Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Athens

March 2011 - March 2011

ICA has recently returned from touring Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to Athens for two performances in The Megaron, marking the concert hall’s twentieth year since it was opened. Santa Cecilia’s Music Director, Antonio Pappano, was joined on stage by pianist Boris Berezovsky for his invigorating rendition of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 1 and a beautifully performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini.  The performance on 22 March also gave the audience a real taste of Italian music-making at its finest with a second half that included Respighi’s Fountains and Pines of Rome complete with off-stage brass and the opportunity to show-off the grandeur of The Megaron’s organ. The Italians were very well received in Athens with at least two encores performed each night. ICA looks forward to working with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia again in the near future.


ICA returns from touring Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to Athens

07 Apr 2011

ICA has recently returned from touring Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to Athens for two performances in The Megaron, marking the concert hall’s twentieth year since it was opened.


ICA Projects and Tours: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Athens

10 Mar 2011

During March ICA will be touring Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to Athens for two performances in The Megaron to mark the concert hall’s twentieth anniversary.

Accademia Nazionale di...

“Berezovsky was weightless whenever the pieces asked for transparency, but also robust, whenever the piano needed to compete with the large symphonic orchestra. The shaping of phrases was characterised by vigour, generosity and avoided the usual saccharine approach. The control of the piano was impressive, the interpretation was truly experienced by the player.”

Nikos Dontas, Sunday's "Kathimerini" Newspaper - May 2011

“Pappano formed a vigorous, dashing "reading", perfectly suited to the march-like character of the music…The Paganini Variations followed, which the vigorous Russian pianist played with flawless technique, unimaginable ease and a crystal clear, generous sound, which allowed him to compete fearlessly with the orchestra.”

Eleftherotypia Newspaper, Greece - May 2011

“'Mahler's symphony, in Pappano's theatrical approach, is as rampant with pictures as a movie'”

The Arts Desk - Apr 2011

“This music is in both Pappano’s and the Santa Cecilians’ blood. It’s hard to imagine it being played with more conviction and theatrical éclat.”

The Sunday Times - Apr 2011

“It's a while since Italy could claim to have an orchestra that might genuinely compete with the best in Europe, but since Antonio Pappano took over at the Rome-based Accademia di Santa Cecilia in 2005, it has become a much more credible possibility.”

The Guardian - Apr 2011

“I liked Pappano’s volatile way with the big tempo contrasts. It was bold, big-hearted, a little rash, thoroughly Mahlerian.”

The Independent - Apr 2011

“To close a terrific evening, the final, exhilarating lap of ‘Dance of the Hours’ from Ponchielli’s “La Gioconda” – the St Cecilia Orchestra romping home to take the Gold.” (The Anvil, Basingstoke) - Apr 2011

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Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Pappano conductor

Boris Berezovsky piano


Monday 21 March 2011          ATHENS, The Megaron (20.30)

Verdi                                             Aïda Sinfonia (9’)

Liszt                                              Piano Concerto No 1(19’)


Mahler                                          Symphony No 1 Titan(53’)

Tuesday 22 March 2011         ATHENS, The Megaron                                         (20.30)

Rossini                                        Semiramide Sinfonia                                              (12’)                                               

Rachmaninov                             Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini                         (22’)                                               


Respighi                                      Fountains of Rome                                                (15’) 

Respighi                                      Pines of Rome                                                                       (23’)


Photo Albums

Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (4 photos)


Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Mahler, First Symphony

Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - MEGA CHANNEL news report

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Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Since Antonio Pappano was appointed the post of Music Director in 2005, the prestige of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia has taken a remarkable upsurge. In the last few years, the Accademia’s artistic ensembles have obtained very important international recognition, both during their numerous tours and for their recordings.  Among the most outstanding prizes received are a Gramophone award, a Classical Brit, a Diapason d’Or, a BBC Music Magazine award and a Grammy award nomination.

The only Italian orchestra that Classic FM Magazine numbered among the elite European ensembles, it is also the first Italian orchestra to perform at the famed BBC Proms (in 1995) and to play in Berlin’s Philharmonie Hall. Having recorded for many of the major international companies (Decca, DGG, Philips, EMI, RCA, BMG and Teldec) under the direction of De Sabata, Solti, Maazel, Schippers, Giulini, Sinopoli, Bernstein, Gatti and Chung, today the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus can boast an exclusive rapport with EMI Classics. Among their more recent releases conducted by Antonio Pappano are the Tchaikovsky Symphonies (designated the benchmark edition in the noted list “1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear”), Verdi’s Requiem (judged by English critics among the best in recording history), Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (with Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann), and most recently, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with a stellar line-up that includes soprano Anna Netrebko.

The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia was conceived in 1566; however, the permanent Orchestra was “officially” founded on 16 February 1908, the date of a concert conducted by Giuseppe Martucci at the Augusteo. An important date historically, since the Santa Cecilia Orchestra was the first in Italy to devote itself exclusively to symphonic repertoire, promoting the premieres of major twentieth century masterpieces (including Respighi’s Fountains and Pines of Rome).  Since then, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus has given over 15,000 performances, collaborating with the greatest musicians of the last two centuries. They have been conducted by composers including Mahler, Debussy, Strauss, Stravinsky and Sibelius, and by conductors including Mengelberg, Bruno Walter, Toscanini, Furtwängler, Klemperer, Mitropoulos, De Sabata, Karajan, Bernstein (who was also Honorary President from 1983-1990), Erich and Carlos Kleiber, Böhm, Sawallisch, Giulini, Abbado, Muti, Masur, Prêtre and Temirkanov. Their permanent conductors have been Bernardino Molinari, Franco Ferrara, Fernando Previtali, Igor Markevitch, Thomas Schippers, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Daniele Gatti and Myung-Whun Chung.

