Roberto Prosseda

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Roberto Prosseda at a pedal piano, Florence, November 2013

Roberto Prosseda (born 1975 in Latina, Lazio) is an Italian classical pianist.


Roberto Prosseda was born in Latina, Italy, on May 7, 1975. He began composing for the piano at the age of 4, and took his first private piano lessons at 6. In 1985 he entered the Conservatorio O. Respighi in Latina, where he studied piano with Anna Maria Martinelli, graduating in 1994. He went on to study with Alexander Lonquich, Boris Petrushansky and Franco Scala at the Accademia Pianistica "Incontri col Maestro" in Imola, with Dmitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher, William Grant Naboré, Charles Rosen, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Fou Ts'ong at the International Piano Foundation in Cadenabbia (Lake Como, Italy).

Roberto Prosseda has won major prizes in several important piano competitions, including the U. Micheli in Milan, the F. Schubert in Dortmund, the A.Casagrande in Terni and the W.A.Mozart in Salzburg, and has performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America. His recent engagements have included performing at venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Wigmore Hall, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro alla Scala and Sala Verdi in Milano, Festival Pianistico di Bergamo e Brescia, Settembre Musica in Torino, Ravenna Festival, Triennale Köln, Biennale di Venezia.

Roberto Prosseda has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras, such as the London Philharmonic,[1] New Japan Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Residentie Orchester in The Hague, Brussels Philharmonic, Wiener Kammerorchester, Mozarteum Orchester, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Santa Cecilia di Roma.

Prosseda holds a PhD in Italian Literature from La Sapienza University in Rome. He frequently contributes articles on classical and contemporary music to several music journals, including Giornale della Musica, Amadeus, Musica and the International Contemporary Music Review.[2]

Roberto Prosseda is married to concert pianist Alessandra Ammara with whom he performs as a piano duo.[3]

Mendelssohn discoveries[edit]

Between 2004 and 2009 Roberto Prosseda gave the world premières of more than 40 previously unpublished piano works by Felix Mendelssohn, including the piano concerto in E minor, in various cities (Leipzig Gewandhaus, Berlin Philharmonie, New York, MusicToronto, London Wigmore Hall).[4] He has also commissioned various contemporary composers to reconstruct several of Mendelssohn's unfinished works, including piano concerto no. 3, reconstructed by Marcello Bufalini and recorded by Prosseda with Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig conducted by Riccardo Chailly (Decca, 2009) [5]

Italian Piano Music[edit]

Prosseda dedicated the early part of his career to the discovery of piano works by several neglected Italian composers, such as Antonio Salieri, Gioachino Rossini and Roffredo Caetani. He published the first edition of Salieri's Sonata in C major in 2004 for Boccaccini & Spada [6][7] Prosseda has also recorded the complete piano works of Luigi Dallapiccola and Goffredo Petrassi.


Since September 2011 Prosseda has also performed on the piano-pédalier. On 13 September 2011 he gave the modern première of Charles Gounod's concerto for piano-pédalier and orchestra in E flat major (1889), with the Orchestra Filarmonica Toscanini conducted by Jan Latham Koenig.[8] Many contemporary composers have written pieces for the piano-pédalier for Prosseda, including Cristian Carrara, Ennio and Andrea Morricone, Giuseppe Lupis, Alessandro Solbiati and Michael Glenn Williams.[9] In October 2012 Prosseda recorded four works by Charles Gounod for piano-pédalier and orchestra (Concerto, Suite Concertante, Fantaisie sur l'Hymne Russe and Danse Roumaine) with Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana conducted by Howard Shelley for Hyperion.[10] In June 2012 Prosseda made his debut recital on the piano-pédalier at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. This concert was filmed and is available on YouTube.[11] He performed original pieces for piano-pédalier by Robert Schumann [12] Charles Valentine Alkan as modern premières on this instrument.[13]

Educational Projects[edit]

Since 2012 Roberto Prosseda has also given lecture concerts with the robot pianist TeoTronico, as educational or family concerts, which demonstrate the difference between a literal production of music and human interpretation. [14] On 23 August 2012 at the Philharmonie in Berlin, Roberto Prosseda appeared as ghost pianist, playing a Clavinova digital piano from backstage, connected in real time via Midi with TeoTronico. The robot, onstage, mirrored his performance of Chopin's Polacca Brillante op. 22, reproducing it on a normal grand piano with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. This was the first experiment of a live teleconcert with a ghost pianist. Prosseda repeated the experiment in Palermo on 4 November 2012, performing Mozart's concerto K488 backstage, with TeoTronico on stage with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana.[15]

Prosseda is a frequent host on Italian National Radio, Radiotre. His "Lezioni di Musica" lectures, which explain the musical meaning of various piano works, are available as a podcast from the RAI website.[16]

Prosseda is also the author and co-producer of three documentaries: "Mendelssohn Unknown", "Fryderyk Chopin", and "Liszt: The Years of Pilgrimage", directed by Angelo Bozzolini and distributed by Euroarts.[17]

In 2011 Prosseda wrote the book "Lezioni di Musica - il Pianoforte", a listening guide to piano repertoire, published in Italian by Edizioni Curci in 2013.[18]

Other musical activities[edit]

In 2009 the Italian music publisher Raitrade published three scores of rare piano works by Mendelssohn, in a critical edition by Prosseda: 6 Fugues (1821–26), 4 Sonatas (1820), Fantasia for piano four hands (1824).

