Bruno Giuranna, the distinguished Italian violist and conductor, was born in Milan into a family of musicians and completed his musical studies in Rome. He was a founding member of the celebrated I Musici and performed extensively in the legendary Trio Italiano d’Archi. He began his solo career under the baton of Herbert von Karajan in its world premiere of Giorgio Federico Ghedini’s Musica da Concerto per Viola e Orchestra, a work composed especially for Giuranna. Since that time, he has played with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and La Scala Orchestra in Milan under such illustrious conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir John Barbirolli, Sergiu Celibidache, Carlo Maria Giulini and Riccardo Muti.
His extensive list of recordings for Phillips, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI include editions of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Franco Gulli, Henryk Szeryng and Anne-Sophie Mutter, the complete set of concertos for viola d’amore by Vivaldi and Mozart’s piano quartets with the Beaux Arts Trio. In 1990, the recording of Beethoven’s String Trios with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Bruno Giuranna and Mstislav Rostropovich won a Grammy nomination. As conductor, Giuranna has won the Grand Prix du Disque de l’Academie Charles Cros in Paris for the recording of Boccherini’s cello concertos with David Geringas as soloist. His latest recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante was performed with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.
Giuranna held the post of chair of viola at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin until 1998 and has taught at the Musik-Academie in Detmold, the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, the Royal College and Royal Academy in London, and has given master classes worldwide. Frequently invited to the Marlboro Festival in the USA, he currently teaches at the Fondazione Stauffer in Cremona and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. From 1983 to 1992 he was the artistic director of the Orchestra da Camera di Padova e il Veneto and in 1998 he presided over the First International Bruno Giuranna Viola Competition in Brazil.
Profoundly convinced of the importance of “playing together” as a unique and irreplaceable practice in the development of the musical personality, he has dedicated himself to the creation of chamber music projects where he plays alongside young musicians. In 1987, he was decorated by the Italian president with the title of Cavaliere di Gran Croce al Merito. He also received the D. Litt., honoris causa, from the University of Limerick in 2002. In 2011, after having presided over the Italian branch of ESTA (European String Teachers Association), he was elected European president.
His viola parts and his transcription for string trio of the Bach Goldberg Variations are freely downloadable at www.giuranna.it.
Derek Han is without a doubt among the leading American pianists of his generation. His elegant, polished and compelling playing has dazzled audiences across six continents. Though he was originally identified with the concertos of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven – not least because he recorded them all to highly favorable critical responses – he possesses a vast repertory that includes the concertos of Mendelssohn, Chopin and MacDowell, as well as individual concertos by Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, in addition to a large body of solo and chamber works. Han’s style is original though straightforward in its lucid tones, spirited character, and technical fluidity and accuracy.
Mr. Han was born in the United States to Chinese parents – a precocious child, becoming proficient on the piano at an early age, and then graduating from Juilliard at 18. His most important teacher there was Ilona Kabos, but he studied under a string of even more prominent ones after graduating: Gina Bachauer, Lili Kraus and Guido Agosti. Mr. Han’s breakthrough came in 1977, when he captured first prize at the Athens International Piano Competition. He thus experienced a meteoric rise in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, appearing as soloist with leading European and American orchestras and as a recitalist and chamber player at an array of important concert locales. He began to appear regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival (at the behest of Rudolf Serkin) and at many major concert venues in the United States, South America and Europe: New York, St. Louis, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, Milan, Berlin, London, Warsaw, Moscow and elsewhere.
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