saëns, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Erik Satie as well as that of less prominent composers such as Déodat de Séverac, Jules Massenet and Alexis de Castillon.[ citation needed ]

Camille Saint-Saëns French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).

Maurice Ravel French composer

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Claude Debussy 19th and 20th-century French classical composer

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Ciccolini was known for his having played the music of the Spanish composers Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, and Manuel de Falla, as well as of Franz Liszt. Soprano Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf said of him "I have hardly met a more wonderful partner and a more delightful companion."[ citation needed ]

Isaac Albéniz Spanish-Catalan musician

Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual was a Spanish virtuoso pianist, composer, and conductor. He is one of the foremost composers of the Post-Romantic era who also had a significant influence on his contemporaries and younger composers. He is best known for his piano works based on Spanish folk music idioms.

Enrique Granados Spanish pianist and composer

Enrique Granados Campiña was a Spanish pianist and composer of classical music. His music is in a uniquely Spanish style and, as such, is representative of musical nationalism.

Manuel de Falla Spanish composer

Manuel de Falla y Matheu was a Spanish composer. Along with Isaac Albéniz, Francisco Tárrega, and Enrique Granados, he was one of Spain's most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century. His image appeared on Spain's 1970 100-pesetas banknote.

On 9 December 1999, he celebrated a career in France spanning 50 years with a recital at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.[ citation needed ]

Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris, France

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France, 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) long and 70 metres (230 ft) wide, running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops, for the annual Bastille Day military parade, and as the finish of the Tour de France cycle race.


Aldo Ciccolini died on 1 February 2015 at his Paris residence, aged 89. [3]


Ciccolini made more than a hundred recordings for EMI-Pathé Marconi and other record companies, including the complete sonata cycles of Mozart and Beethoven, the complete solo piano work of Debussy and two separate cycles of the complete piano works of Satie.

In 2002 Ciccolini was awarded the Diapason d'Or for his recording of the entire solo piano works of Janáček for Abeille Music and of Schumann for Cascavelles. His complete Beethoven sonata cycle was re-published by the Cascavelle label in 2006. He also recorded such unusual repertoire as selections from the Péchés de vieillesse by Rossini.

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  1. Piano ma non solo, Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Anagramme Ed., 2012, pg. 79; ISBN   978 2 35035 333 3
  2. PASLES, CHRIS (2001-07-15). "Shared Glory". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  3. "French piano virtuoso, Aldo Ciccolini, dies aged 89". Retrieved 1 February 2015.