Twenty-seven-year-old Italian born pianist Rodolfo Leone is the First Prize Winner of the 15th International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna (2017). Described as “a true sound philosopher” (Oberösterreichische Nachrichten), Rodolfo released his debut album on the Austrian label Gramola in May 2018. The all-Beethoven disc features two pillars of the piano repertoire: the “Hammerklavier” Sonata and the “Waldstein” Sonata. His playing has been described as having “impeccable style” and “absolute technical control” with “hands that every pianist would like to have” (Il Nuovo Amico).
Rodolfo’s 2018-19 season includes debuts with the San Diego Symphony (Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1), and the Pasadena Symphony (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21). He also performs Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Colburn Orchestra. In May 2019 he gives a recital tour in Austria, culminating in a performance in Vienna at the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein. He also performs recitals in Los Angeles and Naples, Florida, and appears on the chamber music series Le Salon de Musiques in Los Angeles. A 2018-19 Performance Today Young Artist in Residence, Rodolfo’s live recordings will be broadcast nationally in the United States in late 2018.
A native of Turin, Italy, Rodolfo made his orchestral debut in 2013 performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento (Italy). He toured Italy with that orchestra the following year performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Rodolfo made his North American debut in 2014 performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Toronto Concert Orchestra. Since then, he has performed with, among others, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; with Stéphane Denève and the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall; and recitals at Festival Napa Valley and the SOKA Performing Arts Center. He has also performed in various collaborative settings, including vocal and chamber music with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Fabio Bidini, Andrew Schulmann and the Viano String Quartet.
Rodolfo has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America and China. These performances include debuts in venues such as the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria; Steinway Hall in London, U.K.; the Music Hall of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China; Politeama Theatre in Palermo, Italy; the Mozart Concert Hall of Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna, Italy; and the BASF Gesellschaftshaus in Ludwigshafen, Germany. His performances have been broadcast live from Vienna, Austria, on Radio Ö1, Berlin, Germany, on Deutschlandradio Kultur and from Bolzano, Italy, on Radio Rai and RaiTRE TV.
A top-prize winner of several major piano competitions, Rodolfo was awarded second prize at the 2014 Toronto International Piano Competition and second prize at the 2013 Busoni International Piano Competition (first prize was not awarded). Pianist magazine described his concerto performance during the 15th International Beethoven Piano Competition as a “communion with the orchestra,” that “was raptly convincing… robust and joyful.”
Rodolfo holds a Master of Music degree from the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where he continues to study with Fabio Bidini as an Artist Diploma candidate. He previously studied at the Hans Eisler School of Music in Berlin, Germany and at the G. Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, Italy.