Enrico Elisi

Associate Professor of Piano

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Enrico Elisi invites his audience to interact with him on Twitter and like his page at www.facebook.com/enricoelisipiano


LONG BIOGRAPHY (Chinese, Korean, ItalianSpanish, French)


Described by La Nueva España as “a true musician and a master of elegance, refinement and fantasy,” Enrico Elisi, born and raised in Bologna, Italy, regularly performs to acclaim throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His interpretations reveal “remarkable sensitivity, imagination and polish,” (Baltimore Sun). In Italy he has appeared in prestigious venues such as La Fenice Theatre, Venice; Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; Bibiena Theatre, Mantua; Pavarotti Opera House, Modena; Teatro Comunale and Sala Bossi, Bologna. Elisi has also given recitals in Germany, Slovak Republic and Spain. Recent performances in America include recitals at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the New York Public Library, the Italian Embassy in Washington, D. C., and in Lima, Peru. In Asia, he performed in South Korea, Taiwan, and China.

Upcoming engagements include New York’s Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library and Museum, Washington’s West Garden Court 73rd series at the National Gallery of Art, as well as recitals in Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, and Italy.

Elisi has appeared with the Florence Symphony, Italy; Orchestra Classica de Porto, Portugal; Bay Atlantic Symphony, Greeley Philharmonic, Williamsport Symphony, Pennsylvania Centre, Penn State Philharmonic, Penn’s Woods, UNLV Chamber and Johns Hopkins Symphony orchestras, USA. He also debuted as soloist/conductor with the Green Valley Festival Chamber Orchestra.

Among Elisi’s awards are top prizes in the Venice Competition (Italy) and the Oporto International Competition (Portugal)—which led to a concerto broadcast for Portuguese national TV. After winning nine first prizes in competitions in Italy and the US, and having garnered a dozen of other top prizes and awards, Elisi performed in Toulouse, France, and New York’s Weill Recital Hall as a La Gesse Fellow.

Via Classica, a German radio station, offered a two-hour broadcast of Elisi’s live recital in Hamburg followed by an interview (2008). Additional radio broadcasts include Montebeni Classica FM (Italy), WCLV Cleveland, UNC, KCNV Nevada Public Radio, and KGCS (USA). He also appeared in a TV broadcast for WPSU.

An avid chamber musician, Elisi has performed at the Taos and Ravinia Festivals, as well as other US venues and has given chamber recitals in China, Korea, France, and Peru. In addition, he collaborated with principal players from the Baltimore, Chicago, and American Symphony Orchestras.

As a champion of new music, Elisi has commissioned works from composers of many nationalities. He premiered Paul Chihara’s Two Images, at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall and has subsequently recorded it for Albany Records. His vision for contemporary music led to his founding and directing Musica Domani Prize—an international composition competition.

A frequent guest at music festivals, Elisi appears regularly in such settings as the Chautauqua Institution, Texas State, Cincinnati Art of the Piano, RPPF, Montecito (USA); Associazione Umbria classica and Amalfi Coast Festival (Italy). In 2015 he will also be on the faculty at the Valencia International Performance Academy, in Spain, Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition, in Tennessee, and he will inaugurate a new summer program and competition in Santiago, Chile.

After having held teaching posts in US institutions since 2004, Dr. Elisi joined the Eastman School of Music in 2011, where he serves as an Associate Professor and teaches a class of international students. His current and former students include prizewinners in competitions; hold teaching posts; performed with orchestras (including the Rochester Philharmonic); gave debut recitals from New York to Caracas, Paris and Seoul; garnered fellowships and scholarships at summer programs and have been accepted in artist diploma, MM, and DMA programs in prestigious institutions in the US and abroad.

Elisi also keeps a busy schedule of master classes (more than fifty just in the past three years), both in conjunction with his performing engagements, at colleges and conservatories throughout the world, including Northwestern and Roosevelt Universities, the University of Michigan, USA; University of British Columbia, Canada; National Conservatory of Lima, Peru; Accademia delle Marche, Italy; Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan; China Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory and its affiliated high school, China; Academy of Performing Arts, Baptist University, Hong Kong; Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Singapore; Jakarta Conservatory, Indonesia; Seoul National (SNU), Yonsei, Hanyang, Ewha Woman’s, Dankook, Sangmyung, Pusan National, Kyungsung, Catholic, and Keimyung Universities, as well as Seoul Arts and Sunhwa Arts high schools, South Korea. Elisi also held a two-year guest professorship at the China Zhejiang Art School in Hangzhou, China and since 2013 he has been teaching an annual master class in Seoul (http://seoulmasterclass.enricoelisi.com).