Roberto Prosseda is founder and president of the Associazione Mendelssohn, which promotes the music and the heritage of Felix Mendelssohn, and artistic consultant at the Festival Pontino.

He is also co-founder and artistic coordinator of "Donatori di Musica", a network of musicians and doctors who organise concert series in Italian hospitals.[19]

Honours and Awards[edit]

  • Supersonic Award by Pizzicato (March 2013) for Prosseda's Decca CD "Piano con Fuoco" [20]
  • Diapason d'Or of the Month (November 2009) awarded for the Mendelssohn Discoveries Decca CD.[21]
  • Premio Petrassi per la Musica, 2010. Awarded by Ennio Morricone to Roberto Prosseda at Parco della Musica, Roma, 27 September 2010.[22]
  • Premio Silvestro Sasso 2002 for the best University Dissertation about Music.
  • Amadeus Award as "Miglior CD del Mese", awarded for Mendelssohn Discoveries, May 2005.


  • CD Decca 481 1010 (3 CDs, 2014) Felix Mendelssohn: Da Capo Al Fine (Complete Variations, Preludes and Fugues, Charakterstücke, Etudes, Klavierstücke, with 29 World Premiere Recordings)
  • DVD "Pedal Piano Recital", Continuo Records, 2014 (Original Works for Pedal Piano by Schumann, Boëly, Alkan and Gounod)
  • CD Hyperion CDA67975 (2013) The Romantic Piano Concerto, vol.62 - Charles Gounod: The complete works for pedal piano and orchestra
  • CD Decca 476 5118 (2 CD, 2012) Felix Mendelssohn: Piano con Fuoco (4 Sonatas, 5 Fantasias, 5 Capricci)
  • CD Decca 476 4545 (2011) Franz Liszt: Années de Pèlerinage, Italie.
  • CD Decca 476 3962 (2010) Robert Schumann: "Fantasia" (Fantasia op. 17, Arabesque op. 18, Kinderszenen op. 15, Waldszenen op. 82)
  • CD Decca 478 1525 (2009) Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto n. 3 (reconstructed by Marcello Bufalini). Gewandhaus Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly
  • CD Decca 476 6796 (2 CD, 2008) Felix Mendelssohn: 56 Lieder ohne Worte – First complete performance (2008)
  • CD Decca 476 6165 (2007) «Chopin»
  • CD Decca 476 5277 (2006) «Mendelssohn Rarities». Felix Mendelssohn: 4 Early Piano Sonatas, World Premiere Recording
  • CD Decca 476 3038 (2005) «Mendelssohn Discoveries». Felix Mendelssohn: 13 Piano Works, World Premiere Recordings
  • CD Velut Luna 112 (2005) “Piano Vibratili”. Italian Contemporary Piano Works
  • CD Naxos 8.557676 Luigi Dallapiccola: Complete Piano Works (2003)
  • CD Fonè 2049 Goffredo Petrassi: Complete Piano Works (1999)
  • DVD Domovideo “Roberto Prosseda” Piano Recital (Mozart, Schubert, Chopin)


  1. ^ Review on musicweb-international, Apr 6 2009
  2. ^ Prosseda's Article about Aldo Clementi's piano music on Contemporary Music Review, Volume 30, Numbers 3-4, 1 June 2011 , pp. 299-315, Routledge
  3. ^ Video Interview with Alessandra Ammara for Orchestra Pomeriggi Musicali
  4. ^ Wall Street Journal "Restoring the Reputation of Wagner Victim"
  5. ^ CD Review on Guardian, Sept 25, 2009
  6. ^ [1], Salieri's sonata sheet music on]
  7. ^ Article on Repubblica, Dec 4 2004
  8. ^ Classics FM "Prosseda resurrects the pedalpiano"
  9. ^ Wall Street Journal article on Roberto Prosseda and pedal-piano renaissance
  10. ^ Article on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 9, 2013
  11. ^ Alkan: Prélude op. 66 n. 4 pour piano-pédalier
  12. ^ Article on
  13. ^ Article by Normal Lebrecht on
  14. ^ Video Reportage about Prosseda and TeoTronico by Globo TV
  15. ^ Article about TeoTronico on
  16. ^ Italian Radio Podcast of Prosseda's Lezioni di Musica about Mendelssohn
  17. ^ Euroarts official website
  18. ^ Prosseda's book "Il Pianoforte - guida all'ascolto del repertorio da concerto, Curci Editore
  19. ^ Article on Repubblica, Aug 18 2010
  20. ^ Universal Music news about the Supersonic Award given to Prosseda
  21. ^ Universal Music news about the Diapason d'Or awarded to Mendelssohn Discoveries CD
  22. ^ Article on Corriere della Sera, 29 September 2010