A daring artist with diverse musical interests, virtuoso flutist Marina Piccinini is in demand worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. Internationally acclaimed for her interpretive skills, rich, expansive colors, technical command and elegant, compelling stage presence, Piccinini has been hailed by Gramophone as “the Heifetz of the flute”.
Well-known for her commitment to new music and her history of first performances and commissions by some of today’s foremost living composers, as well as performances with esteemed orchestras worldwide, Piccinini’s 2016-17 season includes engagements throughout the United States, in Canada, Korea, and Great Britain. Of special note is the UK premiere of Pulitzer Prize–winner Aaron Jay Kernis’ Flute Concerto, written for her, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under principal guest conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and the world premiere of Kernis’ Air in the version for flute and orchestra with the Korean Chamber Orchestra under conductor Patrick Gallois at Korea’s Seoul Arts Center, both in February 2017. Other highlights include a return to Boston’s Jordan Hall and the First Mondays series, a four-city North American tour with guitarist Meng Su, performances at Korea’s Gonjian Flute Festival and Germany’s Kempten Classix Music Festival, and with the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra (UK). She also records the Kernis Flute Concerto with conductor Leonard Slatkin. Future engagements include recitals at the Marlboro Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and premieres of a solo work for flute by Christopher Theofanidis and a sonata for flute and harp by Yuko Uebayashi.
Recent performances of note include the World, New York State and Summer Festival premieres of Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis’ Flute Concerto, written for Piccinini, with Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Leonard Slatkin, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director Ward Stare, and with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra under conductor JoAnn Falletta respectively, as well as a five state US recital tour with pianist Andreas Haefliger. Among her recent season highlights is a highly acclaimed tour with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in January 2015, performing the Nielsen Flute Concerto four times under the baton of JukkaPekka Saraste; performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Center; Tokyo’s Casals and Suntory Halls; the Seoul Arts Center; New York’s Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Town Hall; the Mozartsaal in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. With Tre Voci, she released the trio’s debut CD on the ECM label to acclaim.
The list of esteemed orchestras with which Piccinini has appeared includes the Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Hannover Symphony, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Ravenna Chamber Orchestra, among others. She has worked with such celebrated conductors as Alan Gilbert, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, Myung-whun Chung and Gianandrea Noseda, and collaborated with such distinguished artists as the Tokyo, Brentano, Mendelssohn, and Takács string quartets and with the Percussion ensemble Nexus and the Brasil Guitar Duo. She is a regular partner of pianists Andreas Haefliger and Mitsuko Uchida. A popular figure at international music festivals, she is a frequent guest artist in Japan, and has performed (at the personal invitation of Seiji Ozawa) at the Saito Kinen Festival. Piccinini has also appeared as Guest Principal Flute with both the Boston Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.
While equally at home with contemporary and traditional works, Piccinini is deeply committed to music of the present, and expanding the repertoire for her instrument. She has given first performances of works by some of today’s foremost composers, including Michael Colgrass, Paquito D’Rivera, Matthew Hindson, Miguel Kertsman, Lukas Foss, Michael Torke, John Harbison, David Ludwig and Roberto Sierra.
An active recording artist with CDs on the Avie, Claves, and ECM labels, Piccinini is the latest in a distinguished line of virtuosos to make the Paganini Caprices their own. Her new Paganini arrangements can be heard on her recent highly acclaimed recording for Avie. The printed music for Piccinini’s Paganini arrangements was published in autumn 2014 by Schott Music. Other recent recordings include Tre Voci’s acclaimed debut CD of works by Tōru Takemitsu, Claude Debussy and Sofia Gubaidulina on the ECM label; a DVD of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire from the Salzburg Festival, along with an accompanying documentary entitled Solar Plexus of Modernism; for Avie, the J.S.Bach’s complete flute sonatas and solo Partita in collaboration with the Brasil Guitar Duo, and the flute sonatas of Prokofiev and Franck with pianist Andreas Haefliger; and for Claves, Belle Époque with pianist Anne Epperson, and sonatas by Bartók, Martinů, Schulhoff, Dohnányi, and Taktakishvili with pianist Eva Kupiec.
A highly regarded educator as well as performer, Piccinini enters an exciting new collaboration with the New World Symphony. Following a decade at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, Piccinini moves the Marina Piccinini International Masterclasses (MPIMC) to the New World Center in Miami this summer 2017.
The first flutist to win the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Marina Piccinini’s career was launched when she won First Prize in the CBC Young Performers Competition in Canada, and a year later, First Prize in New York’s Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Piccini is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including Musical America’s Young Artist to Watch, the McMeen-Smith Award, the NEA’s Solo Recitalist Grant (twice), the BP Artist Career Award, as well as various grants from the Canada Council, among others.
Marina Piccinini was born into a family of distinguished scientists. She began her flute studies in Toronto with Jeanne Baxtresser and later received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with the legendary flutist Julius Baker. She also worked with renowned musicians flutist Aurèle Nicolet, and tenor Ernst Haefliger in Switzerland. A staunch supporter of education, Piccinini regularly gives masterclasses worldwide around her performance schedule, and is currently on the faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and was formerly Professor at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany. A 36th-generation Shaolin Fighting Monk, Piccinini lives with her family in Vienna and New York.
Paganini | 24 Caprices Op. 1, Tre Voci / Takemitsu, Debussy, Gubaidulina, Bach Flute Sonatas, and more
Interview with Pan Magazine