Australian born pianist Natalia Ricci enjoys a successful career as chamber musician, soloist and teacher, having performed and recorded internationally over the past 40 years in the USA, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe including the capitals of London, Paris, Oslo, Prague, Berlin and Madrid.
Natalia has recorded for the BBC, ABC, Canadian, Italian, Norwegian and New Zealand national radios and has also appeared in live concert telecasts in Italy, Norway, Spain and Australia. She has performed at various international music festivals in Canada ( Banff Chamber Music Festival,) Hungary (the International Bartok Festival), Spain (the Gradus International Music Festival and Deia International Festival), UK (the London Objective Music Festival) and Sydney (The Sydney Symphony Contemporary Music Festival, the International Festival of Spanish Music and Dance, Encuentros Españoles and recently, at the 2021 Sydney Festival in a collaboration with the Sydney International Piano Competition. As a collaborative artist, Natalia is especially recognised for her work with string players and has been associate artist to renowned musicians such as Ruggiero Ricci, Leonid Gorokhov, Kolja Blacher and Adelina Oprean.
Natalia joined the permanent staff of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1999 where she has taught in both the Piano and Ensemble departments. In 2009 on invitation, she took up the position of Senior Lecturer in Piano at the University of Auckland, NZ. Since her return to the Sydney Conservatorium, Natalia has been a permanent member of the Piano Unit and in addition, was Coordinator of the Chamber Music Program at SCM for several years, coaching many groups in this program. Natalia received her Senior Lectureship title at the SCM in 2020. As well as her tertiary teaching load, Natalia also leads the Piano Division of the Open Academy Rising Stars, the pre-tertiary SCM program, for gifted young students.
Natalia received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati, USA and her Masters of Music from RNCM in the UK. Her most influential teachers over her years of study were the Russian pianists, Sulamita Aronovsky and Tatiana Nikolayeva, Hungarian pianists Bela Siki and Gyorgy Sebok and the Czech pianist, Jiri Hlinka.
Natalia wrote her Master’s thesis at RNCM, UK, on the piano works of Leos Janácek and over the years she has championed the works of this composer, performing and recording his piano solo and chamber music works in many countries. In more recent years, Natalia’s special research interests have turned to Spanish piano music for which she has long had an abiding passion. In 2013, she founded Encuentros Españoles, a ground-breaking International Festival and Symposium of Spanish Music and Dance, inaugurated with great success at the SCM, featuring concerts, lectures, masterclasses and workshops offered by internationally acclaimed artists and leading scholars in the field of Spanish music and dance. Natalia has mentored and supervised international post-graduate students specialising in the Spanish piano literature who have graduated with first-class honours and awards. She is frequently invited to lecture in Conservatoriums and Universities abroad, interstate and in regional NSW.
Natalia is a dedicated and sought-after teacher whose students have been major prize-winners in such International competitions as: the Sydney International Piano Competition 2021 ( 3rdprize, Best Australian pianist, Elizabethan Trust Overseas Scholarship Award), the 2020 Ananda Sukarlan Piano Competition, Indonesia (1stprize), the 3rd Franz Liszt International Youth Piano Competition, China (1stprize), the International Steps to Mastery Competition, St Petersburg, Russia, (2ndprize, 2017), the Pearl River Kayserberg International Youth Competition, China, (1stprize, 2017), the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition (1st, and 2nd prize-winners, and multiple prizes 2019 and 2017), the Val de Travers International Competition, Switzerland (3rdprize, 2018), the Crescendo International Music Competition, NY (1stprize, 2020) ,the Chopin in Warwel International Piano Competition (1stprize, youngest age division 2019), the ‘First Anhui’ TV Piano Competition, China (1stprize 2017), the Fifth Kawai Asia Piano Competition (1st prize 2017), the 2019 NY ‘Golden Classical Music Awards’(five 1st prizes in various age divisions and overall First prize-winner), the ‘Brussels Grand Prize Virtuoso ’International Music Competition (1st prize-winner Belgium 2019), Gold medals in the 4th Manhattan International Music Competition NY 2019 , the 3rd Berliner International Music Competition 2019 and the First Vienna International Music Competition 2019, Semi-Finalist in the 19th‘Tchaikovsky Nutcracker International Television Contest for Young Musicians, Moscow (2018).Additionally, Natalia’s students have also won many first prizes in national competitions including the major Kawai Piano Award of the Sydney Eisteddfod, (2019, 2021) , the SE Concerto Award (2019) and the KPO Concerto Competition (2017), the Theme and Variations Foundation Awards (2017 & 2018) Emerging Artists Awards (2018 and 2019) and the Sydney Conservatorium Keyboard Concerto Competition (2019 and 2020). Natalia’s students have also been invited to play at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.
She is frequently invited to give masterclasses abroad, for example at the Universidad Nacional in Bogota, Colombia (Nov 2019) and the 2021 International Grand Music Festival in Indonesia, adjudicate in local and international piano competitions such as the Sydney Eisteddfod, Southern Highland International Piano Competition, the pre-selection panels for the Lev Vlassenko Competition and Wallace National Piano Competition, NZ, and the Chopin in Wavel International Piano Competition in Krakow, Poland.