Francesco Tristano (LUX/I)

On Early Music


Francesco Tristano leads a multifaceted career as a pianist, composer and producer, delving into classical and electronic music. As a classical artist, he is associated with Baroque music, in particular J.S. Bach, as well as Buxtehude and Frescobaldi. Tristano is equally at home in contemporary and avant-garde music, performing the works of Luciano Berio, John Cage and Igor Stravinsky in addition to his own compositions. He signed with the iconic Deutsche Grammophon label in 2011 and released three albums: ‘BachCage’, ‘Long Walk’ (Bach/Buxtehude/Tristano, 2012) and ‘Scandale’ (Stravinsky/Ravel/Tristano, 2014), with German pianist Alice Sara Ott. In the context of electronic music, Tristano is also established as a producer and artist, by virtue of his collaboration with the Berlin techno label Get Physical Music since 2014, then with the Detroit label Transmat, which released his reworking of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’. Francesco Tristano also arranged, orchestrated and performed as a soloist on Carl Craig’s album ‘Versus’ (2017), with the Les Siècles Orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth. In 2016, he launched the audio-visual show Goldberg City Variations, based on Cosmic City (by Iannis Xenakis), a futuristic urban reimagining resulting from the more than 20,000 sound oscillations that make up Bach’s Goldberg Variations and declined into images by a real-time video transposition. On the occasion of the 85th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birth (2017), Tristano participated in a series of exhibitions and concerts curated by Ryuichi Sakamoto entitled Glenn Gould Gathering at Sogetsu Hall in Tokyo, where he performed the tribute ‘Glenn Gould – Remodels’, later released as a live album. He made his debut for Sony Classical with ‘Piano Circle Songs’ (2017), which includes some collaborations with Chilly Gonzales; with ‘Tokyo Stories’ (2019), he expressed his musical love for his adopted city. Finally, with ‘Tristano plays Gulda’, he commemorated the 20th anniversary of the artist’s death in January 2020. In 2018/19 Tristano collaborated with the Japanese company Yamaha to create Glenn Gould’s first artificial intelligence performance algorithm, which was premiered in 2019 at the Ars Nova festival in Linz to great critical acclaim. In 2020, he was awarded the Opus Klassik in the category Classical without Borders for the album Tokyo Stories. His simultaneous fascination for the chiselled sounds of Bach and the rhythmics of techno; his interest in the study of noise, effects and timbres by composers such as Cage or Ligeti; and the need to explore his own imagination through albums such as ‘Idiosynkrasia’ (2010) or the recent ‘Tokyo Stories’ (2019), can be traced back to his days as a student at the Juilliard School in New York.