Antonio Ballista is a musician with a strong intolerance to all kinds of conventions and routines. His curiosity has no limits; he likes to perform a big variety of musical expressions, without making aesthetical discriminations among the different styles of the music he plays, as he considers music as a whole.
According to this philosophy, Antonio has realized his artistic way playing side by side both intellectual and consumer music. His musical programs include very unlike styles as: Classical music, Ragtime, Italian and American songs, Rock, Film sound tracks. His original and personal interpretations – sometimes realized also with theatrical appearances – establish important elements to enlarge the concert’s normal features.
From 1953 he has played in a piano Duo with Bruno Canino. The Duo started on a successful career which has continued to date without interruptions. The performances of the duo in the field of the contemporary music have an historical value: their presence was fundamental for the spreading of new works and for the catalyst influence over many composers.
Antonio has played under the baton of C. Abbado, P. Boulez, R. Chailly, B. Maderna, R. Muti, with important international orchestras, such as the BBC Orchestra, the Concertgebouw, the Israel Philarmonic, the Filarmonica della Scala, the London Simphony, the Orchestre de Paris, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philarmonic, as well as in very important Festivals: in Paris, Edimburgh, Warsaw, Berlin, Strasbourg, at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, in Venice.
As a conductor Ballista, among his several interpretations, has realized the première of Gilgamesh by Franco Battiato (Teatro dell’Opera - Rome), as well as the performance of the Simphony for 21 pianos by Daniele Lombardi at the Winter Garden in New York. Berio, Bussotti Castaldi, Castiglioni, Donatoni, Lucchetti, Morricone, Mosca, Panni, Picco, Sciarrino, Sollima and Ugoletti have written compositions for him. He has also carried out several tours with Berio, Dallapiccola, Stockhausen, and has performed monographical concerts with Boulez, Cage and Ligeti.
In 1995 Antonio founded the chamber music ensemble “Novecento e oltre” mostly devoted to XX Century Music and to the latest musical tendencies. The Ensemble made its first appearance in Palermo – the concert was organized by EAOSS together with the Associazione Siciliana Amici della Musica – where the complete works by Anton Webern were performed in occasion of the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death. Furthermore, with 4 concerts realized at the Biennale di Venezia, the Ensemble played the complete chamber music works by Igor Strawinsky.
In 2003 Antonio, Alessandro Lucchetti and Federico Mondelci founded the trio Fata Morgana, skilled in crossing over various musical styles.
His enthusiasm for the Lieder literature drove him to collaborate with singers as Roberto Abbondanza, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Phillys Bryn-Julson, Monica Bacelli, Cathy Berberian, Luisa Castellani, Gloria Davy, Kim Kriswell, Sarah Leonard, Anna Moffo, Alide Maria Salvetta, Susanna Rigacci, Luciana Serra, Lucia Valentini Terrani, Gemma Bertagnolli, Alda Caiello, Laura Cherici, Lorna Windsor. Besides, his collaboration with actors as Paolo Poli (with a fellowship more then 30 years long), Gianni Agus, Ernesto Calindri, Arnoldo Foà, Ottavia Piccolo, Toni Servillo, Franca Valeri, Milena Vucotic, Peter Ustinov and the dancers Marga Nativo and Elisabetta Terabust is very remarkable.
He has realized a CD discography with RCA, Wergo, EMI, Ricordi, La Bottega Discantica. As piano professor He taught piano at the Conservatorio A. Boito - Parma (from 1965 until 1988) and at the Conservatorio G. Verdi – Milan; afterwards he has taught courses at Accademia Pianistica di Imola / Incontri con il Maestro.