Restani wows the audience with an exasperated, but far from complacent, lyricism and with a vehement sonority in perfect balance with Riccardo Muti and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala… The Ravenna’s experience has been instrumental in creating the world’s most heart-breaking music.”

                                                                                                     – Corriere della Sera

Restani wows the audience with an exasperated, but far from complacent, lyricism and with a vehement sonority in perfect balance with Riccardo Muti and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala… The Ravenna’s experience has been instrumental in creating the world’s most heart-breaking music.”

– Corriere della Sera

A precocious talent, Paolo Restani gave his first solo recital at the age of 12. In 1984, when he was 16 years old, the eminent artistic director Francesco Siciliani invited him to debut at the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia in Rome, where he met enormous success, as reported by the most authoritative critics: From now onwards, he is destined to become part of the great pianistic tradition of our country (Alfredo Gasponi, Il Messaggero), A star is born in S. Cecilia (Mya Tannenbaum, Corriere della Sera), Do not believe his sixteen years of age: Paolo Restani, who made his debut at the Accademia di S. Cecilia the other night, is literally shocking (Ivana Musani, Paese Sera).
Works with the major Italian theatres immediately follow. Among the many successes of those years, it’s impossibile to forget the performance in the Sala Verdi for the Serate Musicali in Milan, January 1988: after being called up to replace Alexis Weissenberg with just a few hours notice, he gave a performance that included Beethoven’s Eroica Variations and Liszt’s 12 Etudes d’exécution transcendante.

Throughout 35 years of career he has performed in many of the world’s most important musical centres, standing out for his extremely personal and constantly evolving interpretative quality. The technical mastery and the depth of interpretation, allowing for every single detail of the composition to be more transparent and more perceptible, make him a superb artist, especially within the Romantic repertoire, where his mastery calls to mind the biggest names of the pianistic tradition: …in his rendition of Chopin, the similarities with Vladimir Horowitz when it comes to the timbre, the richness of colour and the clarity of melody are astounding (Allgemeine Zeitung, on the occasion of a recital in Frankfurt in 1996).

In June 2004 his debut with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, conducted by Riccardo Muti (Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 2) was received with unanimous and enthusiastic acclaim.
In 2008, under the baton of Riccardo Muti, he performed as soloist in the symphonic production of Berlioz’s Lélio ou Le Retour à la vie op. 14b with Gérard Depardieu (narrator), Mario Zeffiri (tenor), the Luigi Cherubini Orchestra, the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor.

Recitals of recent seasons include: Carnegie Hall in New York, Grosser Musikvereinsaal in Vienna, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Prinzregententheater in Munich, Rheingoldhalle in Mainz, New Congress-Hall in Innsbruck, International Performing Arts Centre in Moscow, the Grand Hall in St. Petersburg Philharmonia, the Teatro Colón and the Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires, London, Stockholm, Bruxelles, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Istanbul, Beirut, Santiago de Chile, Montevideo, Dubai, Kuwait City, Manama.
In Italy: Milan (Teatro alla Scala, Auditorium La Verdi), Rome (Quirinal Palace, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Teatro dell’Opera, Auditorium Via della Conciliazione, Teatro Sistina), Naples (Teatro San Carlo, Teatro Augusteo, Politeama), Venice (Teatro La Fenice), Trieste (Teatro Verdi), Verona (Arena), Bologna (Teatro Comunale), Florence (Teatro Comunale, Teatro della Pergola), Turin (Teatro Regio, Auditorium RAI), Bari (Teatro Petruzzelli), Genoa (Teatro Carlo Felice), Palermo (Politeama).

He is a regular guest at prestigious festivals such as the Flanders Festival, the Martha Argerich Festival in Buenos Aires, the Hatchlands Music Festival in London, Istanbul Recitals, the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut, the Ljubljana Festival, Jornadas Internacionales de Piano di Oviedo, the Asturias Festival, the Ravenna Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Festival MITO in Milan, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Settembre Musica in Turin, the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli International Piano Festival in Brescia and Bergamo, the Verdi Festival in Parma, the Uto Ughi per Roma Festival, Panatenee Pompeiane, the Romaeuropa Festival, the Todi Arte Festival, the Ravello Festival.
In January 2008, upon Yuri Temirkanov’s invitation, he participated in the “XVII International Festival Christmas Musical Meetings in Palmira of the North” in St. Petersburg.

