On Saturday, April 20, 2019, Music at the Institute presented a concert Dazzling Duo, In Memory of Mary Pressey, which featured Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni on pianos. Full program HERE.
Pianists ANTONIO POMPABALDI and EMANUELA FRISCIONI began playing together when they first met in 1996, in the Northern Italian town of Mezzago, during a workshop conducted by the great pianist Aldo Ciccolini. Since then, their musical partnership has grown steadily as an integral part of their relationship. The husband and wife duo has performed to great acclaim throughout the United States and Europe, in duet and two-piano recitals, as well as with orchestra. They have also recorded works of Schumann and Rachmaninoff for the Centaur label.
Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi first came to the United States in 1999 to participate in the Cleveland International Piano Competition. He won the First Prize and, while fulfilling all the engagements that came with it, he and Emanuela decided to make Cleveland their home. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition, Antonio Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, as well as the Award for the Best Performance of a New Work. Antonio is a Steinway artist. He serves as Distinguished Professor of Piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music, sits on the juries of the most important piano competitions, and gives master classes around the world.
Emanuela Friscioni was born in Cantù, Italy. Since her debut at the age of nine, she has played solo recitals as well as concertos throughout Italy. After her recital debut at the prestigious Carducci Society in Como, music critic Maria Terrneo wrote: “Emanuela Friscioni’s depth reaches the true essence of expression and musical meaning.” Since then she has appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, France, and the United States, performing both traditional and contemporary repertoire. Emanuela Friscioni is Director of the Creative Arts Academy of Cuyahoga Community College and Artistic Director of the “Tri-C Presents” Piano Recital Series. She is a Steinway Artist.
Antonio and Emanuela, with daughter Eleanor, live in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Mary Elyse Pressey, born in 1923, Manitoba – died in 2018, New York. Mary dedicated much of her life to supporting the work of the Ukrainian Institute of America (UIA). She joined the Institute in 1981 and became deeply involved in its social and organizational areas. She served on the Institute Board of Directors, contributed years of volunteer work as secretary, social coordinator and decorator for many events held at the Institute. Ms. Pressey also provided invaluable philanthropic support for UIA initiatives and projects. The footprints that she left behind will have a lasting effect on our organization and on the Ukrainian community as a whole.