“After a moment of concentration it was as if Martino had inserted himself into another sphere and entered completely into the piece…”
Thus described the „Neue Musik Zeitung“ Fabio Martino´s feeling for the music he plays and the reason why his performances are unique.
This talent, alongside his technical maturity, his intimacy with the instrument, his charisma and self confidence on stage have brought him many prizes in national and international piano competitions.
Fabio Martino took first prize in the II BNDES International Piano Competition, as well as the special prize for the best interpretation of Brazilian music. He also won first prize in the International Competition of the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI e.V. (Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy at the Federation of German Industries). This is how the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” described his first prize commemoration concert: „Fabio Martino energetically reenacted Beethoven’s 5th concerto for piano and orchestra with a creative and decisive strength, demonstrating pleasure in the harmonious passages but also vigor and brilliance in the moments of virtuosity.” These prizes have brought him invitations to perform in concerts and recitals in South America, Europe and the US, with equally impressed public and critic. The “Hannover Allgemeine Zeitung” titled Fabio Martino as a “Magician on the piano”.
Fabio Martino was born in September 1988, in São Paulo, Braziland lives since January 2008 in Germany. After becoming his Master´s Degree at Karlsruhe’s Music University under the guidance of Prof. Sontraud Speidel and passing a rigorous international selection process he was chosen to study Konzertexamen.
His first solo CD was released in February 2013 with, among other works, the world premiere from York Höller 3. Sonata and the 3 Studies in different intervals from Edino Krieger. “Your expressive, powerful, but never exaggerated, sensitive, but never unclear, indeed technically perfect playing really touched me.” York Höller, composer.
As a soloist Fabio Martino has interpreted concerts for piano and orchestra by composers such as Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Beethoven, Schumann, Medtner, Mozart, Bach, amongst others. He has played with major orchestras including Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Die Duisburger Philharmoniker, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, University of Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, The Minas Gerais Philarmonic Orchestra, among others, and has worked with conductors from around the world including Ulf Schirmer, Giordano Bellincampi, Joseph Giunta, Yeruham Scharowsky, Johannes Schlaefli, Carlos Moreno and others. Fabio Martino proves his versatility with recitals that includes works from Baroque till contemporary music of today.
Miami Piano Festival (USA) 20.05.2012:
Fabio Martino displays remarkable artistry at Miami Piano Festival
By Dorothy Hindman
Drizzly, dreary weather didn’t prevent an excited audience from turning out to hear Brazilian pianist Fabio Martino make his Miami debut Saturday night at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach. The 23-year old Martino is the third stellar young pianist featured in as many nights on the Miami International Piano Festival’s Discovery Series, running through Sunday.
Dressed in a colorful shirt and bow tie, Martino kicked off his program with adiscovery for the audience, Beethoven’s Fantasia Op. 77, a rarely-performed work. The Fantasia is a strange ramble through various ideas and scalar passages, settling into a theme about halfway through the work. In Martino’s hands, it became a connected narrative of Classical and Romantic moods, tested and rejected until one was good enough to inspire spontaneous variations.
Beethoven suits Martino, who followed the Fantasia with the monumental Appassionata Sonata Op. 57. Martino inhabits the music, playing with a rich intensity and engagement. His careful voicings allow the fullest timbres possible without overwhelming the melody, and he is not timid, going for a big sound with considerable power. This was clear throughout the impassioned struggle of the Allegro assai, a surprisingly faster tempo at the end announcing its ultimate resolution.
His Andante held the same richness, characterized by careful releases, immaculate pedaling and impeccable voicing, especially in the suspensions of the first variation. A wonderfully fluid attacca provided a clean approach to the final Allegro’s energy and turmoil. Throughout, Martino demonstrated his greatest strength – a sense of the long line – proving through phrasing, color, and superb dynamic control that he knows exactly where he is going.
Where Martino’s Beethoven was fully German, he channeled an entirely French technique for Maurice Ravel’s suite of character pieces Miroirs, another work rarely performed as a whole in concert. His Noctuelles captured a nocturnal fluttering from the start, with elegant phrasing and the smoothest of hammerless touches, spiced by the occasional dark, sharp edge. Oiseaux tristes was mesmerizing, weaving a spell with utter control of dynamics and a delicate touch.
Martino’s incredibly fleet fingers made the multiple spectacular runs in Une barque sur l’océan look easy, and occasional flashes of Romantic grandeur were a welcome addition. A pesante Latin flavor, with intermittent dreamy tinges and crisp repeated notes, colored the fiery images portrayed in Alborada del gracioso. Martino’s gentle bells of La vallée de cloches signaled the end of the reverie with delicacy, and an overarching sense of musical depth.
Martino’s remarkable speed and strength rounded out the evening in Scriabin’s Sonata Op. 53, No. 5, combining brilliant flashes of changing colors with well-defined themes. Playing deeply into the keys, Martino brought definition to every gesture, a wildness paired with a delicate exoticism that synthesized his entire program. Every idea in the cyclic work was repeatedly recast through shades of touch, pedaling, timbre and tempo, and each of the mounting, multiple crescendi at the end was more unbelievable than the last.
Every element is already in place in Martino’s pianism: technique, awareness of style, dynamic control, shades of pianistic color, and deep formal understanding. More importantly, he uses this considerable arsenal to portray, not just play the music. He has a remarkable career ahead.