Ronaldo Rolim

July 14, 2021, 12:15 pm

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Brazilian pianist Ronaldo Rolim performs works of Debussy, Poulenc, Fauré, and Ravel on this Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert live from the Cultural Center.

With “a special ability to present touching interpretations” (El Norte), Brazilian pianist Ronaldo Rolim is a prominent figure among the newest generation of outstanding musicians. Acclaimed for his “consummate elegance” (New York Concert Review) and “mastery of phrasing, agogic accents, and dynamics” (Oberbaselbieter Zeitung), he has performed extensively over four continents, in such venues such as Carnegie Hall, Zurich’s Tonhalle, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Great Hall of the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. He is a winner of Astral’s 2017 National Auditions. He has also captured top prizes at numerous international competitions, including the James Mottram, Bösendorfer, San Marino, Lyon, and Teresa Carreño competition, as well as the Concours Géza Anda in Zurich. In 2019, Mr. Rolim released his latest album on Odradek Records, Szymanowski – The Wartime Triptychs, devoted to the programmatic works the Polish composer wrote during World War I. The Diapason magazine considers Mr. Rolim “an ideal guide to [Szymanowski’s] magic world”, whereas the Classica magazine hails his “clear but thunderous pianism”. The topic was extensively discussed in Mr. Rolim’s doctoral thesis, completed in 2016 at Yale University.

This season, Mr. Rolim celebrates Beethoven’s 250th anniversary of birth with performances of the Emperor Concerto with the Louisiana Philharmonic, plus recitals featuring several of the piano sonatas in the U.S., Brazil and Europe. Recent guest soloist performances include Brahms’ Concerto No. 1 with the Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella, Debussy’s Fantaisie with the Minas Gerais Philharmonic in Brazil, and a German tour of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with Ukraine’s Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra. Other recent performances include both the Grieg and Schumann concerti at the Septembre Musical Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, the Chausson Concerto with the São Paulo String Quartet, and an appearance in Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety in the Bernstein Centenary Festival hosted by the Minas Gerais Philharmonic. ​

Mr. Rolim has performed with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Concerto Budapest, Phoenix Symphony, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as many of Brazil’s foremost ensembles. A frequent presence at international music festivals, he has been featured in solo recitals and chamber music performances at Ravinia, Rio Folle Journée, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Musikdorf Ernen, Académie Musicale de Villecroze, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, and the Lake George Music Festival. His performances have been featured in radio broadcasts in Brazil (Radios MEC and Cultura), the U.S. (WQXR New York, WBJC Baltimore and Spokane Public Radio), and Europe (Radios SWR 2, BBC 3, Rai 3, and France Musique). He has also been featured in several television programs in his home country, including Brasil Piano Solo, a series of recitals dedicated exclusively to Brazilian music, presented by the TV Cultura Channel. He has also participated in the documentary Magda Tagliaferro: A World Inside The Piano, in which he performed music of Scriabin.

​A passionate advocate of chamber music, Mr. Rolim is the founding member of Trio Appassionata, formed in 2007 with violinist Lydia Chernicoff and cellist Andrea Casarrubios. Some of the ensemble’s recent projects include tours of Brazil and China, and the release of its debut album, gone into night are all the eyes, for Odradek Records. Featuring piano trios by American composers, Gramophone said the disc “deserves automatic respect”, presenting “music-making as impressive and dangerous as a granite cliff” (International Record Review). Mr. Rolim greatly enjoys working with diverse chamber musicians, and has performed with the Aizuri, Jasper, Guimarães and São Paulo string quartets, and members of Ensemble Connect, the Baltimore Symphony, the Brazilian Symphony, and Bronx Arts Ensemble. ​

Ronaldo Rolim began musical studies with his mother, Miriam Corrêa, and gave his first public performance at the age of four. He was admitted to the Magda Tagliaferro School in São Paulo as a student of Zilda Candida dos Santos and Armando Fava Filho. After winning the Nelson Freire and the Magda Tagliaferro national piano competitions at the age of 18, he moved to the U.S., where he studied with Flavio Varani at Oakland University (Michigan), Benjamin Pasternack at the Peabody Conservatory, and Boris Berman at the Yale School of Music. 

Biography courtesy of the artist’s website.


Nocturne No. 1 in C Major, by Francis Poulenc

Ballade, L. 70, by Claude Debussy

Impromptu No. 2 in F minor, Op.31, by Gabriel Fauré

Le Tombeau de Couperin, by Maurice Ravel