Photo by Manuel Cicchetti

Marcello Bonanno is an Italian pianist and composer specialized in instrumental music, mainly for piano solo or ensemble with piano.  

His music is subtle and complex, yet has a wide appeal. His language spans across the 20th century European avant-garde, with particular attention to spectralism and post-minimalism, as well as cross-references to jazz harmony and phrasing. Marcello has also developed a style that employs a rich polyphony and polyrhythm on acoustic instruments traditionally played with no electronic effects or over-recording, based on the overlapping tracks typical of commercial electronic music: a kind of man-made electronics as a reflection on the man-machine relationship. Thematic elements disguised as easy listening soon become complicated to aberration. Many elements in the compositions are inspired to mathematical or physics principles. Each composition is a message derived from a reflection the author wants to transmit to the audience with respect, truthfulness, and purity in a quest for beauty.

Eclectic and versatile also as a performer, in his concerts Marcello mixes a variety of repertoires together with personal compositions. He has played in duo with cellist Giovanni Sollima, executing both their own compositions and pieces by Boccherini, Costanzi, Nirvana, Hendrix and more; performed Vivaldi’s “Four seasons” on the harpsichord together with the first violin in the La Scala Theatre Orchestra Francesco De Angelis; played in jazz bands with symphonic orchestra, took part in “World Music” bands playing in several places of the European world music circuits (Berlin, Paris, Berne, Geneva, Florence and more).

He has cooperated with a number of instrumentalists from prestigious European orchestras (NDR, Ulster Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Santa Cecilia, Florence Opera), among whom clarinetists Davide Bandieri (Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne, Lucerne Festival, Mahler Chamber Orchestra), for whom he has composed and recorded the duo “Spettri” (over Beethoven's “Ghosts” trio), and Calogero Palermo (Roma Opera Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de France) with whom he recorded, in trio with Sollima, the soundtrack of “Il Bell’Antonio” for the RAI.

Marcello Bonanno was born in Erice (Sicily), studied first in Palermo at the Conservatory “Vincenzo Bellini” where he took his Piano, Composition and Orchestral Conducting  diplomas. He then studied in Milan under Bruno Canino and at the Scala Academy. He also attended piano master-classes with Aldo Ciccolini, Giuseppe La Licata, Sviatslav Shlakta, Claudius Tanski and sat in at Orchestra Conduction lessons at the Chigiana Academy of Siena.

Marcello has played and has had work performed at a number of events and organizations, such as the Spoleto’s Festival dei Due Mondi, Associazione Musicale Lucchese, MITO Settembre Musica Milano, Amici della Musica di Cagliari, Casa della Musica di Parma, Orchestra Filarmonica di Catania, Festival Taormina Arte, Fondazione per la Musica Jazz The Brass Group di Palermo, PianoCity Milano, Circolo Lirico Bolognese, Ente Luglio Musicale Trapanese, Amici della Musica di Caltanissetta, Balarm Saxophone Festival, Conservatory of Mainz, etc.  He has played in the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana and in the Bologna Opera House Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has been a rehearsal pianist for some Deutsche Grammophon recordings with Placido Domingo and the Wiener Philharmoniker at Musikverein in Vienna, as well as with the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor at the Manzoni Auditorium in Bologna and the Minnesota University at Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (USA).

He is published by Bérben Editions, Ancona (Italy); Periferia Sheet Music, Barcelona (Spain); Almendra Editions, Palermo (Italy). He has recorded for Verso, Deja Vu Records and Rai Trade.

He lives in Milan.