Born in 1935 in Rome, Italian pianist Pietro Spada has combined performance and scholarship in unusual ways that have not always been given their due. The broadening of the keyboard repertory of the early nineteenth century beyond Beethoven and Schubert is partly the result of his efforts, and his career has yielded work that as yet remains underexposed. Spada studied in Rome and Milan and appeared in Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium beforeRead more finding success in collaborations with Sir John Barbirolli and other English conductors. Guest professorships in the U.S. started Spada on the path toward new musical discoveries. Teaching at Indiana University and other schools in the late '60s, he took advantage of the abundant research funds of the time to investigate the music -- not only for keyboard -- of Muzio Clementi, then known to student pianists but hardly fully appreciated for the scope of his contributions to the development of pianism and for his influence on Beethoven. Spada issued an edition of Clementi's symphonies and recorded his piano music for the RCA and ASV labels. Spada likewise unearthed and recorded the sparkling keyboard concertos of Paisiello, recorded John Field's complete works and the complete keyboard music of Donizetti, explored keyboard works by other composers of Beethoven's era such as Cherubini, and looked forward in time to the music of Liszt's top Italian follower, Giovanni Sgambati. Energetically recording well into his seventh decade, Spada has continued his investigations into original sources and has committed to disc several projects that remain unissued but would seem of vital historical importance: a four-CD history of the polonaise, for example. He is the cofounder of the Boccaccini & Spada Editori publishing firm, through which he has issued the results of his musical research. Read less
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