Acclaimed for his profound sense of poetry and distinctive style, Sandro Russo has been in demand as a soloist in many venues around the world. He unanimously receives accolades for his sparkling virtuosity and his playing has often been referred to as a throwback to the grand tradition of elegant pianism and beautiful sound. Abbey Simon has praised him as “an artist to his finger tips…musical, intuitive, and a master of the instrument.” Lowell Liebermann has called him “a musician’s musician, and a pianist’s pianist. There is no technical challenge too great for him, but it is his musicianship that ultimately makes the greatest impression. His interpretations reveal a unique and profound artist at work.”
Born in San Giovanni Gemini, Italy, Mr. Russo displayed exceptional musical talent from an early age. In 1995, he graduated summa cum laude from the V. Bellini Conservatory and earned the Piano Performing Diploma from the Royal College of Music in London with honors. While still a student, he won top prize awards in numerous national and international competitions, including Senigallia and the Ibla Grand Prize. During that time, he performed in some of the country’s most reputable concert halls.
Soon after Mr. Russo moved to the United States in 2000, he won the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition, which led to a performance of the Liszt A major Concerto at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ. Shortly thereafter, he gave an acclaimed Chopin recital at the prestigious Politeama Theatre in Palermo, Italy, and later appeared at the Nuove Carriere Music Festival, an international showcase for the world’s most promising young musicians.
Mr. Russo also has gained attention for an extensive repertoire that is comprised not only of well-known masterpieces from all periods but of rarities of the piano literature, as well. Some of his virtuoso performances of works by Cziffra, Sorabji, Marc-André Hamelin and other composer-pianists have enthralled music lovers from around the world. He has also premiered compositions by Lowell Liebermann, Paul Moravec and Mr. Hamelin.
He has performed in such prestigious concert halls as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Berlin, Weill and Zankel halls at Carnegie Hall, Salle Cortot in Paris and Teatro Politeama in Palermo. His recitals include performances for The Rachmaninoff Society, the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, Concerts Grand in Santa Rosa (CA), the American Liszt Society, the Houston International Piano Festival, the Husum Festival of Piano Rarities in Germany and the Chetham’s International Piano Festival in Manchester (U.K.), among others. In November 2010 the Italian Academy Foundation presented Mr. Russo in a sold-out Chopin & Schumann anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Russo has also appeared as a soloist with the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, The Jacksonville Symphony in Florida and The Brussels Chamber Orchestra at the opening gala of The Music Festival of the Hamptons in 2008. In July of the same year he gave three highly praised performances of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto on tour with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana and he was also the featured soloist with the New York Asian Symphony for a Japan tour in 2009. His performances have aired on major radio stations in the US and abroad.
In January 2009, Bechstein-America invited Mr. Russo to record a DVD on the historical 1862 Bechstein piano (#576) owned by Franz Liszt. In addition, the DVD “Sandro Russo Plays the Steinway CD-75 Horowitz Piano” represents the first recording on this legendary instrument after Horowitz’s death. Mr. Russo’s latest recording, Rachmaninov – Solo Piano Works, released in March 2017 on the Steinway & Sons label, has received great critical acclaim and has been chosen “Disc of the Month” by Italy’s The Classic Voice magazine.
In summer of 2017, Mr. Russo gave a solo recital in the newly opened Stoller Hall in Manchester, UK., where he also gave master classes to a group of international students. In September 2017, Mr. Russo had the honor of performing with the world-renowned South Korean soprano, Sumi Jo, in two special NYC events in the presence of the president of South Korea and other dignitaries in celebration of the forthcoming PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Sandro Russo is a Steinway Artist.