Christian De Luca
22/05/2021 - 22/05/2021
Chiesa SS. Annunziata / 6.30pm
“A riveder le stelle” - a musical journey, from uncertainty to hope. Music by Clementi, Gershwin, Liszt, Morricone, Thalberg, Beethoven
Born in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1993, Christian De Luca’s musical journey took him from a small Apulian town on the Gargano coast - where he grew up and had his first piano lesson at the age of eight– to the cosmopolitan New York City, where he moved to at the age of twenty after having been admitted to the eminent Julliard School of Music.
Prior to his experience in the USA, Christian trained in Italy. At the age of 17 he made his debut with the “U. Giordano Conservatory” Symphony Orchestra in Foggia, performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1. The following year, he graduated from the same conservatory with honours, under the guidance of Claudio Trovajoli. It was there that a few years later Christian discovered the world of historical keyboards after getting his hands on a newly arrived Viennese fortepiano from Mozart's era. It was love at “first touch” which endured even after moving overseas. In the aforementioned years, Christian performed in many prestigious Italian concert halls and distinguished himself in numerous piano competitions. Among these, he was awarded an honorable mention at the 9th edition of the “Premio Nazionale delle Arti” - a competition that brings together the best pianists from conservatories around Italy. He was also declared the winner of the International Competition for Piano and Orchestra “Città di Cantù”, at its 24th edition, after competing in the Romantic Concerti category. On that occasion, Christian also won the Audience Award and was praised for his “perfect state of grace” and for the “great passion” with which he faced “the fearsome variations from Franz Liszt's ‘Totentanz’” during the competition’s final round with the Bacau Philharmonic Orchestra, thus proving to be “the competition’s only authentic success” (La Provincia di Como).
In 2014, after a highly selective process, Christian enrolled in The Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he earned his master’s degree in Piano Performance in 2018 under the tutelage of Julian Martin and Matti Raekallio. During his studies in the USA, he continued to pursue his interest in historical instruments with great enthusiasm by taking fortepiano and harpsichord lessons with Audrey Axinn, Robert Levin, and Peter Sykes. Having acquired the skills to play different keyboard instruments, he chose to use a harpsichord and a fortepiano, in addition to modern piano, during his graduation recital. This allowed him to experiment with switching keyboards during a concert, according to the different time periods of the repertoire chosen for the evening. He became the first Julliard student to take such an initiative, which helped him shape his career as a “versatile keyboard player”. While at Juilliard, Christian was a Secondary Piano Teaching Fellow of the Keyboard Skills Department, and worked as Teaching Assistant for Dr. Steven Laitz, the head of the Music Theory and Analysis department. Currently, he continues to collaborate with The Juilliard School through remote teaching activities.
In the summer of 2018, he won the “1st Early Piano Competition” in Berkeley, California. Soon after, he was selected as the only fortepiano apprentice to participate in the prestigious Valley of The Moon Music Festival. Held every year in Sonoma, California, it is renowned for being the only music festival in the United States to focus on performing chamber music from the classical and romantic periods on historical instruments. Since then, he has returned there as a laureate artist to perform regularly, both as a soloist and chamber musician. On September 26th of the same year, Christian made his debut at the Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center, New York, with the American Classical Orchestra, performing Mozart's famous piano concerto in C Major K467 “Elvira Madigan”, on the fortepiano. Before his performance, the conductor invited him to explain to the audience the peculiarities of the historical instruments he was about to play, thus enabling a better listening experience.
In the Winter of 2020, Christian moved to Rome, where he currently resides and teaches piano at the “Gioacchino Rossini” music school. In December of the same year, he was hired by the “Aeroporti di Roma” company to produce a striking and unprecedented short film: a piano performance in the middle of a runway at Fiumicino airport. During the pandemic, the video’s purpose was to launch a message of hope, suggesting that ‘we will be flying again soon’.
In addition to concertising and teaching, Christian is a strong and passionate advocate for the arts. Therefore, he often performs in “unconventional” settings, where he would enrich his audience’s listening experience through contextualized spoken introductions, and sometimes even reciting poetic verses reflecting the music he would perform.