Getting to Know Federico Colli

November 9, 2021

Federico Colli smiling to the camera - get to know him

Our third concert of the 2021 Rising Stars season is this Sunday, November 14, at 4 PM ET featuring Federico Colli! We asked the Italian pianist to answer a few questions to get to know him better. Here’s what Mr. Colli had to say:

It’s been a while since you were last in the United States—is there anything you’re looking forward to doing while you’re here for your visit?
Federico Colli: I’m so excited to be back in the US after such a long time! I’m in love with US culture and cannot wait to be able to discover it in depth. I love everything related to nature; I’m very much looking forward to organising some excursions during the (little) spare time I have and finding some inspiration!

You’ll be performing pieces by Scarlatti, Mozart, Schubert, and Bach. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to put this program together?
FC: They are some of my best friends in music! In the first half, I put together Scarlatti and Mozart, because they are so pure; their form is so clear, and in my opinion they are two of the most sincere composers in the history of music.
The second half, with Schubert and Bach-Busoni is a dip into the mysterious and holy question of every human being. Schubert’s Fantasy and Bach-Busoni’s Chaconne are both such deep compositions, full of philosophical meanings and universal thoughts.

You are currently working on two recording projects: one focused on Shostakovich and Prokofiev, and a multi-album recording of Mozart’s solo and chamber repertoire. How does the experience of recording a cd differ from performing a concert?
FC: It’s very different! In a concert, you have the adrenaline of the live experience, but on the edge of that experience you can be able to find the magic of a sudden inspiration. In a studio, it is more about a rationalistic approach; you should always be looking for the “momentum”, the inspiration, but it’s difficult to keep the concentration and the focus for 6 or 7 hours per day. You need to be helped by your brain, by your intellect, by your willpower. 

You’ve performed concerts around the world. What is your favorite performance venue and why?
FC: It’s very hard to say, because every country, every hall, every audience has their own unique taste. However, I have great memories of my debut in Paris Philharmonie; the acoustics there are simply perfect! 

If you had any advice for young pianists that want to change their passion into a career, what would it be?
FC: Rainer Maria Rilke said it beautifully: “If you discover that playing is the reason of your life, if you deeply discover it, don’t hesitate.” Let everything go and work towards your dream. Even if life tells you that your dream is not reachable, you’ll discover that going down this path made you become a better person. And that’s the ultimate and most ambitious goal, for everybody. 

Thank you to Federico Colli for his candor. We hope you’ll attend his concert in person or watch the livestream this Sunday, November 14, at 4 PM ET. Get your in-person or virtual ticket today!

Buy Tickets

Join us for our in person and virtual events!

Learn More

All content © 2021 Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival