From the lyrical freshness of Beethoven’s ‘Spring’ Sonata, through a solemn observation of Chassidic life and culminating in a rhapsodic, gypsy-influenced second half of music by Ravel, Franco Mezzena (multi award-winning Italian violinist and conductor) pushes the technical and expressive range of the violin with fellow countryman, pianist Stefano Giavazzi.
Franco Mezzena (violin)
Stefano Giavazzi (piano)
Beethoven Violin Sonata No.5 in F Op.24 ‘Spring’
Bloch Baal Shem B.47
Ravel Violin Sonata
Graduated “cum laude”, Franco Mezzena studied more than 10 years with Salvatore Accardo. As a soloist he is guest of the most important concert halls and festivals in Europe, Japan, South America and U.S.A. He recently played Mendelssohn Op.64 at Carnegie Hall in New York under the baton of John Rutter.
He has toured many times with “I Musici” and “I Virtuosi di Roma” and performed together with celebrated artists as Salvatore Accardo, Julius Berger, Umberto Cafagna, Bruno Canino, Edoardo Catemario, Roberto Fabbriciani, Rocco Filippini, Severino Gazzelloni, Stefano Giavazzi, Bruno Giuranna, Johannes Goritzki, Nicholas Jones, Jacques Klein, Alain Meunier, for many years with Bruno Mezzena, Andrea Noferini, Anthony Pay, Franco Petracchi, Ruggiero Ricci, Hariolf Schlichtig, Rohan de Saram, Romeo Tudorache, etc. Concerts for: RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, Radio Vaticana, BBC, ABC, NBC, WSKG, WGBH Boston, NHK Television Japan, KBS Corea.
Franco Mezzena is world famous for a lot of CDs and DVDs (more than 70) he recorded for Luna Rossa Records, Brilliant Classics, Newton Classics, Wide Classique, Dynamic, Symposium, Rivo Alto, Nuova Era, E.M.S. Arcobaleno. He recorded for Dynamic label, the complete concertos for violin and orchestra by G.B. Viotti (10 CDs), where he appears as soloist and conductor of the “Symphonia Perusina” and the Chamber Orchestra “Milano Classica”. He has recorded, for Wide Classique label, the complete works for Piano and Violin by L. van Beethoven with the pianist Stefano Giavazzi. Brilliant reviews and many interviews on: The Strad, Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, New York Times, Gramophone, Diapason, FonoForum etc. Professor at Conservatory “N. Piccinni” in Bari-Italy and also Artistic Director and founder of the Accademia Mezzogiorno Musicale in Taranto – Italy. He gives Master Classes in his country (Conservatory of Mantua, S. Antioco, “Musica Riva”, Alghero, Naples, Messina, Taranto etc.) and abroad (Royal College of Music, Trinity College of Music – London, Chetham’s School of Music – Manchester, Hochschule “F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy” – Leipzig, Conservatory of Rotterdam, Académié d’été d’Andé, Tokyo University, Osaka, Kyushu, Barcelona, Oxford University, Ticino Musica Festival etc.).
He has conducted the Lublijana Symphony Orchestra, the Pescara Symphony Orchestra, the “Teatro Regio of Turin” Symphony Orchestra, the “Milano Classica” Chamber Orchestra, the “Interpreti Italiani” Chamber Orchestra, the Jalisco Philarmonic Orchestra etc.
He plays a 1695 Stradivarius, an instrument by Roberto Regazzi (Bologna, 1998) and two violins made by Giuseppe Leone (Ceglie Messapica, 2011 and 2015). Franco Mezzena plays on strings DOGAL Capriccio Soloist. He is Artistic Director of Teatro Viotti – Fontanetto Po and Orchestra da Camera di Lecce e del Salento.
He is the founder of Mezzena Quartet with Marcello Defant, Gianpaolo Guattèri and Sergio Patria, and founder of Trio Mezzena-Patria-Ballario with Sergio Patria and Elena Ballario.
Stefano Giavazzi completed his musical studies at the Conservatory of Mantua, where he graduated with top marks cum laude. Afterwards he continued his studies under maestro Rinaldo Rossi. Besides his solo repertoire he immediately showed interest in instrumental and vocal chamber music. He went on to perfect his studies under J. Micault, G. Sandor, J.Achucarro, B. Bloch, M. Damerini, S. Perticaroli, and with Norbert Brainin and the Trio di Trieste as regards chamber music.
He has been awarded numerous piano prizes, including 1st prize at the Porrino di Cagliari Competition, 1st prize at the Dasinamov International Competition, 2nd prize at the Rendano Competition in Rome, 3rd prize at the AMA Calabria International Competition and 3rd prize at the Martha del Vecchio Competition in Genova.
He has performed for numerous musical associations in Italy (Mantua, Pesaro, Vercelli, Cagliari, Rome, Bologna, Perugia, Savona, Genoa, Ferrara, Milan, Verona, Palermo, Treviso) and abroad (Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Poland, Slovenia). In 2000 he was invited to perform at the only Europiano Congress staged in Italy.
He has played with various orchestras, including the Mantua Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Cagliari, the Genoa Philharmonic, the Costantin Silvestri of Bucarest, the Oradea Philharmonic, Archi Italiani and the Pilsen Radio Orchestra, with which he performed at the Munich Philharmonic.
He has recorded for Italian Radio 3 and Radio Slovena. He has also recorded the Brahms Quintet for piano and strings, a CD of unpublished music by Lucio Campiani, a CD for la Bottega Discantica recorded at the Bibiena Theatre with violinist Paolo Ghidoni, Mozart’s Concertos 3 and 4 for piano and orchestra. Recent recordings include the Four Seasons by Astor Piazzola with the Conservatory of Mantua String Orchestra. In 2008 he recorded ten Beethoven violin and piano sonatas with violinist Franco Mezzena.
He has played chamber music with artists such as the Tartini Quartet, Bin Huang, Astor Piazzolla, Lorna Windors, Paolo Ghidoni, Giuseppe Ettorre, Rodolfo Bonucci, Gabriella Munari and Franco Mezzena.
He teaches at Mantua’s “Lucio Campiani” Conservatory of Music (www.conservatoriomantova.com), and is chairman of the Amici del Conservatorio (Friends of the Conservatory) association. Since it was established in 1995 he has been artistic director of the Società della Musica of Mantua. (www.societadellamusica.it).
Pre-concert recital | Hiro Takenouchi: Sunday Sonatas, 5.30pm in the Main Hall
Explore the journey of Mozart's life from young prodigy to the epitome of classical music, as Hiro Takenouchi embarks on a series of performing all of Mozart's sonatas for solo piano, leading up to his Mozart Finale concert next year.
Mozart Piano Sonata No.16 in C K545
Mozart Piano Sonata No.13 in B flat K333