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Anthony di Bonaventura

Anthony di Bonaventura (November 12, 1929, Follansbee, West Virginia – November 12, 2012, Boston, Massachusetts) was an American pianist and Professor of Music at Boston University's College of Fine Arts for 40 years. He was the director of a Piano Institute at Colby College Piano Institute (1978–2003) and then at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (2004–12).[1][2][3]


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Career 1.2
  • Personal 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Graduate, Curtis Institute of Music. Student of Madame Isabelle Vengerova. Director, Summer Piano Institute, Colby College and later West Chester University. Anthony di Bonaventura has given performances in 28 countries, including appearances with the London Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony. He has given solo recitals at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Concertgebouw, and Musikverein, as well as performances at festivals of Spoleto, Ann Arbor, Saratoga, Bergen, Lucca, Zagreb, and Donaueschingen. World premieres of specially written works by Berio, Kelemen, Persichetti, and Ginastera. Recordings for Columbia, RCA Connoisseur Society, and Sine Qua Non.

Early life

Anthony di Bonaventura began piano studies at three years old and gave the first professional concert at four years old. Then he won a scholarship to New York's Music School Settlement at six. At thirteen, he appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. At sixteen, he became the pupil of the celebrated Russian teacher Madame Isabelle Vengerova and later entered the Curtis Institute of Music, where he graduated with highest honors.


Enthusiastic acclaim by critics and audiences came early in his career. After his Washington debut, Paul Hume of the Washington Post wrote: "He can stand with the great players of Mozart's keyboard music." His brilliant performances in an early European tour led to his selection by the great conductor Otto Klemperer to perform the complete Beethoven Concerti at the London Beethoven Festival.

He has performed in 27 countries in recital and with such major orchestras as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony. He has appeared in the Great Performances Series at Lincoln Center and the festivals of Ann Arbor, Saratoga, Bergen (Norway), Graz (Austria) and Almeida (England). During his second tour of Australia and New Zealand, he was the soloist for the concerts which opened the famed Sydney Opera House.

Many distinguished composers such as György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, Alberto Ginastera, Milko Kelemen and Vincent Persichetti wrote works especially for him. He premiered Ligeti's Piano Concerto (1986), Ginastera's Piano Sonata No. 2 (1992), Berio's Points on the Curve to Find (1975), Persichetti's Piano Concerto (1968), and other works.

In 1991, he performed the Netherlands premiere of Witold Lutosławski's Piano Concerto with the composer conducting, followed by performances also conducted by Lutoslawski with the Boston Symphony, Polish National Radio Symphony and San Francisco Symphony in 1993, on the occasion of the composer's 80th birthday.

He has made a number of recordings. His recording of Claude Debussy's Études has been described by the Boston Globe as "one of the wonders of the world". Other recordings include 14 of Scarlatti's Keyboard Sonatas, and Rachmaninoff's Preludes. Op. 32.

Among his notable pupils were Fabio Parrini, Horia Mihail, Aidas Puodziukas and his protégé Konstantinos Papadakis.


Between 1953 and their 1972 divorce he was married to Sara Roosevelt, a granddaughter of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and they had five children.[4]


  1. ^ "Boston University Mourns the Passing of Anthony di Bonaventura, School of Music Professor and Legendary Pianist » College of Fine Arts | Blog Archive | Boston University". Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ Biography Notes from Domenico Scarlatti: 14 Keyboard Sonatas, Centaur Records, Inc., 2006
  3. ^ Dubal, David. The Art of Piano: Its Performers, Literature, and Recordings (The 3rd Edition). Amadeus Press, 2005.
  4. ^ Roosevelt Genealogy; Retrieved 11 October 2013

External links

  • Recordings released by Centaur Records, Inc.
  • Boston Globe Obituary
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