Raffaele Mani has been called by the international press and personalities from across the international musical spectrum “a musician of great artistic versatility”, “a pianist who can truly make the piano sing”, and “a pianist of supreme technique and profound temperament that never descends into the vulgar or pretentious”.
“Musically and emotionally he understands everything!” writes Liev Naumov. Maestro Joaquín Achúcarro calls him “a great musical intelligence”, and Boris Petruchansky regards him as “a genius”.
Mani was born in Florence, Italy in 1971 and took his first piano lesson with MarisaNencioni Nobili at the age of 13. He later graduated from the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory of Florence under the guidance of Lucia Passaglia. From 1991 to 1993 he studied with Liev Naumov at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow in a program of advanced studies only open to a selected number of students.In 1994 he was awarded the Joel Estes Tate scholarship and moved to the United States, where he
was admitted to the Artist Certificate program Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas and studied with Maestro Joaquín Achúcarro.
Mani also attended Maestro Achúcarro’s masterclasses at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and received the Diploma di Merito and a scholarship. In 1996 he was awarded the Geo Oeldridge Scholarship, which enabled him to continue his piano and academic studies at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. In 1998 he received a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. That same year in Florence, he was awarded the Lapi-Hiscott scholarship.
Mani has participated in benefit concerts for Amnesty International and the Italian Red Cross and has played to raise funds for a Comboni Mission in Africa and other youth educational institutions in Germany. In recent years, he has performed for some of the most important international concert organizations.
Beyond the classical repertory, Mani has played the complete piano works of Arnold Schoenberg (including the Pierrot Lunaire) and Luigi Dallapiccola (including the Piccolo Concerto per Muriel Couvreux and Inni for three pianos) as well as works by many other twentieth-centurycomposers.
Mani has lived in Germany since 2003 and teaches at the Bad Nauheim Music School. In 2007 he recorded in the USA, as a world premiere, “The Complete Works for Piano and Piano and Orchestra” of Luigi Dallapiccola (META records) with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Phillips. The West Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “Raffaele Mani plays with the highest sensibility”. The CD was one of the best reviewed of the year by the Rondo Music Magazine.
Mani’s career combines performing and teaching. Over the years he has developed a method that blends classical concepts of the Russian and Italian Piano Schools with the revolutionary ideas of the unique and outstanding Maestro Joaquín Achúcarro. His students have been awarded many prizes in German piano and chamber music competitions. Today, several of them study in some of the most prestigious German and American Universities.
Mani has been the Artistic Director and piano teacher of the International Music Seminars “Appassionato” since 2008 and has given Masterclasses in Germany, Austria and Italy. In 2009 his composition “Preludio d’Autunno” was chosen as the soundtrack of a documentary about the life and the works of the Italian painter Antonio Ligabue.
Recently, he recorded the Thomas Hanelt’s choral version of 12 songs of Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise” with the Motettenchor Frankfurt.