Simon Tedeschi


Acclaimed by respected critics and peers as “True greatness” (Sydney Morning Herald), Simon Tedeschi performed his first Mozart piano concerto in the Sydney Opera House at age nine. A student of Neta Maughan, Noretta Conci and Peter Serkin, he has since been awarded numerous prizes, such as the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Award, Queen’s Trust Overseas Study Award, and first prize in the Keyboard division of London’s Royal Overseas League Music Competition (2002). He is also recipient of the prestigious Legacy Award from the Creativity Foundation (USA), and a Centenary of Federation Medal from the Prime Minister of Australia.

Tedeschi has performed solo recitals throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, and as soloist with the Colorado, Fort Worth and Illinois Symphony Orchestras (USA), the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (NZ) and the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, under the baton of conductors such as Richard Bonynge, Alan Gilbert, Michael Halász, Jun Märkl, Sir William Southgate, and Benjamin Northey.

Tedeschi has performed for dignitaries and world leaders such George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, Hu Jintao, Shinzo Abe, the Dalai Lama, and their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark. Based in the USA for several years courtesy of the American Australian Association and the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust, in 2009 Tedeschi performed in Carnegie Hall, won the ‘New York Young Jewish Pianist Award’ and was featured in the Emerging Artist series held in the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

As one of the most sought-after pianists in Australia, since returning to Sydney in 2010, Tedeschi performs as soloist with orchestras including the Sydney Symphony (with whom he returns in 2018 with his new family show, Who Needs A Conductor, Anyway?), Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (NZ), and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the Queensland, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Recent highlights include as soloist with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in their Season Opening concert (Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue), three performances with Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Rachmaninov piano concerto no.4, broadcast by Foxtel Arts); Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (Gershwin Concerto in F); tours to China and the United Arab Emirates; a national tour and critically acclaimed recording for ABC Classics of R. Strauss’ Enoch Arden with esteemed theatre icon, John Bell AO OBE, encompassing His Majesty’s Theatre Perth, Adelaide Festival Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Sydney Opera House Utzon Music Series.

In 2018 Tedeschi collaborates and tours again with John Bell in their critically acclaimed new program, ‘Bright Star’, based on the lives of John Keats and Franz Schubert, to UKARIA Cultural Centre (Adelaide), Melbourne Recital Centre, Riverside Theatres (Parramatta), Art Gallery of NSW and more. Current season engagements also include Canberra International Music Festival, regional touring for Musica Viva, a third tour to China with Sydney Opera House’s Meeting Mozart, Noosa Alive! Festival (Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue), and solo and chamber concerts around the country.

With a rare affinity for performing for young audiences, alongside his full concert schedule, Tedeschi has continued his work in schools and performed nine concerts of his new family orchestral show with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra – Who Needs A Conductor, Anyway? co-written by Tedeschi, Eva di Cesare and Tim McGarry and directed by di Cesare, of Monkey Baa Theatre – reaching almost 9,000 young people and their families at Riverside Theatres and the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. He also performed his solo show, ‘Simon Tedeschi: Pianist & Prankster’ for Monkey Baa Theatre in Awesome Arts International Festival (Perth).

2019 sees Tedeschi returning to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for their Season Opening concert (Grieg piano concerto) and Adelaide Festival Centre’s DreamBIG Festival for performances of Who Needs A Conductor, Anyway?; a third collaboration with John Bell called ‘Echoes of the Jazz Age’ with performances at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and City Recital Hall Angel Place, further tours of Meeting Mozart and Bright Star, as well as various regional concerts.

Tedeschi’s wide-ranging discography includes acclaimed recordings of concerti by Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Mozart, and solo albums, Gershwin and Me and Gershwin: Take Two (both reaching no.1 on the ARIA classical charts), and Tender Earth (ABC Classics), and featuring as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Limelight magazine and ‘CD of the Week’ on both ABC Classic FM and Fine Music 102.5 FM . In 2015 Tedeschi performed a critically acclaimed national tour to launch his recording of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (ABC Classics), including Sydney’s City Recital Hall Angel Place, Melbourne Recital Centre, and Adelaide’s Elder Hall, and described as “pure brilliance… a powerhouse performance with an intense corporeality” (Sydney Morning Herald, 2015) and Editor’s Choice in Limelight Magazine (5 stars). In addition to Enoch Arden which features Schumann’s Songs of Dawn, Tedeschi’s latest CD for ABC Classics, A Winter’s Tale, features the music of Schubert and Schumann, recorded with violist Roger Benedict.

Alongside his classical performances, Tedeschi is one of the few classical pianists able to cross over into jazz improvisation. The versatility and scope of Tedeschi’s appeal is exemplified by his collaboration with acclaimed musicians across different genres and styles: he was the last pianist for renowned US jazz musician Larry Adler, who remarked, “I just wish Gershwin were here… [Simon is] the finest exponent of his music I have ever seen”. Tedeschi regularly appears with legendary trumpet player James Morrison, and jazz pianist Kevin Hunt.

His talent and profile have also enabled Tedeschi to enjoy reach across artforms, most notably as the subject of Cherry Hood’s striking portrait Simon Tedeschi Unplugged, which won the prestigious Archibald Prize in 2002. Tedeschi was invited to play the hands of acclaimed pianist David Helfgott for the Oscar-winning film Shine, directed by Scott Hicks, and is a guest columnist for publications such as The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Limelight Magazine, SBS Feast Magazine and ABC’s The Drum.

Support of charitable endeavours is a key commitment for Tedeschi, which has led him to perform for fundraising events for the Dalai Lama in London, the Karuna Foundation in support of Cambodian Orphans, and the Wayside Chapel in Sydney. He is Artistic Patron of Fine Music 102.5FM, a Roving Ambassador for the Australian Children’s Music Foundation, and Ambassador for Sydney Eisteddfod, Ryde Eisteddfod, and the Blue Mountains Concert Society.

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Tedeschi tours with John Bell AO OBE in ‘Bright Star’ – reviews

Reviews of Simon’s March performances of Rachmaninoff’s 4th piano concerto with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at Sydney Opera House: “a deceptively effortless performance… Tedeschi’s relaxed dexterity lent an easy logic to music that can seem excessively complicated… Tedeschi generated the requisite fireworks” (Limelight Magazine); “Tedeschi’s legato is astonishing … giving Rachmaninov’s music a diamond-cut clarity” (Harriet Cunningham); “a revelation… simply superb” (J-Wire).

Reviews of Simon’s performance with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for their 2017 Season Opening at Adelaide Town Hall: “just the right degree of easygoing humour and fierce determination to make Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue sizzle… lashings of romantic warmth and light-fingered brilliance” (The Advertiser); “an exciting conversation between soloist and orchestra… [Simon] is an Australian treasure.” (The Barefoot Review)

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