Christian Leotta has been defined by the legendary Rosalyn Tureck as "an extraordinary talent with a beautiful innate musicality", and the great Karl Ulrich Schnabel wrote about him: "his respect of the indications of the Classical and Romantic composers is perfect and their understanding considerable".
Christian is a native of Catania, Italy, and now lives in Como. He studied with Mario Patuzzi at Milan’s Conservatory, at the "Theo Lieven International Piano Foundation" on Lake Como and at the "Tureck Bach Research Foundation" of Oxford, England.
Appearing in Montreal in 2002, at the age of only 22, Christian Leotta is the youngest pianist since the youthful Daniel Barenboim ever to undertake a recital series encompassing the entire corpus of Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas. In the meantime, twenty-one cycles have been successfully performed, most notably in international music capitals such as Venice, Madrid, Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City, Kyoto, Mexico City, Lima and Rio de Janeiro. In 2004, the President of the Italian Republic, Hon. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, awarded him with the prestigious President's Medal for his cycles of the 32 Piano Sonatas played around the world.
Following the extraordinary success of his live performances of Beethoven, in 2007 Atma Classique signed Christian Leotta to record the entire corpus of the 32 Piano Sonatas in a collection of five two-CD sets, released between 2008 and 2014. The international press hailed Mr. Leotta as "one of the major Beethoven soloists of our time" (Pizzicato, Luxembourg), defining his complete recording of the 32 Piano Sonatas as "a major addition to other sets currently available" (Fanfare, USA); German music magazine "Rondo" added: "this cycle reveals an interpreter of Beethoven who can hardly be compared to any other pianist of his generation", and Mr. Bryce Morrison, crowning the international success of Mr. Leotta’s recordings for Atma Classique, wrote on Gramophone: "Volume V of five two-CD sets completes Christian Leotta's cycle of Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas. He will shortly have played the Sonatas 15 times in public; and even in a fiercely competitive marketplace his task shines with an exceptional musicianship".
Christian Leotta's affinity to Beethoven’s music has been unanimously recognized thanks to "his prodigious technique used to better express the poetry of Beethoven's music" (The Whole Note, Toronto), to "his capability of really seizing your attention at unexpected moments" (All Music Guide, USA), gaining a reputation as "a pianist of the highest order: technician, musician and interpreter all at once" (La Presse, Montreal). On a recent article on La Presse, Christian Leotta was included by Mr. Claude Gingras among “the great interpreters of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas heard in Montreal” from 1961, with Wilhelm Kempff, Rudolf Serkin, Anton Kuerti and Louis Lortie.
Mr. Leotta’s performance of the cycle of Beethoven's Five Piano Concertos and the Choral Fantasy, presented in Guadalajara's stunning Degollado Theatre with the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, showed once more his ability to communicate and enthrall both public and critic. El Informador wrote: "Christian Leotta was sublime: he brought forward energy, agility, and a cascade of lyricism. In the "Andante con moto" of the Concerto No. 4, the performer hypnotized, literally, the audience, almost obliging the public to stop breathing, thus rendering each note eternal".
An extraordinary public and critic success was also recorded by Christian Leotta’s recent performance of the 32 Piano Sonatas cycle at Kyoto’s Alti Hall, Japan, rewarded by eight standing ovations in a row. The prestigious music magazine “Ongaku No Tomo” wrote: “Mr. Leotta’s Beethoven reminded the playing of great pianists such as Schnabel, Backhaus and Kempff”, and the Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s premier newspaper, added on the occasion of the last recital: “following the third powerful variation of the second movement of Op. 111, the audience was increasingly caught into quiet and introspective sounds and the entire hall seemed wrapped in such an atmosphere as if we were in a church: Christian Leotta has led the audience to a state of ecstasy”.
Mr. Leotta has worked with major orchestras such as the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Kammerorchester, the Italian RAI National Television Orchestra, the Milan's Symphony Orchestra "Giuseppe Verdi", regularly performing in important theatres and concert halls such as the Philharmonie at the Gasteig in Munich, the Konzerthaus of Vienna, the Tonhalle of Zurich, the Sala Verdi and the Auditorium of Milan, the Salle Claude-Champagne of Montreal, the Great Hall at the Bunka Kaikan Theatre of Tokyo, the Xinghai Concert Hall of Guangzhou.
Always committed to champion Beethoven's music around the world, Christian Leotta has been the first pianist to perform the complete cycle of the 32 Piano Sonatas in several countries, recently presenting it in Alger, for the first time in Algeria's and Africa's history, and in Bangkok, for the first time in Thailand's history.
In April 2016 Atma Classique released his recording of the "Diabelli Variations", unanimously prized by the international press. Mr. Remy Frank wrote on Luxembourg's magazine Pizzicato: "Christian Leotta's account of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations has to be counted among the best performances available on disc".
Highlights of the 2017 and the 2018 seasons include the performances of the 5 Piano Concertos by Beethoven with the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, the cycles of the 32 Piano Sonatas by Beethoven in Bergamo and in Tremezzina on Lake Como (Italy), plus four solo tournée in Asia and Latin America. Christian Leotta is the first Italian pianist to have in his repertoire the Piano Sonatas cycle by Beethoven and by Schubert: in March 2018 he presented at the Alti Hall of Kyoto, with an extraordinary public and critic success, the first part of a series of seven recitals entirely dedicated to Schubert, to be completed in December 2018, including the Piano Sonatas, the Wanderer Fantasy, the Impromptus D 899 and D 935, the Moments Musicaux and the Variations D 576, performed by the same pianist for the first time in Japan’s history.