Albion Polka Opus 102 Johann Strauss (II) Download 'Albion Polka Opus 102' on iTunes
Through his piano compositions, concerts and film soundtracks, Italian Ludovico Einaudi has become one of the world's most loved pianists and composers. But who is he? Here are 10 fascinating facts.
Ludovico Einaudi was born in Turin, Italy on 23 November 1955. When he was a child, his mother played the piano to him. He started writing his own music as a teenager, firstly composing for folk guitar.
Einaudi began his musical training at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, achieving a diploma in composition in 1982. He studied with the avant garde composer Luciano Berio - pictured in 1966 - who taught Einaudi ‘a very open way of thinking about music.’
He spent several years composing in a traditional way, including several chamber and orchestral compositions. His music was performed at venues such as La Scala Milan, the Tanglewood Festival and the Lincoln Center.
In the mid-1980s Einaudi began to compose music for dance and multimedia works and later for solo piano. He subsequently scored a number of Italian films, winning the 'Grolla d'oro' for best soundtrack in 1996.
In 2010 Einaudi wrote the music for the trailer for 'Black Swan', pictured, starring Natalie Portman. His piece, 'Due Tramonti' was featured in the film 'I'm Still Here' (2010), directed by Casey Affleck. Einaudi music was also used in the TV drama 'This Is England 86'.
Einaudi released his first solo piano album, 'Le Onde' in 1996 on BMG. The album is inspired by the novel 'The Waves' by Virginia Woolf, and enjoyed huge commercial success, particularly in Italy and the UK.
Einaudi's next solo piano release, 'I Giorni' (2001), was inspired by his travels in Africa. The title track received a lot of interest when radio DJ Greg James mentioned on air that he found the piece therapeutic when he was studying. As a result, the track made it into the UK Singles Chart at number 32.
The October 2009 album, 'Nightbook' saw Einaudi take a new direction with his music as he incorporated synthesized sounds alongside his solo piano playing. The album was conceived and recorded in response to the German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, as well as for an exhibition space where Einaudi performed for a gallery opening for Kiefer.
Einaudi's extraoardinary success in China prompted the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing - one of the country's most prestigious cultural institution - to commission a composition dedicated to environmental issues. The piece, titled 'Wetlands' was premièred on 5 June 2013, World Environment Day.
On 17 September 17 2013, Einaudi performed songs from his album, 'In a Time Lapse', together with a new ensemble, at the annual iTunes Festival held at the Roundhouse in London. The group intimately rehearsed the performance in the barn of Einaudi's house.