Anthony & Joseph Paratore
Whether playing on one piano or two, Anthony and Joseph Paratore are recognized as one of today's foremost keyboard duos. Their career spans over 30 years’ performing on the international stage for audiences around the world, and their dedication has brought the art of duo piano to the highest level.
Their start officially began in 1973 at the end of their studies at Boston University and the Juilliard School when, as students of famed pedagogue Rosina Lhevinne, they presented their heralded New York City debut. The New York Times reported, “If there is a resurgence of duo piano, Anthony and Joseph Paratore should find an important place in the concert world.” International attention came in 1974 when they won First Prize in the Munich International Music Competition. Six months later their European debut moved leading critic Joachim Kaiser to remark, “They are Princes of the Piano. From the beginning there is witchcraft of ensemble playing with a complete understanding of phrasing, breathing, and trills.”
“Horowitz Times Two”, was the headline following Anthony and Joseph Paratore’s performance at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall. "It was as if Vladimir Horowitz and Arkadi Volodos sat at the piano together, but the two pianists in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall were called Anthony and Joseph Paratore...truly a magnificently impressive evening."
“The best two-man orchestra in the world” appeared in their review following their concert at the Piano Festival in Müllheim, Germany.
Over the years their many performances with the worlds’ top orchestras and conductors, along with their festival appearances and numerous recordings, have demonstrated their unique abilities and they have been recognized as a leading duo piano team of their generation.
The Paratore Brothers have appeared on celebrity series throughout the United States and Europe, including festival performances at Lincoln Centre’s Mostly Mozart, Spoleto USA, and the Salzburg, Lucerne, Vienna and Berlin Festivals, and in Australia, Israel and Asia, among others. They have performed in America with the New York Philharmonic and the Boston, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras. European orchestra engagements have included the London Symphony, and the Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw, Rotterdam and Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestras, among others. They have performed with many fine conductors including Boulez, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Ozawa, Solti, von Dohnanyi, Salonen, Slatkin and Zinman.
Anthony and Joseph have received many awards and honours, and have performed for the Presidents of Germany, Italy and at the White House in the United States. They are honorary members of the Dante Alighieri Society and recipients of the “I Migliori” Award for excellence in their chosen field presented by the Pirandello Lyceum. The Duo received the George Washington Medal of Honour for outstanding contribution to community work around the country, and in 1992 a scholarship was established in their name for a deserving music student at their Alma Mater, Boston University.
Their work with Dave Brubeck, who personally entrusted his original two-piano music to them, is very special to the brothers. They premiered his "Points on Jazz" as well as other pieces on both sides of the Atlantic. Highlights of the last few seasons has been their joint appearances with Dave in several German cities, and the CD release on the Universal label with Brubeck’s music for two pianos.
The diverse repertoire of the Paratores encompasses the standard literature for four-hand piano duet and two pianos, as well as an ever-growing number of works either re-discovered or newly commissioned. Composers Wolfgang Rihm, Manfred Trojahn, and renowned American composer William Bolcom have written pieces especially for Anthony and Joseph.
Born in Boston of Italian descent, Anthony and Joseph Paratore come from a large, close-knit musical family. They began their careers as solo pianists: at age 17, Joseph appeared with the Boston Symphony and Anthony toured South America.
The Paratore Brothers appear frequently on television, including NBC's Today Show and The Tonight Show, as well as on National Public Radio's syndicated news program All Things Considered andPerformance Today. They have participated in PBS television specials, including the 20th Anniversary of the Boston Pops with John Williams, Piano Pizzazz from Wolf Trap, and a special program entitledThe Paratores: Two Brothers, Four Hands. Critic Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe noted that it was "fun to watch with a MTV dazzle....talent is what the Paratore Brothers are all about."
“The Sacramento Community Theatre was a full house providing a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Anthony and Joseph Paratore. The two brothers played four music pieces of wide varieties all composed for two pianos; the first half featured Russian composers and the second American. Both are equally skillful and accomplished pianists with outstanding musicality. Yet, contrasting personalities on stage made the concert even more interesting.
Joseph played in an expressive and explosive style, while Anthony was more reserved with a refined and controlled presence, a serious yet thoughtful and gentle performance. When they spoke giving the audience an introduction, they both were soft-spoken and equally charming.
The program was diverse and clever. Ranging from romantic classical to Jazz and Gershwin, the concert showcased a wide range of Paratore Duo’s repertoire and their mastery as pianists. Rachmaninov’s Suite No.1 Fantasy was followed by the ever-popular Nutcracker Suite. Repeating the pattern in the second half, Points on Jazz by Dave Brubeck, a highly cerebral jazz-art music piece, was followed by George Gershwin’s energetic and popular Rhapsody in Blue.
Tonight’s Nutcracker was a completely refreshing experience. There was something magical about the Duo’s performance. Their parts are precisely coordinated and synchronized despite uneven rhythms and demanding technicality. During the Rachmaninov Fantasy, the Duo’s musicality was rich with frequent rubato. The effortlessness in their ensemble playing belied the virtuosity required to play this piece. Anthony and Joseph seemed to know exactly how the other brother is going to play and how to harmonize each other.
The American second half started with Points on Jazz by Brubeck, a great jazz pianist himself. This highly sophisticated work combines jazz and classical styles with heavy influences of Bach. It was truly enjoyable with so many different variations and characters in each movement. The finale was Rhapsody in Blue, unmistakably Gershwin, and delightful with high tempo, high pitch, and light-hearted themes.
After the standing ovation, the brothers played two encores: Fire Dance by Manuel de Falla and Finale from Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens. This time, they sat together and played four hands on a piano, which further entertained the audience as they played these technically demanding pieces with extreme acrobatic arm crossings without missing a note. They seem to fully enjoy entertaining the audience. The two brothers were born in Boston of Italian decent. They have played with many major orchestras and conductors worldwide. It was exciting to hear such dynamic world class pianists play their repertoire in Sacramento.”
- Sacramento Press - January 15, 2010: