Described by Martha Argerich as ‘an outstanding young pianist’, British/Romanian pianist Florian Mitrea was born in Bucharest but has been based in the UK since 2008. An alumni and professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he is an award-winning soloist with an international performing and teaching career.
Florian Mitrea was a double-laureate at the 2017 Scottish, 2015 Hamamatsu, and 2014 ARD Munich International Piano Competitions. He won the piano category of the 2018 Royal Overseas League Music Competition, and since then he performs regularly in ROSL Arts projects. Previously, Florian was a major prize winner at the 2018 Harbin – China, 2017 St Priest, and 2016 James Mottram-Manchester International Piano Competitions. He was the top prize winner at the 2018 New York International Piano Festival, and consequently gave his debut performance at Carnegie Hall. He is a Making Music Selected Artist for 2019-20 and was a Kirckman Concert Society Artist for 2018-19, also holding a Making Music Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist Award for 2017-19. In March 2018 the Royal Academy announced that Florian had been appointed Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM): an honour awarded to former students who have made a significant contribution to the music profession.
Florian has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, at venues across Romania, and in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, and Switzerland. In the UK Florian has performed at venues including Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; St John’s Smith Square, King’s Place, St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. James’ Piccadilly, Steinway Hall, and Draper’s Hall in London; Dartington Hall, Bath Abbey, and St Albans Cathedral. He has performed with the RSNO in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Philharmonia in London, George Enescu Philharmonic and the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest, and Collegium Musicum Basel, among other leading orchestras.
Florian’s piano studies started in Bucharest as a student of Flavia Moldovan and Gabriela Enăşescu, ultimately at George Enescu Music High School. While studying at RAM with Diana Ketler he obtained his BMus with First Class Honours and the Regency Award for notable achievement. In the summer of 2014, he obtained his Master of Arts degree with Distinction and a DipRAM for his final recital, and received the Alumni Development Award for distinguished studentship. He held the Hodgson Memorial post-studentship Fellowship at RAM in 2014-2015 and continues to teach there within the piano department. Florian is currently studying with Boris Petrushansky at the Accademia Pianistica Internazionale “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, Italy.
Florian has benefited from participation in master-classes given by Leif Ove Andsnes, Angela Brownridge, Epifanio Comis, Imogen Cooper, Pascal Devoyon, Akiko Ebi, Stephen Hough, Stephen Kovacevich, John Lill, Joanna MacGregor, Boris Petrushansky, Michael Roll, and Dina Yofe. After studying with Boris Berman at the International Holland Music Sessions in summer 2013, Florian was granted a fellowship at Yale University – Norfolk Music Festival for summer 2014, and enjoyed intensive coaching from Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Wey-Yi Yang and Melvin Chen.
Florian remains an active chamber musician. Recent collaborations include performances with violinists Chloe Hanslip and Thomas Gould, and the Heath and Skampa String Quartets, all at the Dartington International Summer School and Festival. He gave his debut performance at the Lucerne International Festival with clarinettist Anna Hashimoto. He performs regularly with Anna’s Wind Quintet – The Atea Quintet. Florian curates his own start-up music festival in Bucharest, The Hoinar Festival – a project centered on education, and helping young pianists early in their development. As part of this series, he has performed with soprano Sarah Gabriel and pianist Daria Tudor, and has given illustrative talks with tutor Iain Lane from the Study Centre of St Alban’s Abbey.
Florian has been generously supported by the Rațiu Family Foundation and held the 2010/2011 Enescu Scholarship awarded by the Romanian Cultural Institute in London and the 2012/2013 Roy King Scholarship at the Academy. His postgraduate studies were supported by the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund and the Tillett Trust and he was awarded the Silver Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Performances by Florian have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM in the UK, on Romanian radio and television (SRR and TVR), RTS in Switzerland, RTE Lyric in Ireland, France Musique, and Südwestrundfunk (SWR2) and Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR-Klassik) in Germany. His second solo CD will be produced by the SRR, the Romanian national radio broadcaster, who are also the main media partner of Florian’s Hoinar Festival in Bucharest.
Florian’s first solo CD, Following the river: music along the Danube, was released on 5th January 2018 on the Acousence Classics label (ACO-CD 13317).
“The selection of pieces by Bartok, Schubert and Liszt and Romanian composers Sigismund Toduta, Paul Constantinescu and Radu Paladi all call on the folk heritage and music of eastern Europe in works of rich textures, dynamic rhythms, piquant harmonies and simple yet haunting melodies. Schubert’s Hungarian Melody is given a more earthy treatment, with a strong focus on its offbeat rhythms which turns it from a salon piece into a true folk melody. The disc introduces listeners to the varied and intriguing piano music of lesser-known composers Toduta, Constantinescu and Paladi, complemented by well-known works by Liszt. This is a very personal and meaningful selection of music, elegantly presented and masterfully played, with a deep appreciation of and affinity with the folk heritage which lies at the heart of all this music. Highly recommended.”
Review by The Cross-Eyed Pianist piano blog.
In March 2015 Nimbus Records released a CD of chamber and organ works by Sir Nicholas Jackson: Florian accompanies soprano Mary Bevan in recordings of Three Hymns and the song cycle Six Elizabethan Songs (Mary and Florian gave the world premiere of this song cycle in London in 2011).