Christian Leotta has been defined by the legendary Rosalyn Tureck as “an extraordinary talent with a beautiful innate musicality”, and the great Karl Ulrich Schnabel wrote about him: “his respect of the indications of the Classical and Romantic composers is perfect and their understanding considerable”.
Christian is a native of Catania, Italy, and now lives in Como. He studied with Mario Patuzzi at Milan’s Conservatory, at the “Theo Lieven International Piano Foundation” on Lake Como and at the “Tureck Bach Research Foundation” of Oxford, England.
Appearing in Montreal in 2002, at the age of only 22, Christian Leotta is the youngest pianist since the youthful Daniel Barenboim ever to undertake a recital series encompassing the entire corpus of Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas. In the meantime twenty cycles have been successfully performed, most notably in international music capitals such as Venice, Montreal, Madrid, Vancouver, Mexico City, Quebec City, Lima, Rio de Janeiro and Kyoto, for which the President of the Italian Republic, Hon. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, awarded him in 2004 with the prestigious President’s Medal.
Following the extraordinary success of his live performances of Beethoven, in 2007 ATMA Classique signed Christian Leotta to record the entire corpus of the 32 Piano Sonatas in a collection of five two-CD sets, released between 2008 and 2014. The international press hailed Christian as “one of the major Beethoven soloists of our time” (Pizzicato, Luxembourg), defining his complete recording of the 32 Piano Sonatas as “a major addition to other sets currently available” (Fanfare, USA); German music magazine Rondo recently wrote: “this cycle reveals an interpreter of Beethoven who can hardly be compared to any other pianist of his generation”, and UK’s Gramophone, crowning the international success of Christian Leotta’s recordings for ATMA Classique, wrote in April 2014: “Volume V of five two-CD sets completes Christian Leotta’s cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas. He will shortly have played the sonatas 15 times in public; and even in a fiercely competitive marketplace his task shines with an exceptional musicianship”.
Christian’s affinity to Beethoven’s music has been unanimously recognized thanks to “his prodigious technique used to better express the poetry of Beethoven’s music” (The WholeNote, Toronto), to “his capability of really seizing your attention at unexpected moments” (All Music Guide, USA), gaining a reputation as “a pianist of the highest order: technician, musician and interpreter all at once” (La Presse, Montreal).
Christian Leotta’s recent performance of the cycle of Beethoven’s Five Piano Concertos and the Choral Fantasy, presented in Guadalajara’s stunning Degollado Theatre, showed once more his ability to communicate and enthrall both audiences and critics. El Informador wrote: “Christian Leotta was sublime: he brought forward energy, agility, and a cascade of lyricism. In the “Andante con moto” of the Concerto No. 4, the performer hypnotized, literally, the audience, almost obliging the public to stop breathing, thus rendering each note eternal”.
Christian Leotta has worked with major orchestras such as the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Kammerorchester, the Italian RAI National Television Orchestra, the Milan’s Symphony Orchestra “Giuseppe Verdi”, regularly performing in important theatres and concert halls such as the Philharmonie at the Gasteig in Munich, the Konzerthaus of Vienna, the Tonhalle of Zurich, the Sala Verdi and the Auditorium of Milan, the Salle Claude-Champagne of Montreal and the Great Hall at the Bunka Kaikan Theatre of Tokyo.
Highlights of the present season include engagements on five continents and the performance, from 2017, of the complete cycle of Schubert’s Piano Sonatas in Italy, Japan and other countries.