Biography

Agnese Toniutti graduated from the Conservatory of Udine and with full marks from the Conservatory of Venice, where she studied with Giorgio Lovato and discussed a thesis on Giacinto Scelsi. She also specialized in piano and chamber music and attended masterclasses with François-Joel Thiollier, Massimiliano Damerini, Lya De Barberiis and Pamela Mia Paul.

As a performer, Mrs. Toniutti’s work is focussed on contemporary and 20th Century music. She likes to explore unconventional ways to strenghten communication between performers and audiences by putting in dialogue contemporary music with other artistic disciplines (acting, photography, dance, visual arts and multimedia). Her solo recitals are often monographically dedicated to composers and aim to give an insight into the composer’s creative world through live performances of his music, extracts from his writings and audio documents selected after musical, bibliographical and archival research. 

Among her projects and collaborations: “Dialoghi cromatici” with the jazz pianist Armando Battiston, “Qui e Oltre” installation with music, photography, visual and land art, “A stain on silence” performance with piano and actor, “Le boeuf sur le toit,” with painting and video art, “Hommage a John Cage”, with contemporary dancers, “Around Scelsi,” musical research on Scelsi’s cultural environment, “Three trees and three sons” with actor, “Piano Twelve”, ensemble of twelve pianists.

As a soloist and chamber music pianist she performed in Italy, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany and Usa, as well as at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Palazzo Cavagnis and Palazzo Pisani in Venice, Strehler Theater in Milan (live RAI broadcast), Duse Theater in Bologna, Palazzo Congressi in Lugano, State University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, the University of North Texas (USA). She also performed for the Komponisten Colloquium series (Oldenburg, Germany), the ALL FRONTIERS – Indagini sulle musiche d’arte contemporanee festival (Gorizia, Italy), Angelica – Centro di Ricerca Musicale festival (Bologna, Italy), Bari Piano Festival (Bari), Ossessioni Festival (Faenza), Italien Musiziert festival (Stuttgart, Germany).

She took part in ensembles directed by Pauline Oliveros and Joelle Leandre.

She collaborates with the Isabella Scelsi Foundation Journal “… i suoni, le onde” in Rome; her interest in Giacinto Scelsi’s music is expressed through both performance and research, during piano recitals and seminars dedicated to the composer. In 2010 she performed “Around Scelsi”, a concert-research on Scelsi and his musical environment (programme edited by Luciano Martinis, vicepresident of the Scelsi Foundation in Rome). In 2013 she lectured and performed at the “Seminario Popolare sul Pensiero dell’Estremo Oriente” on the subject On the border between East and West: Giacinto Scelsi and the Sound. In 2014 she was the music director of “Scelsiana 2014”, an international festival and masterclass for wind instruments dedicated to the music of Giacinto Scelsi which involved performers and teachers who worked closely with the composer. From 2015 to the present, she has been delivering seminars and lecture-recitals in Conservatories of music and at Universities in Italy and Germany while regularly performing Scelsi’s music. On 8th January 2019 – Scelsi’s date of birth – she performed a recital at Isabella Scelsi Foundation in Rome. A tour in the USA, including lectures and performances on Scelsi’s music, is planned for 2019.

In 2016 she premiered Giancarlo Cardini’s “Tre momenti di sessualità infantile”, starting a close collaboration with the composer himself, who recently wrote and dedicated to her a new piece, “Terza Fantasia, ad Agnese Toniutti” (2018).

Her repertoire includes several piano solo, prepared piano and chamber music pieces by John Cage, together with performance pieces as Water Walk and Sounds of Venice, recently performed in Venice for the European project Ecouter le monde, in collaboration with Radio France.

Besides 20th century compositions, her repertoire includes also pieces of contemporary composers as Azio Corghi, Salvatore Sciarrino, Carlo Boccadoro, George Crumb, Marco Stroppa, John Palmer, Silvia Colasanti, featuring premieres of Filippo Perocco, Da Jeong Choi, Colin Riley among others. She recently premiered (2018) the graphic score of the Fluxus artist Dick Higgins, “Emmet Williams’s ear/ L’orecchio di Dick Higgins”.

In her collaborations as artistic director, she creates unusual situations in selected unconventional locations, in order to offer to the listeners new experiences of musical fruition. Some of her projects: Salotto Musicale del Fvg, series of Hauskonzerts 4.0 of contemporary music and contemporary art, at its 4th edition, and Music Art Park FVG, event of experimental and minimal music that took place in the international Land Art collection of the Art Park in Verzegnis (Ud, Italy).

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