Antonio Pompa-Baldi's concert is sponsored by Susan Levi Wallach in memory of her late husband, Rabbi Philip Silverstein.
Rabbi Silverstein was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and immigrated to the United States with his parents and sister in 1941, just as the Nazis were invading their city. Ordained in 1955, he began his career as an Air Force chaplain before joining the Army. He was active in the civil rights movement and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. Rabbi Silverstein retired, a lieutenant colonel, in 1989, whereupon he moved to Columbia. As a retired chaplain at Fort Jackson, he continued into his eighties to hold services and seders for the soldiers.
“Be true to yourself and be fiercely protective to what God created you to be and live up to the mission that God gave you”
- these are the words by which Rabbi Silverstein lived his life.
Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 1999 and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition of Paris, France, Antonio Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Mr. Pompa-Baldi appears regularly at the world’s major concert venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’ Salle Pleyel, Milan’s Sala Verdi, Shanghai’s Grand Theatre, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. He performed in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Kiev, Auckland, Hong Kong, and Beijing, where he played a recital in the Forbidden City Concert Hall and conducted Master Classes at the China National Conservatory, being named Honorary Guest Professor of that institution.
He is also an honorary visiting professor of China’s Wenzhou University, and Guizhou Normal University.
Pompa-Baldi has played with the Houston Symphony, Berliner Symphoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Boston Pops, and Colorado Symphony, among many others. He has collaborated with great musicians and conductors such as Hans Graf, James Conlon, Louis Lane, Keith Lockhart, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
His extensive recording catalogue features over 20 CDs and is constantly growing. Among his recordings, the entire piano repertoire of Grieg for Centaur Records in twelve CDs, a live recital of his award-winning Cliburn Competition performances on Harmonia Mundi, and “The Rascal and the Sparrow-Poulenc meets Piaf”, piano arrangements of songs by Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf on the Steinway Label. His CD, “After a reading of Liszt”, is a tribute to Liszt recorded live, and released by the South African label TwoPianists. For Centaur Records, he has also recorded an all-Schumann disc, an all-Rachmaninoff CD, as well as the Rheinberger Piano Sonatas. Pompa-Baldi is now recording the complete Hummel Piano Sonatas. The first two volumes are already available, with a third scheduled to be released in the near future.
In May 2014, Pompa-Baldi completed live performances of all the Rachmaninoff Concertos and Paganini Rhapsody with the Cape Town Philharmonic. In January 2015, he performed a recital at the First Lang Lang International Piano Festival in Shenzhen, China, at the invitation of the great Chinese pianist. In March 2015, he performed all the Beethoven Concertos in Fresno, CA, under the baton of Maestro Theodore Kuchar.
The most recent engagements include performances of Brahms First and Second Piano Concertos in Dayton, OH, and recitals for the American Liszt Society Festival in Northridge and Pasadena, CA. Among the 2016/17 engagements, Pompa-Baldi played the Chopin Second Piano Concerto in Peoria, IL with the Heartland Festival Orchestra, Rachmaninoff Third with the Akron Symphony, the Respighi Concerto in A minor with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and Maestro Kuchar, Beethoven Third with the West Virginia Symphony, and recitals in the US, Italy, and throughout China. Upcoming engagements include recitals in Los Angeles (Colburn School), France, Italy, Germany, and China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Xiamen, and Fuzhou).
A Steinway artist, Mr. Pompa-Baldi is very active recording for the new Steinway Spirio catalogue. He is on the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is the founder, artistic director and faculty member of Todi International Music Masters, a summer Festival in Todi, Italy, which attracts talented piano students from all over the world. Pompa-Baldi sits on the juries of the most prestigious piano competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head Piano Competition, the International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition in Bergen, Norway, the E-Competition in Minneapolis, and the San Jose International Piano Competition.