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Jean-François Antonioli

Jean-François Antonioli, Swiss of North Italian origin, was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1959. After studying with Fausto Zadra, a disciple of the legendary Vincenzo Scaramuzza, and being awarded the First Prize of Virtuosity at the Lausanne Conservatoire, he deepened his artistic knowledge for more than three years with Pierre Sancan in Paris. Together with these key teachers in his development, two other encounters had a crucial impact on the rest of his life: Bruno Seidlhofer, the leading bench-mark concerning the Viennese style, and Carlo Zecchi (Rome, Italy), himself a disciple of Busoni and Schnabel, who encouraged Antonioli to play the 21 Mozart piano concerti. As a pianist, he has been invited to perform, either solo or with orchestra, in musical centres throughout Europe, Israel and Canada. His US début was in 1991 with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. He has appeared at a number of international festivals such as Montreux-Vevey, Lucerne, and the Birmingham Festival of Arts. He has recorded 20 CDs, including Claude Debussy‘s 24 Préludes, as well as works by Busoni and Joachim Raff (1822-82) with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster. Devoted to Frank Martin‘s works for piano and orchestra, his first record was distinguished soon after its release with the ‘Grand Prix du Disque de l‘Académie Charles Cros’ in Paris in 1986, prior to being selected for the IRCA in New York, along with the twenty best records of the year, by fifty critics from all over the world. His conducting activities began in 1988. From 1993 to 2002 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Timisoara Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania), with which he has toured several Eropean countries and Brazil. He often shoulders both the conducting and the solo part, as in the complete concerti by Mozart and also the Bach, Haydn and even Chopin concerti. In April 1995 at the Atheneum of Bucharest, the UNESCO and the Rumanian Education Ministry presented him with the Dinu Lipatti Medal ‘as a token of high appreciation’. Antonioli is in charge of a virtuosity class at the Lausanne Conservatoire and has been giving master-classes since 1986. In 1995, he started a yearly summer seminar for young soloists devoted to Mozart‘s concertante music in collaboration with the University of Timisoara. In addition, various national and international competitions invite him to take part in their juries. His tireless activities as soloist and conductor have resulted in the premières of works by many composers such as Honegger, Lipatti, Perrin, Balissat, Fries, Metianu, Scolari, Derbès, and Kovach; as well as the first European hearing of Henri Dutilleux‘s famous Le Jeu des Contraires (1989) and several world first recordings by Honegger, Martin, Cras, Perrin, Derbès, Busoni, Balissat, Chalier, Kovach, Fries, and Gaudibert. Two films on Antonioli by W. Wehmeyer were made: Hearing Vocation (on the Island San Giulio, 2000) and Listening Eyes, about the relationship with the Timisoara Philharmonic (2002). Antonioli is a full member of the Central European Academy of Science and Art.