Besides an intense concert schedule in their new home, Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica designed by Renzo Piano, the Orchestra and Chorus regularly perform throughout Italy, Europe and the Far East.  A new season of great challenges awaits the Accademia ensembles, including tours to Germany, Great Britain and Athens, Greece, with Antonio Pappano.

Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano has been Music Director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia since October 2005; in September 2002 he had already become Music Director of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Born in London in 1959 to Italian parents, Antonio Pappano studied piano, composition and conducting in the United States of America.

In 1987 Pappano made his conducting debut with the Norske Opera of Oslo, where he was named their Music Director in 1990. He went on to debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1997 and at the Bayreuth Festival in 1999.  Pappano has conducted many of the world’s major orchestras, including the New York and Berlin philharmonics and the Bayerische Rundfunk, Royal Concertgebouw and London Symphony orchestras.  In 1997 he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

In his fifth year as Music Director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, he has already led the musicians on tours throughout Europe and Japan, accomplishing great public and critical success.  Throughout the 2010-2011 season concerts are scheduled for performances in Great Britain, at the Salzburg Festival and in the Far East amongst others.

Antonio Pappano records extensively for EMI Classics and many of his recordings have received important recognition. In 2005, he was named “Conductor of the Year” by the Royal Philharmonic Society; in that same year he also received the “Abbiati” Prize, awarded by Italian music critics for his conducting of the Requiems by Brahms, Britten and Verdi together with the Artistic Ensembles of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

Pappano has made several recordings with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia for the EMI label including a recording in 2008 of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly.  In 2009 a live recording of Verdi’s Requiem which, released the same year, received the 2010 BBC Music Magazine award as best choral recording and the 2010 Classical Brits Critics’ Award.  His most recent recognition, also for Verdi’s Requiem, won a 2010 Gramophone Award for best choral recording.

Amongst his latest recordings with the Accademia are Rossini’s Stabat Mater with an stellar cast: Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Anna Netrebko and Marianna Pizzolato; Verismo Arias with Jonas Kaufmann and Rossini’s William Tell opera, which inaugurated the 2010-2011 Season at the Accademia and was recorded live by EMI.

In April 2007 Antonio Pappano was named an Active Accademician of Santa Cecilia and in December 2008 he was honoured with the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

Boris Berezovsky

“Here, surely, we have the truest successor to the great Russian pianists”  (Gramophone)

Boris Berezovsky has established a great reputation, both as the most powerful of virtuoso pianists and as a musician gifted with an unique insight and great sensitivity.

Born in Moscow, Boris Berezovsky studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Eliso Virsaladze and privately with Alexander Satz. Subsequent to his London début at the Wigmore Hall in 1988, The Times described him as "an artist of exceptional promise, a player of dazzling virtuosity and formidable power". Two years later he won the “Gold Medal” at the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow.

Boris Berezovsky is regularly invited by the most prominent orchestras including the Philharmonia, New York Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Orchestre National de France.  His partners in chamber music are Brigitte Engerer, Vadim Repin, Dmitri Makhtin and Alexander Kniazev. 

Boris Berezovsky has performed at many prestigious international recital series, including the Berlin Philharmonic piano series, the Concertgebouw international piano series and the Royal Festival Hall internatinal piano series, London. He has also performed on the great stages at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Vienna Konzerthaus and the Megaron, Athens.

With Teldec, Boris Berezovksy has recorded works of Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninov, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, Medtner, Ravel and Liszt’s complete Transcendental Studies. His recording of Rachmaninov’s Sonatas was awarded the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and his Ravel disc was recommended by Le Monde de la Musique, Diapason, BBC Music Magazine and The Independent on Sunday. In March 2006, Boris Berezovsky won the BBC Music Magazine Award.

In 2004, a DVD of Tchaikovsky’s Pieces for Piano, Violin and ‘Cello and Trio Elegiaque
à la mémoire d'un grand artiste” filmed by Boris Berezovsky, Dimitri Makhtin and Alexander Kniazev received a 4 star Diapason d'Or award. In the same year, with Warner Classics International, Boris Berezovsky, Dimitri Makhtin and Alexander Kniazev recorded Shostakovitch’s Trio No. 2 and Rachmaninov’s Trio Elégiaque No. 2, which were awarded the Choc de la Musique. France, the Gramophone Award, England, and the Echo Classic 2005, Germany.  His solo live recordings of Chopin and Godowsky which was released in 2006, received the Diapason d'Or and the RTL d'Or. 

With the Mirare label on Harmonia Mundi, Boris Berezovsky has recorded Rachmaninov’s Preludes as well as the complete Rachmaninov Piano Concertos with the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dmitri Liss, and a disc of music dedicated to works by Rachmaninov for two pianos with the pianist Brigitte Engerer, which received several great prizes. 

A live recording from the Royal Festival Hall and La Grange de Meslay Festival which includes recitals devoted to Liszt, was released in January 2010 also on the Mirare label.

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