As an adjudicator, he has taken part in the Tremplin International and the Concours de Musique du Canada, the Iowa, the Peabody Yale Gordon, the Julia Crane International, the Fite Young Artist competitions, as well as the Nevada, Maryland, Virginia, and Texas State Music Teachers Associations’ competitions.

At Leon Fleisher’s invitation he performed at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in a joint recital with his mentor (2007). In 2010 he established and presided the American Liszt Society Pennsylvania Chapter and played at the 2011 Liszt Bicentennial Festival in Athens, GA.

In his native Italy, Elisi studied with Giuseppe Fricelli in Bologna and earned diplomas from the Conservatory of Florence and the world-renowned Incontri col Maestro International Piano Academy of Imola, where he worked extensively with legendary pianist Lazar Berman as well as Boris Petrushansky, Alexander Lonquich, Joaquín Achúcarro and Franco Scala. Elisi also earned MM and DMA degrees with distinction as a student of American icon and Schnabel disciple Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Elisi’s latest CD, Mozart Piano Album, has been released in 2011.



More information can be obtained at www.EnricoElisi.com. For a press kit and printed materials please click here.



Required Class


Optional Practice Observation Session and Workshop

Performance Class and Forum

The studio performance class is mainly, but not solely, intended as a simulation of an actual live performance experience (i.e., applause, bow, etc.) and gives the student an opportunity to develop skills that are crucial to a performer. The goal of gaining confidence in front of an audience is just one aspect of this class. 


The class is also designed as an open forum, whereby all participating students ought to express their opinions after each performance (and this is a requirement). Generally the instructor will let all auditing students comment first; he will then add his perspective on the performer’s work also making connections with the previous comments.

The instructor also urges students to give a brief presentation of the work to be performed. The short presentation can be of interest to everyone, but it is also a great opportunity for a new learning experience: a form of public speaking used more and more, at present, in several venues where performances take place. While this is not mandatory, it will be considered a bonus towards the final grade. Knowing something about the history of the piece one is to present only shows one’s curiosity and one’s true closeness to that work. This exercise does not have to prove a musicological attitude; one has to simply imagine a performance of a given work in front of an audience when the organizer has requested a presentation of the repertoire to be offered before the concert. Should that circumstance occur, would you be ready for it? PCF is a good place for trying that out.

Students are expected to prepare their repertoire very well in advance of their performances in PCF. A sloppy performance in front of other students is not tolerable since we all wish to cultivate good habits: students have a responsibility towards their audience (i.e., their peers, in the class, but a true audience in real life experiences!) and must approach the performance in class as if they were to play a real concert.Elisi Studio, students 2012-13

In addition, students will learn the following:

  • develop their abilities to critically address performance issues
  • get more opportunities to “run-through” and experiment with their own repertoire
  • collect feedback from the interaction with their peers and the instructor
  • monitor and reflect upon their own reactions to each new, refreshing live performance experience
  • achieve performance strength on the works that have been studied during lessons (since this course is designed in conjunction with the student’s private lessons)
  • rehearse strategies to engage with an audience

Furthermore, when the class takes place in Ciminelli Lounge (most often), students can video record their own performances and subsequently study them for learning purpose. The lounge is a smart room and it offers Internet Connection, Overhead Projector, Screen, DVD Player, VHS Player, TV, CD Player, Cassette Deck, LP Turntable, Amp/Receiver, Speakers, and Phone Jack for Conference Call Capabilities.


Bottega della musica

I will devote two mornings per month to in my studio (ESM 217) starting in the fall of 2013. My students are invited to attend the sessions for as long as they wish. Some may stay just half an hour; some may wish to stay longer, especially if the pieces I am currently learning are in their wish list, or correspond to works they are also studying. Students are encouraged to bring the scores as well as a notebook and staff paper. Understanding how a pianist with years performing and teaching practices and the process of learning is the primary purpose. The repertoire for each session will be posted in advance.

Students will be able to see and reflect upon the following:

  • how I work towards my own musical goals
  • which way I segment my work and how do I regain a sense of the whole when I break down a long stretch of music into its components
  • the kind of strategies I select in order to to accomplish those goals
  • the way I organize my own practice time in order to accomplish what needs to be done
  • how I minimize distractions
  • how I regain concentration if I feel I am getting tired
  • my stretching exercises during short breaks
  • techniques for effective warm up

Why is this workshop entitled Bottega della musica?

