The Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo is one of the major world musical events and it is expressly dedicated to the piano, both as a solo instrument and as a prestigious partner of important orchestras.
The Festival was founded in 1964 by M° Agostino Orizio and it hosted herehence the most sought-after international soloists and orchestras in charming venues such as the Teatro Grande in Brescia and the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo.
Among the world’s most famous musicians who performed at the Festival, we can list pianists like Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, who was protagonist of the first five editions, Magaloff, Richter, Arrau, Pollini, Ashkenazy, Radu Lupu, Zimerman, Brendel, Martha Argerich, Evgenij Kissin, Grigory Sokolov, istrumentalists, singers and conductors like Mstislav Rostropovich, Mischa Maisky, Uto Ughi, Luciano Pavarotti, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Gergiev, Giulini, Sawallisch, Solti, Maazel, Chung. Outstanding guest orchestras have been the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Natonal of France, the Orchstra dell’Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma, the Filarmonica della Scala.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Festival is its theme-structure: this means that the Festival develops around a central idea that can be a composer, a cultural environment or a specific historic period.
In 1986 the Festival was awarded the Premio Abbiati della critica musicale italiana and the Listz Medal from the Hungarian Ministry of Culture.
The Festival is founding member of Italiafestival, it is placed under the patronage of the Presidente of the Italian Republic, and since 1992 it is also patronized by the President of the European Parliament.
Important changes have happened in the last years , such as the handover of the Artistic Direction from Agostino Orizio to his son Piercarlo, and the appointment of Andrea Gibellini as President, succeding Filippo Siebaneck.
Under the guidance of Pier Carlo Orizio, the Festival has taken a new direction which places side by side contemporary music and the vast classic repertoire. This is what occurred for example in 2007, when the Festival put the figure of Beethoven near that of Arvo Pärt, in 2008, with the focus on Chopin and Berstein, and in 2009, when the Festival, which was dedicated to China, saw the participant of Tan Dun.
2012 edition will be remembered for the exceptional prologue with Riccardo Muti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In 2013 the Festival celebrated its 50th birthday inviting the Polish composer and conductor Krzystof Penderecki and the London Symphony Orchestra with Antonio Pappano.