Maestro Agostino Orizio founded the Festival Pianistico Internazionale in 1964 and he was its Artistic Director for over 40 years, before passing the baton to his son Pier Carlo.
As a student, he studied with his father, Giovanni Anfossi and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. As a pianist, he held concerts all over Europe. With the help of Hermann Scherchen he took up a new career and became conductor.
The Festival Pianistico was born as an homage to Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli for his 25th teaching year and then it developed in a positive and original example of artistic and organizational cooperation between Brescia and Bergamo.
Agostino Orizio founded also the Orchestra of the Festival, an ensemble with which he enjoyed overwhelming success in Europe, in the United States and South Africa. Highlights in the history of this Orchestra are the concerts held in the presence of Pope Paolo VI in 1966( with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, under the baton of Agostino Orizio), of Pope Giovanni Paolo II in 1997, and of Pope Benedetto XVI in 2007.
He and the Orchestra performed with world-renowned soloists such as Martha Argerich, Ashkenazy, Firkusny, Gazzelloni, Weissenberg, Ughi, Rostropovich, Maria Tipo, Oppitz, Annie Fischer and Lilya Zilberstein. Above all it is to be noted the magical artistic friendship Orizio maintained with Nikita Magaloff for 27 years, till the death of that great pianist.
While demonstrating a preference for the incomparable baroque and classical repertoire (from Bach to Beethoven), Agostino Orizio dedicated himself also to less-acclaimed composers, like Boccherini and Locatelli. Maestro Orizio won great success with more modern scores, too, such as those by Azio Corghi, based on music by Rossini and Monteverdi.
Agostino Orizio was often invited to take part in juries for international piano copetitions, including the “Busoni”, the “Clara Haskil” and the “Geza Anda”, among others.
On the occasion of the Festival’s thirtieth anniversary the City of Brescia conferred on Orizio a gold medal for his artistic and cultural merit. He obtained the same recognition from the City of Bergamo.
In 2002 he was awarded the honour of Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. In 2007, the mayor of Brescia bestowed upon him the Grosso d’Oro, a symbol of the city history.