Being a native Italian and having had the fortune to spend several years in Florence, Italy, during my early studies, I could not help but select this peculiar title for the rather simple concept I am about to describe. Florence was one of the most exciting centers during the Renaissance attracting such artists as Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, as well as several musicians. The Bottega, an Italian word for workshop or studio, is also the name given to the working system of the Renaissance artists. The artist or teacher is working on his or her projects while the apprentices work along side so as to absorb and, in time, become Maestri themselves. Bottega and Maestro go hand in hand because the terminology dates back to a time when artists believed in craftsmanship. For instance Bach considered himself a craftsman and the meaning that the word artist has today was unknown in his time.

It will admittedly feel strange to practice in front of others because the preparatory work we do at the piano is rather personal. Yet I decided to make an exception because of the potential benefits for my students. So, twice a month, I will share my work freely. During the practicing breaks I will also be happy to address any questions the students might have.

Where did the idea come from?

One day as I was practicing in my studio at Eastman, I suddenly felt as though someone might be listening to me. I stopped and opened the door just in time to find out that, indeed, a few students had been sitting nearby and had checked my practicing habits… from the corridor. We all laughed because when I was a student I remember having done the same. I just wanted to understand what my teacher was doing to achieve a particular result and why. I gathered a simple but important lesson on that day (teaching is learning!) and subsequently challenged myself make use of it. The concept, while certainly not new, is rare in practice, and I am curious and excited to see what may come of it.



Latest CDs:


Press Quotes

“Musical fireworks were presented at the end of the concert, where the hands of the pianist flew. The enthusiasm of the public was so great that they allowed the pianist his farewell only after three encores.”

— Angelika Kannenberg, Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung

“Enrico Elisi revealed remarkable sensitivity, imagination and polish. He brought clarity and subtlety to Bach, considerable eloquence to Mozart and his phrasing of two Mazurkas and the G minor Ballade by Chopin contained uncommon rhythmic elasticity and poetic refinement..”

— Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun Music Critic

“The Schumann was one more confirmation of Elisi’s dexterity as well as his mature sensitivity. The applause surged with the last note. Elisi’s debut recital in Germany was a success. It is to be hoped that we will have many more opportunities to hear and experience him.”

— Wolfsburger Nachrichten, Germany

“Elisi’s playing offered a balance between a brilliant technique and a lyric singing quality of tone. A true musician, Elisi is a master of elegance, refinement and fantasy..”

— La Nueva España, Spain

“Mr. Elisi’s playing shows a refined sense of style and noble personality.”

— Lazar Berman, pianist

“Mr. Elisi never lost a beat. He navigated the [Rachmaninov second] concerto’s complexities and subtle nuances without ever descending into the mere piano pounding that heralds an inferior performer. Mr. Elisi’s interpretation was impeccable.

 — Cape May Star Wave

Enrico Elisi proved to be a fine player with a natural sense of drama and line. The cadenzas [to the Rachmaninov second concerto] were flawless and his stage persona was intent yet not overly intense.

 — Classical New Jersey Society Journal


Engagements / Professional Activities




Calendar of Events and Latest News (Enrico Elisi’s Personal Website) contain information on Mr. Elisi’s engagements.



2015 (in progress: more information will be posted soon)

  • January 18, at 3:30 pm, Washington, D. C. 
    Duo Recital with Federico Agostini at the National Gallery of Art (cosponsored by NGA and the Italian Cultural Institute) commemorating the 100th anniversary of Italy’s entry into World War I. Afternoon Encounters take place at 3:30 pm in the West Building, West Garden Court.





  • January 27, 7:30 PM, Rochester, NY 
    7:30 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Rd. (at East Avenue). Benefit concert in celebration of W. A. Mozart’s birthday for the concert series “If Music Be the Food…” whose mission is to increase awareness and support for the hungry in Rochester through chamber music performances of the highest caliber. Among other works will be Mozart Quartet in G Minor with Enrico Elisi (piano), Federico Agostini (violin), Carol Rodland (viola), and Steve Doane (cello).
  • February 10, Rochester, NY 
    Violin and Piano Duo Recital with Charles Castleman. Eastman School. Kilbourn Hall. 3 pm. Music by Dallapiccola, Respighi and Beethoven. Further details will be announced at a later time.
  • April 5, 7:30 pm, Greenville, North Carolina 
    Guest Recital in A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall.
  • April 6, 4-7 pm, Greenville, North Carolina 
    Master Class at East Carolina University. Location: FLEMUS 0B110 Fletcher Music Center.
  • May 1-3, Singapore 
    Masterclasses and lecture
  • May 4-7, Jakarta, Indonesia
    Masterclasses and lecture
  • May 18, Seoul, South Korea 
  • Location TBA. Deatils in English