A daring artist with diverse musical interests, virtuoso flutist Marina Piccinini is in demand worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. Internationally acclaimed for her interpretive skills, rich, expansive colors, technical command and elegant, compelling stage presence, Ms. Piccinini has been hailed by Gramophone as “the Heifetz of the flute”.
Ms. Piccinini’s 2015-16 season features several engagements of note: with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Leonard Slatkin she performs the World Premiere of Pulitzer Prize–winner Aaron Jay Kernis’ Flute Concerto written for her, in January 2016, and gives the New York State Premiere with the Rochester Philharmonic and Music Director Ward Stare in early February. Her five state US recital tour with pianist Andreas Haefliger includes concerts for Ohio’s Tuesday Musical Association, DC’s Washington Performing Arts at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, University of Florida Performing Arts Series in Gainsville, the Peggy Rockefeller Concert Series in New York City, and the Soundings: New Music at the Nasher series in Dallas, Texas. With her trio, Tre Voci (violist Kim Kashkashian and harpist Sivan Magen), she tours the East Coast, with stops in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Rochester and Boston. Upcoming engagements during 2016 spring/summer include chamber music performances in Germany, a recital with harpist Anneleen Linaerts in Belgium, a return to the Galway Flute Festival in Weggis, Switzerland, and the Summer Festival Premiere of the Kernis Concerto with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra on August 4, 2016.
Highlights of recent seasons include a highly acclaimed tour with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, performing the Nielsen Flute Concerto under the baton of Jukka-Pekka Saraste; performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Center; Tokyo’s Casals and Suntory Halls; the Seoul Arts Center; New York's Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and Town Hall; the Mozartsaal in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. With Tre Voci, she released the trio’s debut CD on the ECM label to acclaim.
The list of esteemed orchestras with which Ms. Piccinini has appeared includes the Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Hannover Symphony, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Ravenna Chamber Orchestra, among others. She has worked with such celebrated conductors as Alan Gilbert, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, Myung-whun Chung and Gianandrea Noseda, and collaborated with such distinguished artists as the Tokyo, Brentano, Mendelssohn, and Takács string quartets and with the Percussion ensemble Nexus and the Brasil Guitar Duo. She is a regular partner of pianists Andreas Haefliger and Mitsuko Uchida. A popular figure at international music festivals, she is a frequent guest artist in Japan, and has performed (at the personal invitation of Seiji Ozawa) at the Saito Kinen Festival. Ms. Piccinini has also appeared as Guest Principal Flute with both the Boston Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.
While equally at home with contemporary and traditional works, Ms. Piccinini is deeply committed to music of the present, and expanding the repertoire for her instrument. She has given first performances of works by some of today’s foremost composers, including Michael Colgrass, Paquito D’Rivera, Matthew Hindson, Miguel Kertsman, Lukas Foss, Michael Torke, John Harbison, David Ludwig and Roberto Sierra.
An active recording artist with CDs on the Avie, Claves, and ECM labels, Ms. Piccinini is the latest in a distinguished line of virtuosos to make the Paganini Caprices their own. Her new Paganini arrangements can be heard on her recent highly acclaimed recording for Avie. The printed music for Piccinini’s Paganini arrangements was published in autumn 2014 by Schott Music. Other recent recordings include Tre Voci’s acclaimed debut CD of works by Tōru Takemitsu, Claude Debussy and Sofia Gubaidulina on the ECM label; a DVD of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire from the Salzburg Festival, along with an accompanying documentary entitled Solar Plexus of Modernism; for Avie, the J.S.Bach’s complete flute sonatas and solo Partita in collaboration with the Brasil Guitar Duo, and the flute sonatas of Prokofiev and Franck with pianist Andreas Haefliger; and for Claves, Belle Époque with pianist Anne Epperson, and sonatas by Bartók, Martinů, Schulhoff, Dohnányi, and Taktakishvili with pianist Eva Kupiec.
The first flutist to win the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Marina Piccinini’s career was launched when she won First Prize in the CBC Young Performers Competition in Canada, and a year later, First Prize in New York’s Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Ms. Piccini is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including Musical America’s Young Artist to Watch, the McMeen-Smith Award, the NEA’s Solo Recitalist Grant (twice), the BP Artist Career Award, as well as various grants from the Canada Council, among others.
Marina Piccinini was born into a family of distinguished scientists. She began her flute studies in Toronto with Jeanne Baxtresser and later received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with the legendary flutist Julius Baker. She also worked with renowned musicians flutist Aurèle Nicolet, and tenor Ernst Haefliger in Switzerland. A staunch supporter of education, Ms. Piccinini regularly gives masterclasses worldwide around her performance schedule, and is currently on the faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany. A 36th-generation Shaolin Fighting Monk, Ms. Piccinini lives with her family in Vienna and New York.