Igor Roma

The Italian pianist Igor Roma was born in Baden (German Switzerland) and began to take piano lessons at the age of eleven. In 1984 he moved to Italy and settled in Schio, where he attended classes at the Music School of the city and later at the Conservatoire of Music of Vicenza with Carlo Mazzoli until 1991, the year in which he received his diploma.
Between 1988 and 1989, Igor Roma successfully competed in various Italian piano competitions by winning the Como National Competition, the Senigallia International Piano Festival, the Ravenna and Gallarate National Competition, and by obtaining the third prize at the Mantova National Competition.
In 1989 he was admitted at the Piano Academy "Incontri col Maestro" of Imola where he studied with Franco Scala, Lazar Berman and Boris Petrushansky. In 1990 the school announced a competition for the students who were attending the Institute, in order to award some study grants. Roma won the second prize.
In 1992 he was drafted for military service. During this period, however, he took part at the National Piano Competition of Venice, where he obtained the third prize.
After his discharge in 1993, Igor Roma moved to Imola to set up an intense study programme with Franco Scala, in order to prepare himself for the international piano competition scene, until he received his diploma at the Academy with the title of Master, in 1997.
In 1994 he went to Ireland to take part at the International Piano Competition of Dublin, where he won the sixth prize. Six months later he went to Japan to take part at the second edition of the Hamamatsu International Competition: here he was awarded the fifth prize. The following year he was at the 'Arthur Rubinstein' International Piano Master Competition of Tel Aviv, where he obtained the fifth prize.
It was in 1996 that Igor Roma won the first prize at the 'Franz Liszt' International Competition in Utrecht (The Netherlands) together with the special prize of the Critics. His interpretation of the Totentanz, performed with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jan Stulen, impressed the jury, consisting a. o. by Earl Wild, Cyprien Katsaris, Arnaldo Cohen, Boris Bloch, Andrej Jasinski, Jan Wijn. The jury was so much taken by his performance that the second prize was not awarded and the other two finalists were given a shared third prize. The following morning Igor Roma played the same concert, live broadcast, at the famous Concertgebouw of Amsterdam. In the months following the 'Liszt prize', he began a long tour throughout the Low Countries, which would last through the following summer and autumn.
This is when Igor Roma began his successful career. His wide repertoire ranges from Bach to Messiaen and includes lesser-known piano pieces by authors like Szymanowsky, Kurtag, De Falla and others.
He has played concerts in The Netherlands but also in Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Esthonia, Latvia, Malta, South-Africa, China, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia.
He has performed with outstanding conductors, such as Stanislaw Skrowacewsky, Reinbert de Leeuw, Roberto Benzi, Ton Koopman, Philippe Herreweghe, Claus Peter Flor, Jaap van Zweden, Josep Pons, Zoltan Kocsis and others.
He has played with prestigious orchestras, such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic, Symphony and Chamber Orchestra of the Dutch Radio, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Bilbao, the Symphony Orchestra of Galicia, the National Orchestra of Spain, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Hungary.
He has been a guest star in various TV programmes and many of his concerts have been broadcast live. He has performed at the 'Gergjev' Festival in Rotterdam, the 'Isabelle van Keulen' Chamber Festival in Delft, the 'Daniels Muziekdagen' Festival in Zeist and the 'Philippe Herreweghe' Festival in Saintes (France).
In June 2001 he produced his first CD, which includes works by Alkan, Liszt and Prokofiev. Since 2006 this CD is published by Challenge Records with the title "Romantic pieces for piano".
In 2002 Igor Roma realized an important professional cooperation: a tour with the pianist Enrico Pace, with the collaboration of the percussionists Gianluca Carollo and Alessandro Zucchi. They played at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam in the presence of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands and at the Lincoln Center of New York obtaining a great success.
Igor Roma is regularly invited at chamber music festivals. He has also performed with the Brodsky Quartet, the Daniel Kwartet and the Quatuor Danel. He has played in trio with violinist Giovanni Battista Fabris and cellist Quirine Viersen, and also in trio with oboist Bart Schneeman and bassoon player Andrea Bressan. With Bressan he has realized a project as a piano/bassoon-duo finalized in the arrangement, performance and recording of music by a. o. Heitor Villa-Lobos and Egberto Gismonti.
Lately he is performing again with Enrico Pace at two pianos, but especially as soloist sharing with Pace some piano recitals. This project consists in a concert containing two shorter solo recitals of each pianist, ending the performance together with several quatre-mains pieces. This special formula was so successful, that later on it gave birth to a similar one, but this time with Dutch jazz pianist Harmen Fraanje, where the peculiarity consists of continuous stage exchanges between the two musicians with classical piano repertoire and jazz improvisations. This almost uninterrupted alternation of the two creates an effect of unique musical line through the two different and distinguished genres.
Both pianists were invited at the famous Dutch TV program "Vrije Geluiden" to perform some musical examples and to explain the project through an interview.
Roma is also an appreciated teacher. He gave Master classes in several Dutch Conservatories and Institutions like the YPF (Young pianists foundation), having been a jury member in various editions of its Piano Competition as well. He participated as a jury member even in other National and International Competitions, such as the 8th "Franz Liszt" Piano Competition in Utrecht in 2008. For the 2011 edition, he will be part of the "International Selection Jury 2010".
In 2009 Igor Roma produced a second CD with the title "Encores", in which he's performing well-known and lesser-known piano pieces some of which are arranged by Roma himself.