He has a huge following in South America, where he travels to every year. In 2005 he was awarded by the “Argentine Critics Association” for best performer of the year and in 2011, when he played with the Quartetto d’archi della Scala, for best ensemble.

He was soloist with orchestras such as Münchner Symphoniker, Berliner Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, St. Petersburg Academic Symphony, Philarmonique de Nice, Slovenia RTV, Sinfonica Nacional de Chile, Kiev Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker String Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Milan, Rome and Neaple RAI National Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra del Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Orchestra del Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Orchestra Sinfonica Arturo Toscanini di Parma.
He has worked with conductors such as Roberto Abbado, Gerd Albrecht, Piero Bellugi, Christian Benda, Yoram David, Vladimir Delman, Claus Peter Flor, Heiko Mathias Forster, Lu Jia, Lothar Koenigs, Gerard Korsten, Julian Kovatchev, Gustav Khun, Uroš Lajovic, Yoel Levi, John Nelson, John Neschling, Gunter Neuhold, Daniel Oren, Massimo Pradella, Donato Renzetti.

Very keen on chamber music, he played with the Quartetto d’archi della Scala, the Quartetto Fonè, the Quartetto David, the Solisti della Scala, the violist Simonide Braconi, the cellist Andrea Noferini and accompanied, in song cycles, Monica Bacelli, Guillemette Laurens and Claire Brua.

A versatile musician, as well as a believer in the possible interaction between different forms of art, he has been a co-protagonist in theatre productions alongside Gérard Depardieu, Enrico Maria Salerno, Mariano Rigillo, Gottfried Wagner, Carla Fracci, Sylvie Guillelme and Laurent Hilaire.
In particular, from 2006 to 2008 he worked with Chiara Muti on the realization of three original musical theatre pieces on Rachmaninov-Gogol, the life of Mozart and the Wagner-Ludwig II relationship. In 2013 Simona Marchini wanted him on board in the play dedicated to Verdi, which is still touring in Italy.

His extensive repertoire ranges from Bach to present-day composers, and includes more than 60 concertos for piano and orchestra and a same number of solo-recital programmes.
His preference for the masterworks of the Romantic Period and the 19th century brings him to face the entire works for piano by Brahms, most of the Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninov’s compositions, the complete Chopin, Scriabin and Liszt’s Études (his own performances of the 12 Etudes d’Exécution Trascendante are more than 150), and the complete works for piano and orchestra by Beethoven, Field, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Casella.
It is to be pointed out his devotion to the Liszt’s works which he is to be considered being one of the major interpreters of.
His collaboration with Michael Nyman led to the first Italian performance of The Piano Concerto for piano and orchestra, taken from the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film The Piano Lesson by Jane Campion.

His CDs and DVDs are released by Deutsche Grammophon, DECCA, Brilliant Classics, Imd Music & Web, Amadeus, Gruppo Editoriale l’Espresso.

In 2018 he became a Steinway Artist.

Paolo Restani was the last and best-loved piano-pupil of Vincenzo Vitale (a renowned representative of the Neaple piano-school, who underwent piano-studies with Florestano Rossomandi, Attilio Brugnoli and, in the end, with Alfred Cortot at École Normale de Musique de Paris).
In the following, Paolo Restani’s teachers were Gerhard Oppitz (a successor of the interpretative art of Wilhelm Kempff) at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and Peter Lang at Mozarteum in Salzburg. In addition he attended piano-lessons under Gustav Kuhn, Piero Rattalino, Aldo Ciccolini and Vadimir Ahskenazy.
He studied composition with Paolo Arcà in Rome and Bruno Bettinelli in Milan.