Orazio Frugoni

Orazio Frugoni(January 28, 1921 – April 16, 1997) The concert pianist Orazio Frugoni taught at Eastman from 1952 to 1967. He studied with the noted pedagogue Gasparo Scuderi, graduating from Milan Conservatory in 1939. He then studied at the Accademia Chigiana, Siena, with Alfredo Casella, one of the foremost 20th-century Italian composers, and later with Dinu Lipatti at the Geneva Conservatory, where in 1945 he was awarded the prix de virtuosité. His concert career had begun several years before. Frugoni escaped from Fascist Italy in 1943, and made his American debut at Town Hall in 1947, at the age of 26. The New York Times wrote of the recital: “[he] made a deeply favorable impression … extraordinary for its blazing virtuosity, its vividness and dramatic force.” Frugoni concertized extensively after that in the United States (including two Carnegie Hall recitals), Latin America, Europe, and the Middle and Far East. Orazio Frugoni recorded frequently in the early LP era, including the first recordings of the Concertos for Two Pianos by the teenaged Felix Mendelssohn (which Frugoni helped bring to America from East Germany after their discovery in 1950), and the early Concerto in E-flat, WoO 4 (1784) by Beethoven. But the heart of Frugoni’s concert repertoire was the great Romantic works of Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt. After his retirement from Eastman in 1967, Frugoni returned to Italy, becoming Director of the Graduate School for Fine Arts, Villa Schifanoia (Florence). He taught piano there starting in 1972, and was a frequent adjudicator in international piano competitions in Bolzano, Warsaw, Leeds, Paris, and Brussels, among others. He was also a faculty member at the International Academy of Music, Nice, and the Pius XII Institute of Fine Arts, Florence.

 

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