Sandro Russo (piano) in concert, Incarnation, San Francisco

Saturday, June 1, 2019, 7:30 pm

Acclaimed for his profound sense of poetry and distinctive style, Sandro Russo has been in demand as a soloist in many venues around the world. He unanimously receives accolades for his sparkling virtuosity and his playing has often been referred to as a throwback to the grand tradition of elegant pianism and beautiful sound. Abbey Simon has praised him as “an artist to his fingertips…musical, intuitive, and a master of the instrument.” Lowell Liebermann has called him “a musician’s musician, and a pianist’s pianist. There is no technical challenge too great for him, but it is his musicianship that ultimately makes the greatest impression. His interpretations reveal a unique and profound artist at work.”

Born in San Giovanni Gemini, Italy, Mr. Russo displayed exceptional musical talent from an early age. After entering the V. Bellini Conservatory, from where he graduated summa cum laude, he went on to earn the Pianoforte Performing Diploma from the Royal College of Music in London, with honors. While still a student, he won top prize awards in numerous national and international competitions, including Senigallia and the Ibla Grand Prize. During that time, he performed in some of the country’s most reputable concert halls.

Soon after Mr. Russo moved to the United States in 2000, he won the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition, which led to a performance of the Liszt A major Concerto at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ. Shortly thereafter, he gave an acclaimed Chopin recital at the prestigious Politeama Theatre in Palermo, Italy, and later appeared at the Nuove Carriere Music Festival, an international showcase for the world’s most promising young musicians.

Mr. Russo has also gained attention for an extensive repertoire that is comprised not only of well-known masterpieces from all periods but also of rarities of the piano literature. His virtuoso performances of works by Cziffra, Sorabji, Marc-André Hamelin and other composer-pianists have enthralled music lovers from around the world. He has also premiered compositions by Lowell Liebermann, Paul Moravec and Mr. Hamelin.

Mr. Russo has performed in such eminent concert halls as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Berlin, Salle Cortot in Paris, Teatro Politeama in Palermo, Weill and Zankel halls at Carnegie Hall and Nagasaki Brick Hall in Japan. His recitals include performances for The Rachmaninoff Society, the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, Concerts Grand in Santa Rosa (CA), the American Liszt Society, the Houston International Piano Festival, the Husum Festival of Piano Rarities in Germany and the Chetham’s International Piano Festival in Manchester (U.K.), among others. In November 2010 the Italian Academy Foundation presented Mr. Russo in a sold-out Chopin & Schumann anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Russo has appeared as a soloist with the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, The Jacksonville Symphony in Florida and The Brussels Chamber Orchestra in an opening gala of The Music Festival of the Hamptons. He also has toured with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana for performances of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto and was the featured soloist with the New York Asian Symphony on tour in Japan.

In the summers of 2017 and 2018, Mr. Russo gave solo recitals in the recently opened Stoller Hall in Manchester, UK. He also performed in London (St. Mary’s Perivale and Steinway Hall) and Vienna (Gegenklang), and in September 2017, he had the honor of performing with the world-renowned soprano, Sumi Jo, for the president of South Korea, to promote the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. In October 2018, he gave a highly praised performing in the Fernando Laires Series at the Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall.

At the invitation of Bechstein-America, Mr. Russo had the privilege of recording a DVD on the historical 1862 Bechstein piano (#576), originally owned by Franz Liszt. Additionally, he had the opportunity to record a DVD on Horowitz’s CD-75 Steinway piano; this represented the first recording made on this legendary instrument following Horowitz’s death.

Mr. Russo’s performances have aired on major radio stations in the US and abroad. His albums include, among others, Scarlatti Recreated, Russian Gems: Piano Rarities and Rachmaninov – Solo Piano Works. The latter was released to critical acclaim in March 2017 on the Steinway & Sons label and was chosen “Disc of the Month” by Italy’s The Classic Voice magazine. Mr. Russo’s latest album, Images et Mirages: Hommage à Debussy, was released on the Steinway & Sons label on October 19, 2018.


Franz Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178
Frédéric Chopin Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 5

Cost: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students

Contact: Mathew Chacko,




Incarnation Church
1750 29th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122-4223
Phone: 415.564.2324