Susanna Stefani Caetani
Stefano began to study piano at the age of 6 and he maked his first professional appearance when he was 15. After getting his conservatory degree in Florence in 1993 – and a short experience as a session musician with singers such as Raf and Jovanotti – he proved himself in the world of jazz music, performing on stages like the Town Hall in New York , Scala in Milan and Umbria Jazz festival. His collaboration with Enrico Rava, begun in 1996 and never suspended, with whom he has a chance to perform hundreds of concerts and released 13 albums, proves to be essential. Among their most recent works are Tati (2005), The Third Man (2007), and New York Days (2008). During his career he works with musicians like Pat Metheny, Gato Barbieri, Richard Galliano, Sol Gabetta, Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso and Chick Corea, with whom he released the live album Orvieto (2011).
In 1998, conducting the group L’Orchestra del Titanic he payed homage to Italian music from the thirties and forties with Abbassa la tua radio, a concert album featuring Peppe Servillo, Irene Grandi, Marco Parente, Barbara Casini and Roberto Gatto. Among his particularly unconventional works are La gnosi delle fanfole, in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Massimo Altomare, created on texts by Fosco Maraini (1998), Cantata dei Pastori Immobili, Oratorio musicale per quattro voci, created on texts by David Riondino (2004) and the album of Scandinavian songs Gleda (2005). He also takes part in Bodo Rondelli’s album Disperati intellettuali ubriaconi (2002) as artistic director and music arranger, winning the Ciampi prize.
Between 2002 and 2006 he recorded four albums for the French label ‘Label Bleu’: Les Fleures Bleues, Smat Smat, Concertone and I Visionari. 2006 is also the year of Piano Solo (album of the year for the magazine «Musica Jazz»). In 2007 Bollani Carioca came out, an album created in collaboration with the greatest Brazilian artists: in December he will be the second artist, after Antonio Carlos Jobim, to play a grand piano in a Rio de Janeiro favela. In the same year he won the European Jazz Prize and he figured in the American magazine Allaboutjazz in the list of the five best musicians of the year, together with Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins. Among his most recent productions: Big Band (2013); Joy In Spite of Everything (2014); Sheik Yer Zappa (2014), a live album dedicated to Frank Zappa; Arrivano gli alieni (2015), in which he tests himself as a singer-songwriter for the first time; Napoli Trip (2016), with Daniele Sepe, Manu Katché and Jan Bang among the others. He also plays his piano side by side with Italian pop-rock artists such as Irene Grandi, with whom he releases the album Irene Grandi and Stefano Bollani (2012).
As for classical music, he performs as a solo pianist with symphony orchestras (Liepzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala di Milano, Santa Cecilia di Roma, Toronto Symphony Orchestra), conducted by Zubin Mehta, Kristjan Järvi, Daniel Harding, Antonio Pappano and above all by Riccardo Chailly, with whom he records Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in Fa by Gershwin in a cd (2010) that is awarded with the Platinum Disc, with more than 70.000 sold copies. To follow his Concerto in Sol by Maurice Ravel (2012) and in 2013 a live DVD recorded at Scala di Milano with the Concerto in Fa.
His inclination for experimenting beyond music also involves the world of publishing. In 2006, he publishes the novel La sindrome di Brontolo for Baldini Castoldi Dalai, followed by Parliamo di musica (Let’s talk about music, 2013) and Il monello, il guru, l’alchimista e altre storie di musicisti (2015), both of which are edited by Mondadori. As a character, under the name of Paperefano Bolletta, he also appears in the weekly Topolino (Mickey Mouse), of which he is also appointed Ambassador.
On the radio he is a creator and presenter, next to David Riondino and Mirko Guerrini, of the programme Dottor Djembè (Radio Rai 3, 2006-2012), followed by the book Lo Zibaldone del Dottor Djembè (2008) and the special TV show Buonasera Dottor Djembè (Rai 3, 2010). He has been collaborating with Radio 3 as theme writer and piano player since 2009.
As for theatre, he works with Claudio Bisio, Maurizio Crozza, Giuseppe Battiston, Marco Baliani, Banda Osiris, and he writes the music for three shows by Lella Costa (Alice, una meraviglia di paese, Amleto and Ragazze) and for Cristina Pezzoli’s Antigone . He is also a honorary member of the Italian College of Pataphysics, he is co-author and actor of the show La Regina Dada, created with Valentina Cenni in 2016.
On television he is Renzo Arbore’s regular guest in the show Meno siamo meglio stiamo (Rai 1, 2005) and creator, author and presenter of the two editions of Sostiene Bollani (Rai 3, 2011 and 2013), programme with which he introduces jazz music on TV. His most recent project is L’importante è avere un piano (Rai 1, 2016): seven late-evening shows on Rai1 with guests, jamming, and live music.