First Prize Winner of the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition, Finalist at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005, Laureates of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition (Calgary, Canada) and the 2006 Axa Dublin International Piano Competition, Italian pianist Roberto Plano has performed throughout North America. Important venues here include Alice Tully Hall in New York City's Lincoln Center, where he performed the American premiere of Luis de Pablo's Retratos y Transcripciones; Severance Hall in Cleveland, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and others. He regularly performs in Europe – notably at Sala Verdi in Milan, Salle Cortot in Paris and at the Herculessaal and Gasteig in Munich. He has appeared with orchestras in Italy (Milan Symphony Orchestra "Verdi"), Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz), Spain (Valencia Symphony), Czech Republic (Marienbad Symphony), Slovakia (Kosice State Symphony), Romania (Oradea, Sibiu, Targu Mures Symphonies), Japan (Sendai Symphony), USA (Spokane, Akron, and Glens Falls (NY) Symphony Orchestras, among others) and Canada (Calgary Philarmonic), under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner, James Conlon, Jahja Ling, Enrique Garcia Assensio, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Donato Renzetti, Ari Raisilianen, Kerry Stratton and Gary Sheldon, among others. He has been a featured recitalist at the internationally acclaimed 57th Chopin Festival in Duszniki, Poland; the Festival at Sandpoint, Savannah Music Festival and Wassermann Piano Festival in the USA; the Encuentro de musica y Accademia de Santander (Spain), and the Settimane Musicali di Stresa (Italy).
Roberto Plano's friendly and outgoing personality has made him a favorite for guest appearances on a number of radio stations, including NPR’s Performance Today, WNYC in New York City, WGBH's Classics in the morning (Boston), CBC's In Performance (Toronto), BBC In Tune, and RadioRai 3 Grammelot in Italy. As a teacher, he has given public master classes at Kent State University, Augusta State University, Utah State University and the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA), at the Alberta Conservatory (Edmonton, Canada), at the Conservatory of San Juan (Puerto Rico), and in all the major cities of Schlewsig-Holstein, Germany.
Plano has two recordings: a CD of works by Chopin, Liszt and Scriabin on Italy's Sipario Dischi label and a disc of works by Liszt on the Azica label. A new recording project which includes Brahms Sonata op.5 and Klavierstucke op.118 was released in 2006 by the Canadian label Arktos.
Having already earned an international reputation for his fine collaborative playing, Mr. Plano has collaborated with some of the finest chamber music groups in the world, including the Takacs, the Fine Arts, the Jupiter and the Enso String Quartets.
As a result of his success at the most recent Van Cliburn Competition, he appeared in the film documentaries "In the Heart of Music" and "Encores" (together with James Conlon and Menahem Pressler) which was aired on PBS stations across the United States, as well as in Europe through the satellite channel MEZZO. In 2006, Plano was chosen to participate in the DVD recording "A Masterclass with Jean-Michel Damase", filmed in Paris by ARTE at Salle Cortot; and together with Philippe Entremont, a second video project about the music of Mozart, broadcast by NHK in Japan.
Plano was also named the "Best Ensemble Performer" at the 2003 Honens Competition for his performances with cellist Shauna Rolston and soprano Ingrid Attrot. He was also the winner of the "Best Recital" and "Best Performance of the Commissioned Work" prizes at the 2006 Axa Dublin International Piano Competition. In other international piano competitions (after having won First Prizes in fifteen National Competition in Italy), Mr. Plano was a competition finalist at the 2003 Busoni in Italy, a prizewinner at the Sendai (Japan, 2001), and at the Jose Iturbi (Spain, 2000).
Mr. Plano has studied at the École Normale "Cortot" in Paris with Nelson Delle Vigne, where in 2004 he earned the "Diplome Superieur De Concertiste" with First Prize and special mention: "à l'unanimité et avec felicitations du jurie". While studying in Paris, he was selected to participate in public Masterclasses with such distinguished artists as Philippe Entremont, Aldo Ciccolini, Joaquin Achucarro and François-René Duchable. In 2003 he earned the International Certificate for Piano Artists from École Normale in collaboration with the University of Florida. Other teachers have included Eli Perrotta, Walter Krafft, Lazar Berman, Bruno Canino, William Grant Naboré (Lake Como Academy) and Bruno Marengoni.
Recently Mr. Plano made his debut at the Festival "Les Fétes Musicales" di Biarritz, France, toured Italy playing Beethoven's Triple Concerto, toured Canada and the U.S. (Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Cincinnati, Forth Worth, Austin, Los Alamos, Denver, and New York's Steinway Hall), played with the Vienna Concert-Verein Orchestra at the Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, and made his debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa conducted by Pinchas Zuckerman.
Highlights of last seasons also included Mr. Plano's debut with the strings of the Berliner Philarmoniker in Italy, his debut recital at London's Wigmore Hall, and concerts with the Milan, Forth Worth, Calgary, Bakersfield, Reading and Yakima Symphony Orchestras, plus new collaborations with groups such as the St. Petersburg String Quartet. North American recital engagements are scheduled in Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, Arizona, New York, Illinois, and British Columbia.
In June of 2009 he was soloist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra; last season’s highlights also included 7 tours in the USA with appearances at such festivals as Ravinia Festival and Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.
He was also invited to serve on the jury of the Singapore National Piano and Violin Competition (December 2007) and of the Philadelphia International J.S. Bach Competition (March 2008).
He lives in Italy in Travedona Monate, near Milan, where he teaches regularly at the new International Piano Academy "Lake Monate", created with his wife in the summer of 2008. During the summer he also regularly teaches at the Music International Masterclasses in Portogruaro, Italy.
In his spare time Mr. Plano enjoys composing hymns for organ and choir for his hometown church.