Tri-C ’s Classical Piano Series Feature: Lisa de la Salle

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By Benjamin Jakubowski

Right before the end of Spring Break, the Tri-C Classical Piano Series featured performer Lisa de la Salle at CMA’s Gartner Auditorium. Salle is a young pianist hailing from France, who has a masterful talent of the piano and specializes in Classical music.

Her performance marked her first debut in Cleveland. Salle is 29 years old but gained her first international recognition at age sixteen, partially thanks to Gramophone Magazine.

She started piano at 4 years of age and then gave a live performance on Radio-France at 9 years. At thirteen years, she performed in the Louvre before going on tour with Orchestre National d’Ile de France. Simply put, Salle has been perfecting her craft for years, while assiduously sharing her talents with the world. She has traveled and played in London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo, Baltimore, Detroit, Quebec, and elsewhere- all with many well-known musical ensembles.

One of the great titles she has gained over the years came from performing with Fabio Luisi and London Symphony Orchestra: she was offered the position to become the first Artist- in -Residence of the Zurich Opera. This offer came from Luisi, for he was and is the general music director of the Zurich Opera. After spending some time with the Opera, she moved on. Salle has concluded her tour of North America and returned to Paris to perform at Salle Gaveau on April 11th.

The theater she will be performing in is named after Gaveau, one of the (three) largest piano manufactures in France. Salle captivates her audience by silence then simply by drawing them out of their own thoughts and into the music she produces. Emanuela Friscioni, the creator of the Classical Tri-C Pianist Series, also speaks highly of Salle’s ability to captivate audiences:

“Her elegant and passionate playing has conquered audiences around the globe,” says Friscioni. Even at her performance, the members of the audience would dare not even cough or clear their throats.

The Classical Tri-C Pianist Series has been running for eleven years now, and Tri-C gives credit to the talented, Emanula Friscioni. Friscioni is a pianist and a teacher, as well as an active community member.

Friscioni is a pianist from Italy. She experienced a similar start as Salle did. Starting piano at age 5, and making a debut at 9 years, she performed all over Europe, and in the USA in 2000 (with the Cleveland Orchestra Violinist Gino Raffaelli). Friscioni found Cleveland to be an amazing town. She is impressed with the world-class Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland International Piano Competition, various chamber music series, and Playhouse Square’s Broadway shows. But she saw that she could offer more to Cleveland and worked to create a Classical piano series.

Working with Tri-C, Friscioni funded an academy of Classical piano performance (which later grew into the entire Creative Arts Academy of Tri-C) and created the Classical Tri-C Pianist Series. Using her contacts established from her years of touring, Friscioni is able to book well-known pianists for the series. When creating the Series, she made free for the public and has maintained that over the years. Meaning that students would not have to drop a cent to attend to see wonderfully skilled musicians perform.

The Classical Tri-C Pianist Series’ next performance is this month and is a tribute to the great Leonard Bernstein. Further information can be found on Tri-C’s website.

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