Fabio Massimo Mastrangelo was born on November 27, 1965 in Bari, Italy where he began piano studies with his father at the age of five and earned his first Piano Diploma from the “Niccolò Piccinni” Conservatory under Pierluigi Camicia. During the course of his studies he was awarded several prizes in national piano competitions including first prize in Osimo (’80) and Rome (’86) and he attended prestigious masterclasses under Aldo Ciccolini, Paul Badura-Skoda and Seymour Lipkin. Later, after completing his studies with Maria Tipo at the Conservatory of Geneva he also earned the Piano Performer Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. In the 1986–87 season, he was invited to hold the position of Maestro Collaboratore of the “Ente Lirico Teatro Petruzzelli” in Bari. This experience, which allowed him to work side by side with conductors such as Donato Renzetti and Evelino Pidò as well as singers of the caliber of Katia Ricciarelli and Piero Cappuccilli, inspired him to pursue conducting studies.
During the following three years, he attended the classes of Gilberto Serembe at the Academy of Music of Pescara. Mastrangelo also studied with Leonard Bernstein both in Vienna and at the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, with Karl Österreicher in Vienna, and has attended several masterclasses with Gustav Meier. In 1990, he was granted a two-year scholarship to continue his conducting studies at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, under Michel Tabachnik, Pierre Hetù and Richard Bradshaw, graduating in 1992. Following the completion of his studies, Mastrangelo was invited to serve one season as the assistant conductor for the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In 1996, joined by several members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Mastrangelo founded the chamber orchestra Virtuosi di Toronto of which he became a music director. With this orchestra, he has enjoyed the privilege of collaborating with such distinguished artists as Seymour Lipkin, Angela Hewitt and Shlomo Mintz as well as being featured in national broadcasts by Canada’s CBC Radio 2. In addition, Mastrangelo spent nine years as music director of the University of Toronto Hart House Chamber Strings. Since becoming an assistant to Maestro Boris Brott in 1992, he has been a regular guest of the Boris Brott Music Festivals in Hamilton. As a guest artist, he has conducted the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Windsor Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), the National Academy Orchestra (Hamilton), the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (tour of Italy in 1999), the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Szeged Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), the Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari, the Orchestra della Magna Grecia di Taranto and the Filarmonica di Roma (Italy), the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra “Klassika” (Russia) and the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra.
In February 2001, he made his début with the highly prestigious St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, which he returned to conduct twice in May and June of the same year. Following immediately, he led the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in the recording of the orchestral works of Elisabetta Brusa for two compact discs released in September 2002 on the Naxos label. In July 2001, he conducted the Orchestra of the City of Pärnu for the “2001 David Oistrakh Music Festival” in Pärnu, Estonia while participating in the conducting masterclass of Maestro Neeme Järvi and of Maestro Jorma Panula.
Mastrangelo is also very active as a pianist. Between 1994 and 2000, he performed a cycle of Mozart Piano Concertos with the Hart House Chamber Strings, conducting from the keyboard. He performs frequently throughout his native Italy with a variety of esteemed colleagues. In August 2001, he served as artistic director of the Etoiles du Chateau de Chailly Festival (Chailly-sur-Armançon, France) where, joined by various colleagues, he performed as a chamber recitalist. Having formed a duo with Russian cellist Sergei Slovachevsky, in October 2001 they made their recital début in Japan (Tokyo and Chiba), where they returned in March 2002 (Casals Hall) and launched a CD comprising Traditional Japanese Melodies recorded for the Ongaku-no-tomu label. Mastrangelo and Slovachevsky have also performed several recitals in Russia (including their recital début in the Large Hall of the “Shostakovich” Philhamonic in St. Petersburg), Canada and France. In October 2003, they played their début recital at the San Francisco’s MOMA followed by an extensive tour of Brazil where they presented several recitals and concerts as a conductor/soloist team.
Mastrangelo also enjoyed a successful return on the operatic scene serving as assistant conductor for the Teatro Argentina production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Festival Mediterraneo in Rome; for this production he also played continuo, receiving special praise for his imaginative accompaniment of recitatives. In February 2002, Mastrangelo made his operatic début at the Mussorgsky State Theatre of St. Petersburg with Verdi’s La Traviata. His tremendous success led to an immediate invitation to conduct a staged production of Verdi’s Requiem during the same season. Other symphonic conducting engagements included multiple return appearances as a guest conductor with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of Bari and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, as well as début engagements with the Kiev Philharmonic, the Karelia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, the latter of which has selected him as one of four candidates for the position of music director. March 31, 2002, marked his acclaimed début engagement with the 1st orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in a program featuring Strauss’s Don Quixote and Brahms’s Second Symphony. Twice finalist in the “Mario Gusella” International Conducting Competition – Pescara, Italy (1993 and 1995), in October 2000 he ranked fourth at the prestigious “Donatella Flick” Conducting Competition in London, receiving the following praise from Maestro Jan Pascal Tortelier: “you were born to be a conductor”.