Filippo Gorini

Wednesday 20 March 2019 - Auditorium

8.30 p.m.

As part of the exhibition "The Courtauld Collection: A Vision for impressionism", the Foundation invites the young pianist Filippo Gorini for a recital in honor of the remarkable series of concerts that Elizabeth Courtauld organized with the pianist Artur Schnabel in the 1920s.


Elizabeth Courtauld (1875-1931), or ‘Lil’ as she was known, shared her husband’s love of art. In fact, it was she who, in 1922, acquired the first two modern paintings to enter their collection. However, Lil’s greatest passion was music. Just as Samuel championed Impressionism, Elizabeth believed deeply in the public importance of great classical music, and she too was prepared to challenge the tastes and habits of the establishment to achieve her goals.


In the 1920s the Courtaulds’ magnificent London residence, Home House, was a showcase for music and art: ‘one of the most cultured and tasteful households, presided over by one of London’s most gracious hostesses’, in the words of one contemporary. In 1927, Elizabeth invited the celebrated Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel (1882-1951) to give a recital at Home House, initiating a warm and productive friendship. Schnabel’s experience of the Volksbühne, the workers’ concert societies in Germany, was an inspiration for Lil and in 1929 she launched the Concert Club. Based on a subscription model, its purpose was straightforward: ‘The object of this Club is to stimulate interest in music, and to obtain a wide and stable audience, drawn from lovers of music for whom the usual prices have been too high.’

Elizabeth Courtauld declared that she did not want artists to be ‘paralysed by the stupidity of fashionable audiences.’ Consequently, she and her music director, Malcolm Sargent, selected programmes that included lesser-known and new work, and they always sought to present the very best international conductors and soloists. Lil was personally responsible for many of these relationships. Featuring Schnabel, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter and others, the Concert Club’s opening season was a triumph and the press celebrated the beginning of ‘a new chapter in the history of music-making.’  The musical establishment was thrown into disarray by the success of the Concert Club and Elizabeth Courtauld was denounced for her perceived favouritism of foreign musicians. She was unmoved, responding with words later echoed in her husband appreciation of painting: ‘[Music] is the purest form of art, and it is supranational.’


Following a long illness, Elizabeth Courtauld died in December 1931. Her husband maintained the Concert Club until 1940 by which time a total of 132 Courtauld-Sargent concerts had been presented. These included some of the most remarkable musical performances given in London before the War. The first Courtauld-Sargent concert to take place after Elizabeth’s death was Artur Schnabel playing Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. This was one of Samuel Courtauld’s favourite pieces of music and he attended the performance, which became a tribute to his wife. Prompted by the concert, he wrote poignantly to his daughter the following day: ‘I feel so strongly that Lil has not gone far away or for long’.


Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen

Head of the Courtauld Gallery


Italian pianist Filippo Gorini is praised for his “rare intellect, temperament…and vivid imagination”. In 2015 he received both the first and audience prizes at the Telekom-Beethoven Competition Bonn, and later in May 2018 the prestigious award “Una vita per la musica - Giovani” of the “La Fenice” Theatre; he has also received the Beethoven-Ring Prize at the Beethovenfest, Bonn (2017), the award of the “Young Euro Classic” Festival in Berlin (2016), and First Prize at the “Neuhaus Competition” of the Moscow Conservatory (2013)


Filippo’s debut disc featuring Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, released in August 2017 on Alpha Classics, has garnered critical acclaim, including a Diapason d'Or Award and stellar reviews on The Guardian, BBC Music Magazine, Le Monde, Gramophone and more.


During the upcoming season, Filippo will perform in Canada and the US as well as numerous important recitals throughout Europe. He will also perform with the Vlaanderen Orkester (Beethoven Third Concerto), Orchestra Verdi of Milan (Brahms Second Concerto) and Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana (Beethoven First Concerto).


His concert appearances in Europe have drawn unanimous acclaim. He has performed on many prestigious stages such as the Konzerthaus Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Laeiszhalle and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Paris Philharmonie, Società del Quartetto di Milano, Flagey Studio Brussels, Royal Academy of Music London, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Beethovenhalle Bonn, and Sale Apollinee at Teatro La Fenice in Venice. Alongside his solo career, Filippo continues to perform as a chamber musician: in 2016 he performed at “Chamber Music Connects the World” in Kronberg, with Steven Isserlis, and more recently with Marc Bouchkov at the Munich Reithalle. He has collaborated also with the famous actor Klaus Maria Brandauer.

His concerts and CD recording have been broadcast by prestigious radio stations in Europe, such as Radio3 and RadioClassica in Italy, Deutsche Welle and NDR in Germany, RTÉ Lyric FM in Ireland, Radio2 in Poland. He has performed with orchestras such as Klassiches Philharmonisches Orchester and Beethoven Orchester of Bonn, Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern, Westdeutsche Sinfonia, Haydn Orchester Bozen, Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, National Slovak Philharmonic, Gyeonggi Philharmonic, with conductors Daejin Kim, Min Chung, Heribert Beissel, and many more.

After graduating with honours from the Donizetti Conservatory in Bergamo, and completing a Postgraduate Course at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Filippo continues his studies with Maria Grazia Bellocchio and Pavel Gililov, and is mentored by Alfred Brendel. He is a scholarship recipient of the Lichtenstein Music Academy.


Crédit photo : © Mat Hennek

The essential

Wednesday 20 March 2019
8.30 p.m. - Auditorium


  • - Full price €25.00
  • - Member price €15.00


Ludwig van Beethoven
Variations Diabelli pour piano seul

Become member

Make the Fondation one of your favorite places!
Skip-the-line pass, exhibition previews, invitations, dedicated phone line…
Discover our Y-pass, Family-Pass, and Collector membership programmes.