Composer and pianist, Roberto Russo, begins his musical studies with his father Mario Russo. After graduating with Giuseppe Maiorca, he continues his pianistic training with pianists Daniel Rivera and Franco Scala in Italy, and with Maria Tipo in Switzerland where he obtains the Diplôme de Perfectionnement from the Geneva Conservatory of Music. Furthermore, he attends piano courses with Jörg Demus and Fausto Zadra, as well as master classes with Peter Schreier in German Lied.
Roberto studied composition with Italo Vescovo (Cosenza, Italy), Silvano Sardi (Florence, Italy) and Domenico Bartolucci (also conductor of Sistina Chapel Choir in Rome). Several of his pieces have been presented and premiered at prestigious international venues by important ensembles. In 2006 his Pater Noster for choir was performed by the Royal Chapel Choir of Copenhagen in Lyon, France, while the Sonata for Viola and Piano was performed at the Council Palace of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1995. His 12 Preludes for Piano was premiered at the Akademia Muzyczna w Krakow, Poland, and they were also presented at the Høgskolen i Tromsø, Norway in 2012. These preludes also became subject of the Roberto Russo Prize during the 2012 HKPCA Hong Kong Piano Competition, as well as at the International ArtePiano Competition of 2021 and 2022. In 1996 his preludes won the Ibla Gran Prize Competition for Composers (Italy) and were performed in New York the following year.
In 1985 he begins his professional career which leads to performances in Argentina, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, England, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Spain, USA and Switzerland. His performances and recordings have been reviewed/broadcasted by the Italian and International press, RAI (Italy), Radio Vaticana, Radio Toscana Classica (Italy), Houston Public Radio (USA) and Radio Televisión Argentina amongst others.
The Swiss musicologist Brenno Boccadoro defines his playing as…”true, sincere, great and deeply poetic”, while the Italian pianist and critic Riccardo Risaliti praises his “…genuine sensitivity and his profound knowledge of the instrument”, while underlining the “compositional wisdom” in his piano preludes. Maria Tipo mentions his artistic sensitivity, while the Canadian music historian Harvey Sachs have been captured by the rhythm, phrasing, balance between tension and release, and the beauty of his sound.
From 2000 – 2005 Roberto has been the Artistic Director of the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition in Grottammare in Italy. He is a member of the New York Classical Music Society and Piano Week International Festival & Summer School. Other collaborations with world renown musicians include British composer Michael Stimpson, Canadian Cellist Bridget MacRae, Lithuanian oboist Juste Gelgotaite, and Italian tenor Alessandro Maffucci. As a music critic and author he writes for the online magazine L’Ospite Ingrato (University of Siena) and for seminars such as Forms and Paths of Listening (University of Calabria) and Da Musica (University of Milan).
Roberto teaches piano at the G. Frescobaldi Conservatory of Music in Ferrara, Italy. From 2012 he holds the title of Steinway Artist.