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Professor Richard Cionco
Pianist Richard Cionco -- praised by Donal Henahan of the New York Times for his “sensitive pianism” has performed with many orchestras including the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, and with the Seijo Symphony of Tokyo in a Washington, D.C. concert that commemorated Japan’s admission to the United Nations. He has also performed with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Las Cruces Symphony (NM), the Merced Symphony, the Folsom Symphony (CA), the Saratoga Symphony (CA), the Camellia Symphony (CA), the Symphony of the Redwoods (CA), the Oakland Civic Symphony, and has been featured with the Lawton Philharmonic in Oklahoma as a winner in the Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition. In Europe, he has performed concerti with the Czech State Chamber Orchestra, and in Prague’s Smetana Hall with the North Bohemian Philharmonic Orchestra as a winner in the Prague Spring International Music Competition. Mr. Cionco has traveled three times to Denmark, performing in recital and master class; the Danish press called his most recent performance “dazzling” (Fredericia Dagblad). In 1996 he performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 seven times on tour in Japan and Taiwan with the California Youth Symphony; the performance in Osaka was broadcast on Japan Television and has been released as a live and unedited CD.
He has performed in recital in nearly every major U.S. city and his performances of Liszt’s complete 12 Transcendental Etudes have brought him rave reviews. Ed Roberts of the Washington Post wrote: “I have rarely heard as fine a piano recital as the one Richard Cionco gave on Sunday. The program (Liszt Etudes) was difficult and unusual. Cionco’s virtuosity was impressive and he drew beautifully varied tone colors from the instrument.” Another Washington Post review acknowledged “Richard Cionco is not just a terrific pianist. He is that rarest of artists: a champion of twentieth century music. Throughout his recital at the Phillips Collection Sunday, his coloristic sense and attention to structural clarity rendered even the thorniest of recent works accessible.”
A Steinway Artist, Mr. Cionco is a graduate of the University of Maryland and The Juilliard School. Important performances include those at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall and Carnegie’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall and Steinway Hall, as well as The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Recent master classes and recitals Mr. Cionco has given include L.A., Mendocino, Santa Rosa, and at New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico, Kent State University, Florida State University, University of Alberta in Canada, the University of Florida, San Jose State University, the Chicago College of Performing Arts, the Great Music in Scarborough Series in New York, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, Tulane University in New Orleans, in Anchorage and dozens more, AK. He has also recorded music by Daniel Kingman for innova records and his first solo CD, Latin American Music for Solo Piano, on the Centaur Records label has received rave reviews, notably by the American Record Guide. Each summer Mr. Cionco serves each summer on the artist faculty of the Orfeo International Music Festival and Competition in Northern Italy. Formerly he served on the faculties of the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy and the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival In Germany. During the summers of 2008 and 2009 performed and gave master classes in China. In 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 he returned to Hong Kong for recitals, lectures, master classes, and adjudicating. In both 2015 and 2016 Cionco was invited to perform solo recitals at the Samsø Piano Festival on the island of Samsø in Denmark.
He was chosen in 2009 by Steinway to record at Skywalker Studios for the digitizing of the Steinway sound, to be released soon. Most recently he released a solo CD of Beethoven’s late piano music and a CD of music by American composer Sunny Knable, both on the Centaur label. Mr. Cionco was a Teaching Fellow and Assistant for David Dubal at The Juilliard School for four years and in 1993 he joined the piano faculty at Sacramento State where he is presently Professor of Piano.
Mr. Cionco can be heard on the following albums: