Massimo Mercelli has been working during his career with the most interesting composers of our time. Star composers like Penderecki, Gubaidulina, Glass, Nyman, Bacalov, Morricone, Galliano, Sollima have written new works specially for him and his instrument and/or performed with him on stage, as for the case of Penderecki with whom Massimo has shared a common artistic path for more than 20 years. He is perhaps the only italian instrumentalist who has developed an unique and special relationship with many international musicians, institutions and countries (like China where he officially works to continue to develop their music relationship with Italy), all this mainly thanks to his original and courageous vision of what music should represent today in our society.
Massimo is the founder and artistic director of the Emilia Romagna Festival. Since 2001 he has been a member of the board of counseling of the European Festivals Association (EFA) and on April 2011 he was appointed their Vice President until May 2017.
Mercelli studied flute with the famous flutists André Jaunet and Maxence Larrieu. At just nineteen years old, he became principal flute at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, won the Prize Francesco Cilea, the "Giornate Musicali" International Competition and the Stresa International Competition.
He has performed as soloist in some of the world most prestigious concert halls like Carnegie Hall, Herkulessaal, Gasteig, Berlin Philharmonic , NCPA Beijing, Teatro Colon, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Turin Auditorium RAI, Musikverein Wien, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Victoria Hall, , San Martin in the Fields, Wigmore Hall, Rome Parco della Musica, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Hall , Moscow Čajkovskij Hall, in Festivals like MiTo Festival, Ljubljana, Berlino, Santander, Vilnius, San Pietroburgo, Bonn, Rheingau, Jerusalem, Warsaw, performing with artists as Yuri Bashmet, Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, Massimo Quarta, Ennio Morricone, Luis Bacalov, Peter-Lukas Graf, Maxence Larrieu, Aurèle Nicolet, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Ramin Bahrami, Albrecht Mayer, Gabor Boldowsky, Jiri Belohlavek, Federico Mondelci, Jan Latham-Koenig, Catherine Spaak, John Malkovich, Susanna Mildonian and with orchestras like Berliner Philharmoniker, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Filarmonica del Teatro Regio di Torino, Moscow Soloists, Filarmonica Toscanini, Opera di Roma, Wiener Symphoniker, Cameristi del Teatro alla Scala, Prague Philharmonia, Filarmonica di San Pietroburgo, i Virtuosi Italiani, Salzburg Soloists, Moscow Chamber Orchestra,I Solisti Aquilani, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, I Musici, i Solisti Veneti etc.
Among many concerts highlights we have to quote here that Massimo has performed with Yuri Bashmet and Gidon Kremer at the Berliner Philharmonie with the Berliner Philharmoniker, that in September 2006 he performed at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium of the United Nations and had toured Europe twice with “I Virtuosi Italiani” under Krzysztof Penderecki's batoon, playing with him, his Sinfonietta for flute and strings. Recently Massimo has performed in London at the Wigmore Hall and in Salzburg at the Mozarteum and played the world premiere of Philip Glass’s composition “Façades” for flute and piano, with the composer at the piano.
Massimo has also world premiered the new Cantata “Vuoto d’Anima Piena” by Ennio Morricone, under the baton of the composer himself, has been guest artist at the Penderecki 75 years anniversary Festival at the Warsaw Philharmonic, at the Penderecki 85 anniversary concert tribute and has world premièred the concert for flute and orchestra by Michael Nyman, written and dedicated to him by the composer. Not to forget to mention here, also the various performances also at Teatro alla Scala di Milano, of the piece "Warum" a concert for flute and orchestra written for him by Sofia Gubaidulina. Among his new commitments, we should also point out the world premiere of “Jade Concerto”written for him by Richard Galliano and the new concerto by David Chapela.
In 2012 Orange Mountain Record has released “Massimo Mercelli performed Philip Glass” CD with Philip Glass’s chamber music for flute.
In the last 5 years, Decca has released two cds with Massimo, Bach's Sonatas and another called Bach Sanssouci, both of them with the great pianist and Bach specialist, Ramin Bahrami
As a pedagogue, Massimo has given Masterclasses in Norges Musikkhøgskole in Oslo, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Cleveland Institute of Music (USA), Akron University (USA), Trinity College of Music (UK), Mannes School of New York, Singapore Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory (USA), Bangkok University, North Carolina University, Universitad of Santiago (Chile), Taiwan University, Matan Project –Tel Aviv and Rostropovich Foundation (Vilnius, Lithuania).
Mercelli has been a jury member of the following international competitions: International Competition of Geneva; Concours de Flute Jean-Pierre Rampal – Concours Internationaux de la Ville de Paris, Concert Artist Guild of New York (USA), Fischoff Chamber Music Competition of South Bend (USA) Beijing Flute competition (China).
For his work as Music Promoter, Massimo has been awarded by the European Commissioner for Culture JAN FIGEL and by the French Deputy Minister for Culture (Prague University and Paris, Centre Pompidou).