Roberto Plano – Italy/United States
2005 Cliburn Finalist

Italian native Roberto Plano has performed all over the world, appearing with prestigious orchestras (Kremerata Baltica, Houston Symphony, Berliner Philarmoniker Camerata, Festival Strings Luzern) under the direction of renowned conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, James Conlon, Pinchas Zuckerman, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. As a recitalist he played at Lincoln Center, Sala Verdi, Salle Cortot, Wigmore Hall, and Herculessaal, and at the internationally acclaimed Newport Festival, Portland Piano Festival, Ravinia Festival, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (USA), Chopin Festival (Poland), Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), and Bologna Festival (Italy). An avid chamber musician as well, Roberto played with some of the most prestigious string quartets in the world such as the Takács, Cremona, St. Petersburg, Fine Arts, Jupiter, and Muir.

First Prize Winner at the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition, Prize Winner at the Honens, Dublin, Sendai, Geza Anda, and Valencia Competitions, and Finalist at the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Roberto’s engaging personality has made him a favorite guest on radio programs such as NPR’s Performance Today, and on TV shows for PBS, France’s Mezzo and Japan’s NHK. Plano was also named the Best Ensemble Performer at the Honens Competition for his performances with cellist Shauna Rolston and soprano Ingrid Attrot, and he was the winner of the Best Recital and Best Performance of a Commissioned Work prizes at the Dublin International Piano Competition.

He has recorded for Decca, Brilliant, Azica, Arktos, Sipario, DaVinci, and Concerto labels, being awarded the maximum 5-star rating by several music magazines. Amadeus, the most widely-read music magazine in Italy, featured Roberto twice on the magazine’s cover, with CDs of music by Alexander Scriabin and forgotten Italian composer Andrea Luchesi. In 2013, he performed the world premiere of Luchesi’s two piano concertos with the Busoni Chamber Orchestra in Trieste, Italy, with Massimo Belli conducting; the performance included a never-before heard cadenza written for the concerto by Mozart. Roberto’s debut award-winning recording for DECCA Classics was released in 2016, featuring the Harmonies Poétiqueset Religieuses by Liszt, which have not been recorded by Decca since the 1960s.

Roberto Plano studied at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, the Ecole “Cortot” in Paris, and the Lake Como Academy. During his career he has been awarded several prizes, including the Lumen Claro, previously assigned to influential Italian people like soprano Barbara Frittoli, stylist Ottavio Missoni, and economist Mario Monti. He has been described by The Chronicle in Glens Falls, NY, the “Pavarotti of the Piano” for his lyricism, and also defined by Chicago radio commentator Paul Harvey, Jr. as the heir to Rubinstein and Horowitz. The New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini wrote: “This Italian pianist showed artistic maturity beyond his years… there was a wonderful clarity and control of inner voices in his performances.” A member of the faculty at Boston University since 2016, Roberto joined Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music as Associate Professor of Piano in August 2018. In 2023, Roberto became Professor of Piano at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, and International Visiting Professor of Piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.