We regret to share news of the death of Aldo Ciccolini, the French-Italian pianist who commanded classical repertoire on EMI in the 1960s and 70s. A Neapolitan of aristocratic family, he was reduced to playing in bars after the War until a 1949 Long-Thibaud competition win in Paris turned his life around.
He specialised first in the romantic repertoire of Saint-Saens, before covering most other French composers. Satie was a personal favourite.
Walter Legge engaged him as accompanist to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and he went on to record the complete sonatas of Beethoven and Mozart for EMI. An excellent teacher, his students included Thibaudet, Angelich, Pizarro and Libetta.
He was a byword for elegance, a pianist of the golden age.