Flutist Marina Piccinini Records Her Own New Arrangement of Paganini’s 24 Caprices

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Flutist Marina Piccinini is the latest in a distinguished line of virtuosos to make the Paganini Caprices her own. Her new arrangement can be heard on her latest recording (Avie AV 2284, a two-CD set). “Ms. Piccinini is the Heifetz of the flute.” -- Gramophone, June 2014

New York, New York, USA, June 5, 2014 - (PressReleasePoint) - When the notoriously secretive violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini finally published his fiendishly difficult 24 Caprices (Capricci) in 1820, he surprised the world with the dedication: “Alli Artisti” (“To the Artists”). For nearly two centuries since then, not just violinists, but masters of other musical instruments have taken Paganini at his word, undertaking the challenge of appropriating exercises conceived to expand the technical range of the violin, extracting their musical essence and refracting it through their own instrumental prisms.

Flutist Marina Piccinini is the latest in a distinguished line of virtuosos to make the Paganini Caprices her own. Her new arrangement can be heard on her latest recording (Avie AV 2284, a two-CD set). “I was drawn to the Capricci as a challenge and stimulus for my own development,” she says, “pushing the envelope outside my personal comfort zone. What I discovered and fell in love with was a musical voice that demanded great emotional expression through technical perfection. However,” she continues, “I wanted to avoid viewing the Capricci as mere technical challenges, but rather as inspired miniatures of extraordinary musical intensity. I was particularly struck by the expressive range of this music, especially Paganini’s mystic, dark side and his haunting, introspective, tender vulnerability. Contrary to popular belief, this is the music of a man who clearly did not see himself as invulnerable.”

The printed music for Marina Piccinini’s arrangement of the Paganini Caprices will be published in autumn 2014 by Schott Music. Just as Paganini revealed his secrets when he finally published his Caprices, Ms. Piccinini’s unique solutions to the challenge of transforming virtuoso violin works into idiomatic virtuoso flute works, including her commentary about each Caprice, will be available “To the Artists.”

Contents of the CD

NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782-1840) | 24 CAPRICES, Op. 1 | Arranged for solo flute by Marina Piccinini
Avie Records (AV 2284) | Two-Disc Set | Total playing time – 99:55

About Marina Piccinini | Since making her acclaimed debuts at New York’s Town Hall, London’s Southbank Centre and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Marina Piccinini has been in demand as a soloist with orchestras around the world, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Hannover Symphony, Ravenna Chamber Orchestra and Vienna Chamber Soloists, as well as the Cincinnati, New World, Toronto, Vancouver, Detroit, Phoenix, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras. She has worked with such conductors as Alan Gilbert, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Peter Oundjian, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Myung-whun Chung and Gianandrea Noseda. In 2014-15, Marina Piccinini will tour with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, performing the Nielsen Flute Concerto in Innsbruck, Bregenz, and Vienna, with Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducting.

Recent recital appearances have included London’s Wigmore Hall, Tokyo’s Casals Hall, the Seoul Arts Center, the Mozartsaal in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Deeply committed to the music of the present, Ms. Piccinini has given first performances of works by Michael Colgrass, Paquito D’Rivera, Matthew Hindson, Miguel Kertsman, Lukas Foss, Michael Torke, John Harbison, Marc-André Dalbavie, David Ludwig and Roberto Sierra.

A devoted chamber musician, Marina Piccinini is a founding member of Tre Voci with violist Kim Kashkashian and harpist Sivan Magen; the trio has made a recording for ECM. She has collaborated with the Tokyo, Brentano, Mendelssohn, and Takács string quartets and with the Percussion ensemble Nexus, and is a regular partner of such pianists as Andreas Haefliger, Jean-Marc Luisada and Mitsuko Uchida. A resident artist at the Marlboro Festival for many years, she tours with Musicians From Marlboro and has also performed at the Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Aldeburgh, Santa Fe, Spoleto (Italy), La Jolla, Newport, Davos, Tivoli, Rheingau, Moritzburg, Kuhmo, and Hong Kong Festivals, among others. A frequent guest artist in Japan, Ms. Piccinini has performed (at the personal invitation of Seiji Ozawa) at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, and has appeared with Mitsuko Uchida in a series of concerts at Suntory Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall. A recent European tour included appearances at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Köln Philharmonie and Barbican Centre in London. Ms. Piccinini has also been Guest Principal Flute with both the Boston Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.

Marina Piccinini was recently hailed by Gramophone as “the Heifetz of the flute” for her new recording of the Paganini Caprices. Her other recent recordings include a DVD of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire from the Salzburg Festival, along with an accompanying documentary entitled Solar Plexus of Modernism; for Avie, the complete flute sonatas and solo Partita of J.S. Bach in collaboration with the Brasil Guitar Duo, and the flute sonatas of Prokofiev and Franck (with pianist Andreas Haefliger); and for Claves, Belle Époque with pianist Anne Epperson, and sonatas by Bartók, Martinů, Schulhoff, Dohnányi and Taktakishvili, with pianist Eva Kupiec.

The first flutist to win the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant from Lincoln Center, Marina Piccinini saw her career launched when she won First Prize in the CBC Young Performers Competition in Canada, and a year later, First Prize in New York’s Concert Artists Guild International Competition. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including Musical America’s Young Artist to Watch, the McMeen-Smith Award, the NEA’s Solo Recitalist Grant (twice), the BP Artist Career Award, and various grants from the Canada Council. She was also winner of the New York Flute Club competition and the National Arts Club Competition.

Coming from a household of distinguished scientists, Ms. Piccinini began her flute studies in Toronto with Jeanne Baxtresser; received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with the legendary flutist Julius Baker; and worked with Aurèle Nicolet and Ernst Haefliger in Switzerland. She gives masterclasses around the world and is currently on the faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover. Ms. Piccinini is a 36th-generation Shaolin Fighting Monk, and with her family divides her time between Vienna and New York.

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