The Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate enjoys a demanding career as a piano accompanist and chamber musician, working with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. She has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Salzburg, Lisbon, Naples, Ischia, Koscierzyna and Sorrento, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and at the Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. She also cultivates an active interest in historical keyboards, and has performed and recorded on a range of original instruments at Finchcocks and Hatchlands.
Described as "an amazingly talented pianist" by the leading Italian magazine Musica, Emma has recently released the first of two volumes of Mozart's complete piano duets on original fortepianos with Julian Perkins for Resonus Classics. This album was recorded on two original instruments forming part of the Richard Burnett Heritage Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments, and represents the final recording made at Finchcocks Musical Museum.
A keen advocate of contemporary music, Emma has also released two discs devoted to works by Stephen Dodgson for Toccata Classics: world-première recordings of his cello and piano music with Evva Mizerska, and his piano quintets with the Tippett Quartet. The quintets disc has just been named a Musicweb International Recording Of The Year 2017.
She is also releasing a series of recordings devoted to 20th century Italian vocal chamber music, the latest of which is the world-première disc of Shakespeare Sonnets by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the BBC New Generation Artist Ashley Riches for Resonus Classics. Her previous disc was L’Infinito: a musical journey through 20th century Italian songs with the mezzo-soprano Kamelia Kader, including works by Respighi, Casella, Alfano and Malipiero.
Emma's discography also includes the world-première recording of works for cello and piano by the late-Romantic English composer Algernon Ashton with Evva Mizerska for Toccata Classics. The disc has been highly praised by critics and rated among the ‘Best Finds of 2012’ by Classical Lost and Found. Their previous CD – the world-première recording of complete works for cello and piano by the contemporary Polish composer Krzysztof Meyer – was placed by William Zagorski of the American magazine Fanfare in his “Top 5” of all the CDs published worldwide in 2009.
Future plans include the world-première recording of songs by Ildebrando Pizzetti with the mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp for Resonus Classics.
Based in London, Emma is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and a staff coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Following her graduation from the S. Pietro a Majella Conservatoire in Naples and an Advanced Diploma from the S. Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome, Emma studied in London with Yonty Solomon. She completed her studies with Geoffrey Pratley as a scholar at the Royal Academy of Music, from where she graduated with distinction. She was also awarded an Italian Literature and Culture degree cum laude from the Federico II University in Naples.