Richard and John Contiguglia performed a special concert on Dame Myra Hess Day at The National Gallery, London.
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Richard and John Contiguglia   The American identical twins, Richard and John Contiguglia, are among the most acclaimed and versatile duo-pianists in the world today. Since their London debut in 1962, following which the critic of the London Daily Telegraph described their playing as setting “a new standard for this intimate form of music-making,” Richard and John have shared their artistry with audiences throughout the world. Many of their recordings of Liszt and Bartók Duos on the Connoisseur Society label were modern-day premieres. Their Beethoven/Liszt 9th Symphony recording received the Liszt Society of Budapest’s Grand Prix Award in the first record competition of the Society’s history in 1975. Recently they received their 2nd Grand Prix Award from the Society, following the release in 2012 of their Liszt-Bartók CD on the Gemini CD Classics label. Their performances at the Award Presentation Ceremony on Oct. 22, 2012 can be viewed on YouTube. The summer of 2011 brought them to Australia to participate in Townsville’s 21st Festival of Chamber Music, with its special emphasis on the music of Franz Liszt and Percy Grainger, while in 2008 they were the featured pianists for the annual celebration of Dame Myra Hess Day at London’s National Gallery.

The most extraordinary event of the twins’ youth occured in their hometown of Auburn, New York, when, as 12 year olds, they performed on a recital with the legendary pianist-composer, Percy Grainger. Following the event, Grainger presented the young boys with many of his two-piano scores, some with touching dedications: “to Richard and John Contiguglia, from their admiring colleague”; “in admiration of their splendid playing”; “in tonal fellowship.”

Richard and John have performed with major orchestras throughout the world, among them, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the National Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. They have been heard, both in recital and with orchestra, in numerous prestigious venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

The twins graduated in the top 1% of their class at Yale, with identical averages of 91%, receiving their BA degrees summa cum laude, with philosophical orations. Two years later they received M.Mus. degrees from the Yale Graduate School of Music at the top of their class. Subsequently, they studied for four years in London with the great British pianist, Dame Myra Hess.

Richard and John Contiguglia perform at the Liszt Grand Prix Award Concert

Richard and John Conitguglia were awarded the Grand Prix du Disque
by the Liszt Society of Budapest, Hungary on October 22, 2012.
Below are performances from the award concert.

These videos may also be viewed on Richard and John’s YouTube channel at

Grand Galop Chromatique by Franz Liszt

"Sonnambula" Fantasy by Franz Liszt

Andante Religioso - (Beethoven) Franz Liszt

Contiguglia Duo mentioned in BBC Music Magazine

The Contiguglia Duo are mentioned in an article about Dame Myra Hess in BBC Music Magazine, 2015.

“Her pianistic legacy lives on in a few pupils, now distinguished pianists themselves: Stephen Kovacevich, Richard and John Contiguglia and the late Yonty Solomon who in turn taught Piers Lane.”

- BBC Music Magazine, 2015  View full article

Richard and John Contiguglia performed a special concert on Dame Myra Hess Day at The National Gallery, London.
Click here for more details...

Contiguglia Duo featured in WCPE's magazine, Quarter Notes

Sibling Revelry
by Patricia Crane

“Anyone with a brother or sister can tell you: the sibling relationship is delicate, equal parts fraught and rewarding. If they’re too far apart, siblings can feel like strangers; too close, and the competition can be fierce. Spend five minutes in a car with two kids in their “I’m telling Mom!” phase, and you can attest to the high emotions and singular energy that exist between siblings.

But take that unique relationship and mix in some prodigious creative talent, and you have the makings of a dynasty.

The modern landscape of Classical music teems with siblings following in the footsteps of Fanny and Felix Mendelsohn and the Strauss brothers. Today’s sibling collaborations run the gamut—from exclusive partnerships to pursuing individual careers and collaborating on special projects.

Together literally all their lives, identical twins Richard and John Contiguglia are the most famous duo-pianists playing today. Making their world debut in 1962, they’ve spent their joint career bringing oft-forgotten duo-piano pieces back into the limelight.”

