Giovanni Piacentini’s original music has been described as “…able to encapsulate tiny, winsome worlds as if passing through a gallery of paintings” (Winnipeg free press), and as “Stunningly beautiful with accessible compositional language.”(The Clarinet Magazine). Piacentini is a composer whose body of work is as diverse as his cultural background. Born in Mexico City to an Italian doctor and opera lover, and a Mexican figurative painter, he was exposed to a wide array of artistic expressions that helped shape his musical vision.
His debut album “Chiaroscuro” which features Giovanni performing his own works for both solo guitar and guitar with mixed ensemble, has drawn the attention and praise of the guitar world. Arkiv Magazine described Piacentini’s playing as “displaying degrees of sophistication and control that can’t help but mark him as a virtuoso.” He has followed with two more solo album releases under the Navona Records label collaborating with legendary engineer Kevin Killen (Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, U2, David Bowie). His piano trio “Ondine,” based on a sculpture by Isamo Noguchi, was premiered by the Trio Casals at Carnegie Hall in 2018. In 2019, Piacentini embarked on a Chinese tour in support of “Between Worlds” performing in large venues and theaters playing a program of new, old and original music and teaching Chinese audiences about the guitar and its many facets. “Between Worlds” also earned him a feature on the prestigious British music magazine Gramophone and a nomination for an Independent Music Award in 2020.
As part of his commitment to new music, Piacentini has edited works for guitar commissioned by such luminaries as Sharon Isbin and David Starobin. While in New York, Giovanni wrote his first symphonic work, “Animus," which was performed by the Manhattan School of Music symphony orchestra under the baton of Dr. David Gilbert. As part of the Manhattan School of Music choir, he performed for sold out crowds at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC and with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. During that time, he was also earned a spot as a finalist in Lee Ritenour’s “Six String Theory” international guitar competition.
Since then, Giovanni has been very active as a composer receiving commissions from a variety of ensembles including the harp duo, “Duo Scorpio” in NYC, the Irish violin and viola duet “Collailm Duo”, renowned violinist Tim Fain (with whom he is currently recording an upcoming album featuring a new work for Violin and Guitar) the concert series “Music of Reality” in Boston, MA, and the “Mexiam” festival hosted at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA., where he performed his music as well. His work for the screen has been featured in the short film “Stanley and Afsaneh”, and in several nationally aired programs for the arts channel “Canal 40” in Mexico. Giovanni’s music has been recently performed and recorded by internationally acclaimed ensembles such as the Lyris String Quartet, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, the Colombian wind quintet Ensamble Carivato, the Orquesta Juvenil Carlos Chavez, the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, and classical guitar legend Eliot Fisk.
He graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA., earned his MA at the Manhattan School of Music and a PhD in composition under renowned American composer Richard Danielpour. He currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where he teaches composition and guitar.