Release date: 4/1/2013

San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances Present Music Director Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in Concert

Pianist Giuseppe Albanese Performs Nino Rota's Piano Concerto in C

Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall

Photos Available
San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances present Music Director Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in concert on Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. The program includes Nino Rota’s rarely performed Piano Concerto in C featuring Italian pianist Giuseppe Albanese, Puccini’s Capriccio Sinfonico and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F major.
 
The performance offers audiences a rare opportunity to experience the renowned San Francisco Opera Orchestra in concert under the baton of its dynamic music director performing symphonic orchestral works. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote of the opera orchestra’s concert in Berkeley last June: “[The] concert . . .  found the orchestra and Music Director Nicola Luisotti . . . in splendid form. The qualities that distinguish the orchestra's strongest performances—a robust and finely colored ensemble sound, a powerful sense of dramatic momentum—apply just as well to the symphonic as the operatic repertoire.”

Nino Rota’s rarely performed Piano Concerto in C will feature pianist Giuseppe Albanese as soloist. Rota, a brilliant child prodigy, was a protégé of the great conductor Arturo Toscanini, a friend of Aaron Copland and a great admirer of George Gershwin. A frequent collaborator with legendary film director and writer Federico Fellini, Rota wrote the remarkable musical scores for films such as La Strada, 8 1/2 and Juliet of the Spirit. Nino Rota also worked with other film greats, among them Franco Zeffirelli and Luchino Visconti. His music for Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather ranks fifth on the American Film Institute’s ranking of all-time greatest movie scores. 
 
Conductor Nicola Luisotti opened San Francisco Opera’s season last fall leading critically acclaimed performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto, and also conducted Tosca and Lohengrin.  In June, he will lead Così fan tutte, the final opera in the beloved Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy he has conducted in San Francisco following Le Nozze di Figaro (2010) and Don Giovanni (2011). In October 2013, Maestro Luisotti will lead a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem Mass with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in celebration of the bicentennial of the composer’s birth. Luisotti’s other engagements during the 2012–13 season include a new production of Nabucco at Milan’s La Scala and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in addition to concerts with the Orchestre de Paris, La Scala’s Filarmonica della Scala and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra. A native of Tuscany, Luisotti is also music director of the prestigious Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and served as principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony from 2009 to 2012.
 
Italian pianist Giuseppe Albanese makes his Northern California debut with Nino Rota’s Piano Concerto in C, a work he has previously performed in Rome and Naples. Recent engagements include Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at Madrid’s Teatro Real and Martucci’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. He has travelled and performed extensively in his native Italy and his discography includes recordings of compositions by Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Bartók, Szymanowski, and an album of works by Italian composer Luciano Simoni.