British/Romanian pianist Florian Mitrea was born in Bucharest but has been based in the UK since 2008 when his early passion for the piano led him to a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Florian 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. In January 2018 he was a finalist in China at the inaugural International Music Competition Harbin, and in June had double success at the New York Piano Festival and Competition where he was the winner (officially second prize, no first prize being awarded) and also received the Special Prize for Virtuoso Performance. In 2017 Florian was a double laureate at the Scottish International Piano Competition, awarded second prize overall and the Glasgow UNESCO City of Music Prize for the best performance of the commissioned piece. In the previous year Florian was joint winner of the Verona International Piano Competition and was awarded second prize in the major biennial James Mottram International Piano Competition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. This followed success in 2015 when he was a finalist (fourth prize and chamber music award) at the Hamamatsu Piano Competition and earlier was awarded second prizes at both the Santa Cecilia Competition in Porto, and the Premio Città di Imola at the Imola Academy. In 2014 Florian won third prize and the Classical Concerto Prize at the ARD International Competition in Munich, and first prize at Lagny-sur-Marne. Previous prizes include first prizes at the Panmusica 2010 Vienna International Piano Competition, the Beethoven 2010, and Sheepdrove 2011 Intercollegiate Competitions in the United Kingdom. Earlier prizes include several first prizes in the Romanian Music Olympics and the Ada Ulubeanu Piano Competition, and third prize in the Jeunesses Musicales International Competition.
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. His duo with cellist Alex Rolton won the Brahms RAM Competition and they were invited to perform at Colston Hall, Bristol and Academy Festivals. His Trio Cardinale won the Cavatina Intercollegiate Piano Trio Competition in 2013. As a SoNoRo Chamber Music Festival scholar, Florian has performed alongside Alexander Sitkovetsky, David Cohen, Jan-Erik Gustaffson and Nabil Shehata, among others.
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), France Musique, and Südwestrundfunk (SWR2) and Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR-Klassik) in Germany.
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).