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Francesco Cera


Francesco Cera was born in Bologna, Italy. He studied organ and harpsichord under Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini and later with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory. He is now one of Italy’s leading early music specialists, and is admired for his talent as a performer and for his extensive knowledge of styles that covers different musical expressions. Francesco Cera applies his distinctive interpretative approach not only to keyboard instruments, but also to Baroque vocal and instrumental music. He has performed as a soloist in important international festivals and on historical organs in the whole of Europe (Bologna Festival, Musica e Poesia in San Maurizio in Milan, Festival of Flanders in Gent and Bruges, Resonanzen Wien, Saint-Michel-en-Thierrache, Arte organica en Castilla y Leon, Les Gouts Reunis Lausanne, Musica Transalpina in London).

Francesco Cera is especially well-known as a performer of 17th century harpsichord and organ music. For Tactus label he recorded the complete works of Michelangelo Rossi, Tarquinio Merula, Bernardo Storace and Antonio Valente, highly praised by critics of some of the most important music magazines such as Goldberg, Amadeus, Répertoire and Diapason. The french label Tempéraments published the anthology “Rome Baroque”, with roman organ music, including Frescobaldi and Paquini. 
The innovative rhetorical and dramatic, as well as brilliant character of  Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonatas is revealed through his interpretative audacy. Francesco Cera has recorded three CDs of Scarlatti’s Sonatas from the manuscript dated 1742, and taken part in the performance of all Sonatas at the Festival in Gent (Belgium).
Francesco Cera was a member of the ensemble Il Giardino Armonico from 1991 to 1994 and later has performed with the ensemble I Barocchisti, directed by Diego Fasolis, with whom he has recorded four concertos for harpsichord by J. S. Bach, issued by ARTS. The same label has recently  produced his recording of Bach’s French suites.  
Francesco Cera is particularly interested in voices and vocal music and directs the Ensemble Arte Musica, with whom he performs an Italian repertory covering the period from Gesualdo’s madrigals to the 18th century cantatas.
He has held courses, masterclasses and seminaries at the Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo, the Royal Academy of Music London, the Illinois University, Cornell University, Oberlin College and the Acadèmie d’Orgue de Fribourg. Since 2001 he has been living in Rome where he is appointed Honorary Inspector of Early Organs for Rome and the Lazio region.