Francesco Attardi studied piano, composition, and conducting at the G. Verdi Conservatory of Music in Milan achieving his Master degree with the highest of votes. Furthermore he received his degree in musicology in the Bologna State University, then specialized in Orchestral Conducting with Pierre Dervaux at the Academie Internationale de Nice (France), with Leopold Hager at the Salzburg Mozarteum (Austria).
Born to an American mother from Boston, Mr. Attardi also studied in the U.S., at the Aspen Music School and he was the Assistant to Romano Gandolfi at the Gran Teatro del Liceu of Barcelona (Spain) and to Giuseppe Patanè at the Staatsoper in Munich (Germany).
While in Munich with Wolfgang Sawallisch he studied in depth Mozart’s repertoire and perfected his knowledge of the German repertoire of Richard Strauss and Wagner. He has more than 40 operas in repertoire.
He has conducted many symphony orchestras both in Italy and abroad including having toured in Japan with the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra; in the United States with Aspen Symphony Orchestra; in Mexico with the Symphony Orchestras of Guadalajara and Symphony Orchestra of Guanajato, in the Czech Republic with the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra, the Choir of Radio Prague and the Prague Chamber Orchestra; in France with the Orchestre Philarmonique de Nice; in Spain with the orchestra del Teatro del Liceu and in Italy with Orchestra Verdi of Milan, Pomeriggi Musicali, Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Symphony Orchestra of Sanremo, the Mediterranean Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova. In 2000-2001 he was Guest Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica d’Italia and the Orchestra Cantelli. From 2002 to 2005 he was the Artistic Director of the Festival “Settimana di Musica Sacra” (Week of Sacred Music) at Monreale (Palermo), where he invited the most prestigious choirs in the world.
In 2010 and 2011 he was invited to Germany to conduct the Jaener Philarmonie with music of Bruckner, Wagner and Shostakovich. In summer 2011 he conducted Verdi’s Requiem at the Teatro Antico of Taormina (Festival Taormina Arte) and in 2011 and 2012 concerts for ‘Palermo Classica’ with great pianists like Bruno Canino, Huseyn Sermet, Paul Badura-Skoda, Valentina Lisitsa.
On New Year’s Day in 2012 he conducted a highly acclaimed New Year’s Concert in Palermo with the famous coloratur soprano Desirée Rancatore. Among his latest performances are a series of operas with Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at Milan Castello Sforzesco (Milan Sforza Castle); Verdi’s La Traviata and Rigoletto (Schaffhausen, Friedrichshafen, Lugano – Switzerland); The Merry Widow in Teatro Dal Verme, Milan, La Bohème and Madame Butterfly at the Gran Teatro Nacional di Avana (Cuba).
In addition to his operatic and symphonic repertoire Francesco Attardi has dedicated himself to the rediscovery of the great Italian instrumental music, especially Giovanni Sgambati (Rome 1841-1914), who was one of Franz Liszt’s most talented pupils and the father of Italian symphonic music. After Sgambati’s work came a new generation of musicians such as Giuseppe Martucci, Alfredo Casella, Gianfrancesco Malipiero and Ottorino Respighi. Maestro Attardi has rediscovered and reconstructed Sgambati’s Second Symphony, a true masterpiece of Italian instrumental music, which he performed with the Verdi Orchestra of Milan and in 2014 recorded an internationally well received CD for ‘Amadeus’. The project will continue with the publication and performance of Sgambati’s ‘Epitalamio’ Symphony.