“Fury, demonically charged and technically staggering. Here is big piano playing in its most unfettered and dangerous state. What a performance!” – Gramophone
“He takes his wonderful fingers for granted and he is a master of every period or style represented…the pieces sing. I have no hesitation calling him an important pianist..” – Harold Schonberg
Was born in Salento in 1968 and began studying piano there under Vittoria De Donno. He went on to study composition and orchestration with Jacques Castérède in Paris, where he also attended a number of courses at the IRCAM. Libetta has performed Beethoven’s thirty-two Sonatas (1993-1994) and Godowsky’s fifty-three Studies on Chopin’s Études (Galatina, 1990; Milan, 1994-1995; and Naples, 1995), described by Cantù as a “monster corpus that had to wait eighty years for its world première performance” (Il Giornale, 15 March 1994).
Jeremy Nicholas, Godowsky’s biographer, said of Libetta’s performance of these Studies: “Stunning. I never thought I’d hear such mesmerizing performances of these pieces in concert.” (International Piano Quarterly, Spring 1999). In 1993 Libetta gave the Italian première of L’Escalier du Diable by Gyorgy Ligeti, who praised his reading of the work as “absolutely gorgeous”. At the thirteenth International Festival in Alicante, Spain, Libetta gave the world première performance of the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Franco Oppo.
Libetta has given solo performances of works by Chopin at La Scala in Milan, where he has also accompanied the string trio of the resident orchestra in performances of works by Mozart and Mahler. He has been a regular performer at the Milan Conservatoire and has given cycles of the complete works of Chopin in Southern Italy. During the last year, Libetta has made his debuts in Japan (recitals in Tokyo and Osaka) and the United States (a recital at the Miami International Piano Festival of Discovery) to great acclaim.
He performed and recorded the cycle of all 32 Beethoven’s Sonatas (1993/4), and the first performance of what for decades had been regarded as an unperformable “corpus monstre”: the 53 Studies by Godowsky based on the 27 Studies by Chopin (1990, repeated in 1994/95 and 2006).
His DVD with the recording of La Roque d’Anthéron recital, filmed by Bruno Monsaingeon, was awarded the Diapason d’Or and the CHOC de Le Monde de la Musique. Among his recordings: various works of Chopin and Schumann, the Diabelli Variations by Beethoven, the complete set of Liszt’s transcriptions from Wagner operas, as well as works by Debussy, Brahms, Ravel and Mozart. His compact discs and videos are published by V.A.I. (U.S.A.) and Nireo (www.nireo.it).
He has recorded for the Italian Agorà and Scandinavian Promusica labels, and also conducts, composes (his three act opera Iopa is still in progress, but excerpts have been performed at the Villa Medici in Rome, Lecce and Catania), and gives recitals on original instruments.
Mr. Libetta is a recipient of support of Patrons of Exceptional Artists. His appearance in the Third Annual Miami International Piano Festival of Discovery marked his Debut in the US.