Christopher Falzone, (1985 - 2014) was an award-winning American classical pianist and composer. He had won numerous accolades including Martha Argerich’s Virtuosos of the Future (2009) and the Blanche Selva (2010).
A child music prodigy, Falzone was born on April 14, 1985, in Richmond, Virginia. He grew up in Chesterfield County, VA, where he graduated from Monacan High School as Salutatorian of his class.
Growing up, he was very interested in poetry and classical music; he began studying piano at the age of four. His musical talent was recognized and he was already composing music by the time he was six-years-old. He came in the spotlight in 1994, at the age of nine, when he won the national competition in Walt Disney's Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, for his rendition of Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto. He was the youngest contestant. In an interview with WTVR CBS 6, after winning the title, he said:
I was really surprised because there are all these eleven and twelve-year-olds and I thought that I had no chance to win the first place.
In his short, but illustrious career, he performed at several prestigious venues including the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Banff Music Festival, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Swiss Embassy, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Ravinia Festival. He also performed regularly in the United States under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and Leonard Slatkin in Chicago. He was a member of the Favrile Quartet, which performed at Carnegie Hall in 2001 after being selected by Isaac Stern to participate in a three-week workshop, and in 2002, his ensemble, the Orion Trio, received first prize in the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Internationally, he had performed in Switzerland, at the Royal Dublin Society in Ireland, at the Opéra Bastille and Bouffes du Nord in Paris, in Italy (Bolzano, Sulmona, Pinerollo, Varallo Sesia), in Spain, and in Romania.
Davidson Fellow, Davidson Institute, 2002
Gilmore Young Artist Award, 2004
Enesco Award, 2007
Sulmona and Valsesia competitions, Italy, 2008
Martha Argerich Competition Award, Switzerland, 2009
International Piano Competition Emil Gilels Prize, Ukraine, 2009.
International Piano Competition Ettore Pozzoli Seregno Prize, Italy, 2009.
Orléans International Piano Competition, 2010
Concorso Pianistico Internazionale, Italy 2012
Falzone's burgeoning international career was cut short when he committed suicide on 21 October 2014, in Geneva. He was 29.