Gianna Fratta set her heart on becoming a conductor at the age of nine, after hearing for the first time an orchestra in a live concert. From that moment she planned all her studies in order to achieve this goal. She completed her academic education graduating in piano, composition with full marks and in conducting with full marks cum laude at the “N. Piccinni” Conservatory of music in Bari. Afterwards she was awarded the diploma of honour at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena during the course led by the Russian conductor Yuri Ahronovitch. On this occasion he told the press about Gianna “I’ve never known a musician so gifted with heart and arm”.
Gianna began her career as a pianist winning many international competitions and playing all over the world (Italy, Germany, France, U.K., Spain, India, North and South Korea, Israel, United States, Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay and others). Among the most important venues, can be mentioned the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Coliseo Theatre in Buenos Aires, the Seoul Art Center, the Sao Pedro Theatre of Sao Paulo in Brazil, the Sala Verdi in Milan, the Smetana Hall in Prague, the Opera Theatre in Rome.
Her conducting debut took place in 1998 with a performance of Strawinsky’s ballet “Pulcinella”. Since then Gianna has regularly been conducting the symphonic and opera repertoire with orchestras such as the Berliner Symphoniker, Macao Symphonic Orchestra, the Cappella Istropolitana of Bratislava, the Mimesis Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the “Nuova Scarlatti” of Napoli, the Royal Academy Orchestra of London, the Russian Symphony Orchestra, the Kiev Symphonic Orchestra, the Greensboro Orchestra, the Orchestra Regionale Toscana, the Orchestra of Île de France, the Sungshin Orchestra of Seoul, the Belgrade Opera Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Opera Theatre of Tirana, the Prime Philharmonic Orchestra of Seoul, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Montevideo, the Orchestra della Fondazione Toscanini of Parma, the North Czech Philharmonic of Teplice, the Sofia Festival Orchestra, the New Filarmonia Orchestra, the Besançon France-Comté, The Soloists of Berliner Philharmoniker and many others. It is worth mentioning that for many prestigious collaborations like with the Berliner Symphoniker, the Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera of Rome, the Orchestra del Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, the Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia in the Festival della Valle d’Itria, Gianna Fratta has been the first woman conductor ever.
Gianna’s wide symphonic repertoire ranges from Vivaldi to the contemporaries. Among the operas she conducted there are Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, L’Elisir d’amore, Carmen, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Aida, Falstaff, Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Trovatore, Il Flauto Magico, Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcella, Tosca and many others. She has collaborated with famous artists such as Mirella Freni, Renato Bruson, Carla Fracci, Raina Kabaiwanska, Cecilia Gasdia, Cloe Anslip, Paolo Coni, Daniele Abbado, François Thiollier, Valentina Igoshina.
In January 2006 she conducted Umberto Giordano’s opera “Il Re” which received very good reviews in the famous Italian musical magazine “Opera”. Of this performance the Italian publisher Bongiovanni of Bologna released the world premiere on DVD. She also recorded for “N&A”, “Velut Luna”, Budapest live, Amadeus both as pianist and conductor.
Either as pianist or conductor Gianna performed in many cities (London, Sidney, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Stoccolma, Vilnius, Roma, Milano, Bruxelles, Antibes, Besancon, Tirana, Budapest, Haifa, Lion, Mumbay, Kolkatta, Seoul etc.). She studied and worked with great conductors such as D. Renzetti, B. Bartoletti, Y. Ahronovitch, P. Bellugi that wrote about her : “…her unusual musicality united to an iron discipline, her temperament and her solid technique as conductor make Gianna a brilliant promise in this field…”.
In 2006 Gianna Fratta took part in the “Donatella Flick Conducting Competition” in London where she was semifinalist. In 2007 she was finalist in the 50th conducting competition of Besançon (France), the only Italian conductor among 200 conductors from all over the world. In 2003 she won the prize “Bacchette in rosa” (“Pink batons”) at the end of a course organized by Regione Toscana and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, first among fifty European women conductors. In 2007 she was awarded the first prize at the “High school of conducting”. The jury was composed of renowned conductors such as Alain Lombard, Bruno Bartoletti, Donato Renzetti, Jorma Panula, Lu-Jia.
In addition to her performance activity, Gianna is a successful musical organizer in Italy and abroad. Among the many she is the artistic director of the concert season “Musica Civica” in Foggia.
Gianna is professor of Composition at the “U. Giordano” Music Conservatory of Foggia, visiting professor at the Sungshin University of Seoul and regularly conducts lectures and master classes in many universities in the world. On 7th March 2009 the President of Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano appointed her as Knight of the Italian Republic for her international career.
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