A Sony artist since 2013, the conductor and cellist Federico Ferri has appeared with the orchestras of the Teatro Regio in Turin, the Bologna Teatro Comunale, the Orchestra Toscana, the Accademia Filarmonica of La Scala, the MusicaRiva Festival, the Philharmony of Arad, the Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, the Arena of Verona and choirs such as the Ars Cantica, La Stagione Armonica and the Arena of Verona. He is musical director of the Accademia degli Astrusi and the Ensemble Respighi, chamber orchestras he set up himself, with which he has worked on some innovative artistic programmes. Together they have given first-ever performances of certain contemporary and twentieth-century works. One important area of his research has been to rediscover an unpublished repertoire of Italian 17th and 18th century music, especially the Bolognese school and Giovanni Battista Martini’s instrumental output. Ferri has prepared the critical edition of the latter for Suvini-Zerboni and, with the Accademia degli Astrusi, is performing and recording the works on original instruments. Again by Mozart’s mentor, he put on two rare intermezzos at the Bologna Teatro Comunale with stage sets taken from original sketches by Dario Fo, and culminating in a Sony DVD. This musical research has led him to explore composers such as Corelli, Colonna, Perti, Cazzati, Gabrielli, Torelli, Zavateri, and Mattei, the master of Rossini and Donizetti, as well as to perform rare or unpublished works on original instruments. Over the years he has brought to light neglected 20th century works and contemporary repertoire. One example was the first-ever performance of Stagioni by Adriano Guarnieri with the partnership of Rai Trade.
Federico Ferri has worked with artists of renown such as Anna Caterina Antonacci, Bruno Canino, Sara Mingardo, Franco Maggio Ormezowsky, Domenico Nordio, Federico Colli, Pavel Berman Laura Polverelli, Anna Bonitatibus, Stefano Montanari and famous actors like Arnoldo Foà, Ugo Pagliai, Paola Gassman, Nando Gazzolo and Sandro Lombardi. He has appeared on the podium at the Ravenna Festival, the Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, the MiTo Festival, IUC-Rome, the Reate Festival, the Stresa Festival, Amici della Musica in Florence, the Turin Unione Musicale, the Grand Theatre at Bordeaux, the Royal Palace in Lisbon, Rome’s Palazzo del Quirinale, the Bologna Teatro Comunale, the Teatro Sociale of Como, Milan’s Teatro dal Verme, the Monteverdi Festival in Cremona, Perugia Musica Classica, Varaždinske Barokne Večeri, the Auditorio Principe Felipe di Oviedo, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional and the Theȃtre de La Monnaie in Brussels. Many of his recordings and concerts have been broadcast live on European radio and television networks such as the BBC, RAI, Sky Classica, Unitel, Rai1, Rai3, Rai5, Radio Vaticana, SBS, Radio Svizzera Italiana, Radio Catalunya, ERR Klassika, NRK, BR Klassik and Concertzender. He has also recorded a wide range of more than 30 titles for various recording companies (Sony, Velut Luna, Tactus, Classic Voice, Concerto Classics, Bongiovanni and Amadeus) and several times gained acclaim from the critics. One recent case was Semiramide, featuring Anna Bonitatibus and recorded by Sony in 2013. Focusing on the character of Semiramis in unpublished operatic areas by Caldara, Porpora, Meyerbeer, Rossini and others, this project won awards like the 5 Diapasons and Le Diamant d’Opéra in France, the Royal Opera House Award and Album of the Year at London’s International Opera Awards 2015. Federico Ferri studied the cello at the Bologna Conservatory of Music, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, the Academies Toscanini (Parma), Contarini (Padua) and Stauffer (Cremona) with Massimo Godoli, Mischa Maisky, Franco Maggio Ormezowsky, Rocco Filippini and the baroque cello with Mauro Valli. He also studied composition with Bianca Maria Furgeri and Adriano Guarnieri, achieving the Diploma Superiore and conducting with Luis Salomon, Isaac Karabchewsky, Aldo Ceccato and Carlo Maria Giulini. He has been assistant conductor to Gianandrea Noseda several times at the Stresa Festival. His intense work as a chamber musician has involved playing in orchestras like the Teatro Comunale of Bologna and the Toscanini in Parma under the baton of Riccardo Muti, Christian Thielemann, Daniele Gatti, Neville Marriner, James Conlon, George Prêtre and Myung Wung Chung.
Recently he conducted a long-overdue concert performance of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas at the MiTo SettembreMusica, which again met with widespread approval.
Among other things, he inaugurated the season at Sassari with Rossini’s rarely played Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra, a DVD of which by Bongiovanni is imminent. He also conducted the Chorus and Orchestra of the Verona Arena in a programme of works by Mozart and Beethoven and including Schubert’s Great C Major.
He has devised artistic experiments such as “Parchinmusica” and “Music for Health” which have gained various medals and a Targa d’Argento from the President of the Italian Republic. The idea behind these projects is that of bringing people together in a setting that combines diverse forms of beauty.
Together with the Accademia degli Astrusi, Ferri is a Unesco ambassador for ‘Bologna City of Music’.
His future plans include revival of the repertoire of the great castrato Farinelli, a new venture with Anna Caterina Antonacci.
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