- WCPE, Quarter Notes, North Carolina, Fall 2015  View full article

Last release on the Gemini CD Classics label
Liszt Operatic Fantasies, Bartok Suite for Two Pianos

2012 Grand Prix du Disque
Liszt Society of Hungary

Liszt Operatic Fantasies & Bartók Suite for Two Pianos
Richard and John Contiguglia, Duo-Pianists

Early in our career as a professional duo-piano team we discovered duos of Liszt and of Bartók that had never been previously recorded and had seldom been heard in modern-day public concerts. The duos of Liszt were only available from collections in museum archives or in rare Russian editions. We were so impressed with the quality of the music that we performed much of it on our recitals in Europe and in the United States and finally made, in the early 1970s, what came to be several historic recordings for Connoisseur Society Records. The resulting LPs have long since been unavailable and were never reissued as CDs.

We are pleased to be able to offer once again the original Connoisseur Society recording of Liszt’s Operatic Fantasies and a live radio broadcast recording for VARA Radio in Holland of Bartók’s Suite for Two Pianos, Op. 4b.

“You owe it to yourself to seek out this recording – performances of this caliber are quite rare.”
- American Record Guide, July/August 2012 
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“This is the most amazing recording of two-piano music that I can remember” (Connoisseur Society Liszt LP)
- Gramophone, December 1975.

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Contiguglia Duo’s Liszt/Bartok CD reviewed in the American Record Guide

American Record Guide“...the works here still have few recordings for comparison, and the ones I know of are of no competition to these.”

“The results here are spectacular.”

“...the Contiguglia brothers give a knock-out performance.”

“You owe it to yourself to seek out this recording – performances of this caliber are quite rare.”

- American Record Guide  Read full article

Contiguglia Duo reviewed in CVNC

“From a front row balcony seat, the Sonata was a feast for the eyes and ears and a constantly evolving puzzle for the mind! Balance between the pianists and percussionists was excellent and the co-ordination was very precise. The execution of the complex contrapuntal layering of the first movement was breathtaking. The eerie night music of the second movement was perfectly spun out. The high jinks of the finale brought the unusually large audience to its feet in prolonged applause for a wonderful performance of a too seldom heard masterpiece. May the Contigulia Brothers return to Elon soon with, maybe, another memorable Schubertaid or an evening of Mozart.”

- CVNC, North Carolina  Read full article

Jessica Duchen’s Classical Music Blog reviews Dame Myra Hess Day performance at the National Gallery

“Lunchtime saw an extraordinary performance by the Contiguglia Twins from New York, who played the socks off Howard Ferguson, Schubert and Beethoven. They came to Britain to study with Hess as young boys and played the Schubert Variations on an Original Theme for their Wigmore Hall debut. And... I’ve heard of identical, but this was quite something. I’m reliably informed that you can tell them apart when you know them well.”

- Jessica Duchen’s Classical Music Blog  Read More About Dame Myra Hess Day

Contiguglia Duo’s Beethoven/Liszt CD reviewed in the American Record Guide

American Record Guide“I enjoy transcriptions as much or more than most, and this is a great one, of the greatest piece, with a masterly performance, excellent recorded sound, and perceptive notes.”

- American Record Guide  Read full article

Contiguglia Duo reviewed in The News-Gazette, Champaign/Urbana, IL

The News-Gazette“The piano duo of the identical Contiguglia twins is one of the most famous exemplars of this branch of the piano field. They have shown their superb discipline and fine musicianship here in years past as guest artists with Hobson’s Sinfonia da Camera. On Monday night, they aroused to a high level of enthusiasm the members of a moderate-sized audience in Smith Music Hall.”

- The News-Gazette, Champaign/Urbana  Read full article

Contiguglia Duo reviewed in the News Times of Danbury, CT

“When it came to Mozart’s concerto, the Contiguglias’ four hands seemed to be playing with one mind and heart. The Allegro movement was rich in thematic development, flowing back and forth without repeating, but constantly moving along with a natural progression. Exchanging phrases smoothly in this brilliant dialogue, the twins’ cooperative effort was a model of a well-functioning family. The final movement included cadenzas and ritards performed with amazing synchronicity. The twins knew each other’s parts as their own. My apologies go to the RSO, as my attention was completely captured by the pianists.”

- News Times, Danbury, CT  Read full article

Contiguglia Duo reviewed in the Classical Voice of North Carolina

“The playing was as astonishing as the music itself”

“And the best artists — in which august group the Contiguglias belong — find new meaning in every repeat performance. So there was nothing routine about this concert”

“I heard things I’d never noticed before, due to the great precision and clarity of the performance. ’Twas Art with a capital “A,” all ’round.”

- Classical Voice of North Carolina  Read full article

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