Organist Alessandro Pittorino
Hailed as "Australia's Wunderkind Organist" by ABC TV, Alessandro Pittorino is increasingly becoming one of the most exciting, innovative and invigorating organists of his generation. We were able to sit down with Alessandro recently to chat in anticipation of his upcoming performance alongside WA Youth Orchestra's Evolution Concert happening on the 26th of September here at the Hall.
Pittorino is a Masters graduate of The Juilliard School where he studied with GRAMMY award-winning organist Paul Jacobs, and is the only Australian organist to have graduated from the famed performing arts school. Heralded by Germany’s BR-Klassik as an “Extraordinary young organist” Pittorino has performed extensively throughout the USA and Australia, most notable at NYC’s Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, San Diego’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, The Resonant Bodies Festival at Carriageworks in Sydney, The Melbourne Town Hall, and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Alessandro with be performing as a guest artist with WA Youth Orchestra during their Evolution performance on Saturday 26 September, 7:30pm.
Tell me a bit about your background?
I am 26 years old, born and raised right here in Perth, WA. I was first interested in the organ after hearing it played at the age of 5 in Fremantle. My passion for music would later turn to study, and I was very fortunate to have two fine teachers here in WA; Dominic Perissinotto (St Patrick’s Basilica, Fremantle), and Annette Georke (UWA). After doing my undergrad in organ performance at UWA, I was honoured and humbled to be the first Australian organist to be accepted at The Juilliard School in NYC, where I studied with truly one of the great musical genius’ of our time, Mr. Paul Jacobs (the first organist to ever win a Grammy Award for a solo recording). I then spent about 2 ½ years living and working in the USA, based in Manhattan. I’ve since returned to Australia where I have been doing a number of performance projects here in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne. I had plans for performances this year in the USA and Europe, but obviously the pandemic has put a halt to all those plans.
As you know we have an amazing organ here at the Perth Concert Hall - have you played on it before?
Yes, the PCH Organ and I go way back to my high school days, and I think there was a point back then that I was the only one playing it! The concert hall staff were so accommodating and encouraging letting this ambitious high schooler go up and have ample time with the PCH organ - and that has left a lasting impact on me. Many say the beautiful acoustics make the PCH world-class - I say it is the incredible staff at PCH that make it a truly world-class venue. More recently, I performed a going away concert there in 2015, just before I left Perth for Juilliard. It was the first solo organ concert at PCH in a long time, and it was a hoot (if I do say so myself)! And just last year I was the organ soloist for WASO’s performance of the “Organ Symphony” by Saint-Saens, which was recently broadcasted again ABC Classic FM not so long ago!
Tell me a bit about the repertoire you're playing with WAYO?
I am very excited to be reprising my role as organ soloist for the Organ Symphony, this time with some of WA’s brightest young musicians. I will also be starting the concert with a special performance of J. S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 - a rare solo outing for the PCH organ. I will be putting the organ through its paces with a truly unique rendition of this well loved piece, leaving no stone unturned - or in this case - no pipe unblown!
Check out a recording of J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue - click here
More information on Alessandro! click here