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Musical World

Anthony & Joseph Paratore

  • Piano Duo

Biography

Anthony & Joseph Paratore: In 1976 they were asked to replace an ailing Leonard Bernstein for 3 concerts at the Spoleto Festival USA which moved New York Times critic Harold Schonberg to write, “They have taken over the town. Their encore of the Finale to the Carnival of the Animals was the flashiest of its kind since Vladimir Horowitz’s Stars and Stripes Forever. It drove everybody crazy.

“Horowitz Times Two” , was the headline following Anthony and Joseph Paratore’s performance at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall. "It was as if Vladimir Horowitz and Arkadi Volodos sat at the piano together, but the 2 pianists in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall were Anthony and Joseph Paratore....truly a magnificently impressive evening."

“The best 2 man orchestra in the world” appeared in their review following their concert at the Piano Festival in Müllheim, Germany.

They have appeared on numerous celebrity series throughout the United States and Europe and with a long list of orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony, and the Warsaw, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestras among others.

Their work with these orchestras have brought them together with many fine conductors including Boulez, Ozawa, Solti, von Dohnanyi, Salonen, Slatkin, Fruhbeck de Burgos and Zinman. Their appearances have brought them around the globe with performances in festivals such as Salzburg, Lucerne, Vienna, Berlin, Lincoln Centre’s Mostly Mozart, Spoleto USA, Australia, Israel and Asia.

Very special to the brothers has been their work with jazz legend, Dave Brubeck who personally entrusted his original 2 piano music to them. They have premiered his "Points on Jazz" as well as other pieces on both sides of the Atlantic.  In their last few seasons, they have appeared in joint appearances with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in Europe including teaming up on 2 pianos in a rendition of Dave’s famous “Blue Rondo a la Turk”. This association has resulted in two CD releases both on the Universal label with Brubeck’s music for 2 pianos and another with the Dave Brubeck Quartet on the SonyBMG label entitled “Brubeck meets Bach”. Their work with the late Sir Peter Ustinov brought them on tour together as well as a recording of the Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals" with original text by Sir Peter.

On the Four Winds Label, they collaborated with their sister, Joanne, who produced the CD "Classic Romance". Other Four Winds recordings include their rendition of Brahms "Variations on a Theme by Haydn“ and the "Sonata in f minor”; a recording entitled“ French Romance", which includes music of Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Milhaud and a CD of Masterworks by Franz Schubert.

 They have appeared frequently on television programs, including NBC's "Today Show" and "The Tonight Show", as well as on National Public Radio's syndicated news program "All Things Considered" and "Performance Today."  They have appeared on many European television programs, including broadcasts in England, France, Germany, Austria, and Poland.

Many awards and honours have been bestowed on Anthony and Joseph. They were inducted as honorary members of the Dante Alighieri Society and recipients of “I Migliori” Award presented by the Pirandello Lyceum for excellence in their chosen field. In addition, they received the George Washington Medal of Honour for outstanding contribution to community work around the country.  In 1992 a scholarship was established in their name for a deserving music student at their Alma Mater, Boston University. Over the years they have had the honour of performing for Presidents of Germany, Italy and at the White House in the United States.

The diverse repertoire of the Paratores encompasses the standard literature for piano duet and two pianos, as well as an ever-growing number of works either re-discovered or newly commissioned. German composers Wolfgang Rihm and Manfred Trojahn have written pieces especially for the Paratore Duo as well as renowned American composer William Bolcom, who wrote "Sonata in One Movement" for them. For the 5oth Anniversary of Alban Berg’s death, they premiered his transcription of Arnold Schonberg’s Chamber Symphony, Op. 9 for piano, and four hands.

Born in Boston of Italian descent, Anthony and Joseph Paratore come from a large, close-knit musical family. They began their careers as solo pianists; Joseph having appeared with the Boston Symphony at 17 years of age and Anthony having toured South America.

The Brothers Paratore have participated in television specials on PBS, including the "20th  Anniversary of  the  Boston Pops  with  John Williams", " Piano Pizzazz"    from Wolf Trap, and a special program entitled "The Paratores: Two Brothers, Four Hands". Critic Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe noted that it was "fun to watch with a MTV dazzle....talent is what the Paratore brothers are all about."