John Carmody, Sydney Morning Herald.
Simon Tedeschi is quite often described by respected critics and musical peers as one of the finest artists in the world making the young pianist’s mark on music both undeniable and admirable. Renowned especially for championing non standard repertoire, Tedeschi enjoys a full international performing career.
Tedeschi first performed a Mozart Piano Concerto at age 9 in the Sydney Opera House. He has studied piano in Australia with Neta Maughan for 10 years (between 1990 and 2000) as well as in London with Noretta Conci and Boston with Peter Serkin.
Tedeschi has a string of international prizes and scholarships under his belt. This includes winning the Open Age Concerto Series and ‘Most Outstanding in all Youth Sections’ at the IBLA Grand Prize in Italy in 1994 and taking out the top prize in the keyboard section of the Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London (2002).
While working with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Tedeschi went on to be named the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year and was a recipient of a $10,000 Queen’s Trust Overseas Study Award.
More recently, Tedeschi was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal by the Prime Minister of Australia and was the recipient of an award from the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia and the Australian Opera Auditions Committee.
In 2000, Tedeschi signed a recording deal with Sony Music Australia under its Sony Classics label and his debut CD led to nominations for an ARIA award for Classical Record of the Year.
The versatility and scope of Tedeschi’s appeal is exemplified by having shared the stage with numerous acclaimed musicians, including conductor Alan Gilbert, soprano Yvonne Kenny, jazz luminary James Morrison and Larry Adler, the legendary Harmonica player who called Tedeschi ‘the greatest pianist he ever heard.’ At age 13, Tedeschi gave a private recital to the iconic Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
In 2004, Tedeschi recorded Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto and Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Richard Bonynge and in 2013 recorded Gershwin and Me (Universal/ABC), a CD of both solo and orchestral music that went to number 1 on the classical music charts for two weeks.
Regularly invited to perform for foreign dignitaries, Tedeschi has entertained the likes of Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, Vladimir Putin, George W Bush and Nelson Mandela at events such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, World Expo and G’day USA.
Charitable performances and commitment to worthwhile causes have been most prominent in Tedeschi’s career. Among these special performances includes playing for the Dalai Lama at a fundraising concert in London (2000), for the Karuna Foundation in support of Cambodian Orphans and at the Sydney Opera House gala concert for the Wayside Chapel. Tedeschi is the Roving Ambassador for The Australian Children’s Music Foundation the patron of the Bowraville Cultural Festival and the Blue Mountains Concert Society.
His profile has permeated to other art forms, most notably as the subject in Cherry Hood’s striking portrait of Tedeschi that won the 2002 Archibald Prize, one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art awards, for her work entitled Simon Tedeschi Unplugged. He is also attached to the Oscar-winning movie ‘Shine’, playing the hands of acclaimed pianist David Helfgott and was a regular guest on ABC TV’s Spicks and Specks.
Recent reasons included the role of Mozart for the second time in Sydney Opera House’s acclaimed Babies Proms, a follow up Gershwin album for Universal/ABC entitled Gershwin Take 2, a one-man show at the highly acclaimed Monkey Baa Theatre Company entitled Simon Tedeschi: Pianist and Prankster based on Tedeschi’s own childhood at the piano as well as masterclasses, and workshops all over Australia. Future projects include a recording of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for ABC/Universal as well as recitals throughout Australia.