The Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate pursues a varied career as a chamber musician and vocal coach, working with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. She has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Salzburg, Lisbon, Naples, Ischia, Koscierzyna and Sorrento, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and at the Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. She also cultivates an active interest in historical keyboards, and has performed on a range of original instruments at Finchcocks and Hatchlands.
Described as "an amazingly talented pianist" by the leading Italian magazine Musica, Emma is planning a series of recordings devoted to 20th century Italian vocal chamber music, the last of which is the world-première disc of Shakespeare Sonnets by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the baritone Ashley Riches, which has recently been published by Resonus Classics.
Emma also released L’Infinito for Urania Records with the mezzo-soprano Kamelia Kader: the disc includes works by Respighi, Casella, Alfano and Malipiero, and it has been praised by Classical Music as "a carefully planned treasure-trove of fascinating repertoire, warmly recorded and sympathetically performed".
Emma's second CD with Toccata Classics is the world-première recording of works for cello and piano by the late-Romantic English composer Algernon Ashton with her duo partner, the cellist Evva Mizerska. The disc has been highly praised by critics and rated among the "Best Finds of 2012" by Classical Lost and Found. Their previous CD – the world-première recording of complete works for cello and piano by the contemporary Polish composer Krzysztof Meyer – was placed by William Zagorski of the American Fanfare magazine in his “Top 5” of all the CDs published worldwide in 2009. Future projects include the world-première recording of Stephen Dodgson’s Piano Quintets together with the Tippett Quartet.
Based in London, Emma is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She regularly coaches singers, and is an official accompanist for the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition and the Royal Over-Seas League Competition.
Following her graduation from the S. Pietro a Majella Conservatoire in Naples at the age of only 19 and an Advanced Diploma from the S. Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome, Emma studied in London with Yonty Solomon. She completed her studies with Geoffrey Pratley and Patsy Toh as a scholar at the Royal Academy of Music, from where she was awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in Accompaniment with Distinction. Her many prizes have included the Anglo-Czechoslovak Trust Award, the International Ibla Grand Prize as Distinguished Musician, the Grover Bennett Prize and the AMA Calabria Award. She was also awarded an Italian Literature and Culture degree cum laude from the Federico II University in Naples.