My life as a pianist


Flavio Villani is a New Zealand pianist who made Auckland his home after moving from Italy in 2008. He completed a Bachelor of Piano Performance with Matteo Napoli at the Conservatory "G.Martucci" in conjunction with a Bachelor of IT in Salerno, Italy in 2007. After working in IT in Barcelona for a couple of years, he was given the opportunity of coming to New Zealand to pursue a career in music. He moved to New Zealand in 2008 to follow his dream and in 2012 he completed a Master in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland with first class honours under the guidance of pianist Stephen De Pledge.

He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Waikato, with Katherine Austin as supervisor. Flavio’s doctoral research focuses on the methodologies of improvisation used within Classical music. Up until the end of the nineteenth century, improvisation was an essential component of a musician’s development. Elements of composition were combined in teaching and performance, for a better understanding, embodiment and interpretation of the musical elements of a score, as well as to enhance creativity in a musician’s formation. Parts of his research and study is strong of the supervision of and work with David Dolan at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, an expert on this field.

The journey towards his first solo performance with an orchestra was documented in the internationally acclaimed biopic documentary "Crossing Rachmaninoff". The film followed his preparations for, and performance of, Rachmaninoff Concerto n.2 in Calabria in 2015. After that performance he subsequently took different soloist opportunities performing Rachmaninoff Concerto n.2, Tchaikovsky Concerto n.1, the Warsaw Concerto and Carnival of the Animals with the Orchestra of CalArts in Los Angeles, the New Plymouth Orchestra, the Taranaki Symphony, the Bay of Plenty Symphonia, the Hawke's Bay Orchestra and the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

He was absolute winner of the Northland Society Piano Competition in 2008 as well as winner of the first prize in the Llewelyn Piano Competition in both 2011 and 2012. He has performed many recitals as a soloist as well as in different chamber formations in California, Texas, Italy, Spain, North Macedonia and New Zealand. The festivals where he performed include: the Venice Biennale (2011) for the exhibition and installation of the New Zealand pavilion, "Lamezia Festival" in Calabria and "Pianino Festival" in the Chopin cell in Mallorca.

More recently he founded the Orion Piano Trio with violinist Marko Pop Ristov and cellist Marco Ariani. The 50 concerts tour planned for 2020 (China and Europe) was unfortunately cancelled by the pandemic but it will finally resume with a New Zealand tour in October 2022.

His interest in different arts collaborations and music composition led him to collaborate with different artists and media (TV, Cinema, Theatre) for the performance and creation of different original music: from theatre ("Human" with Dust Palace Company 2018, "The_Kiss" at UCOL 2012) to cinema score ("The Heart Dances" 2018, "Llueven Vacas" 2017, "Crossing Rachmaninoff" 2015) to TV ("Anchor Milk Campaign" 2016).

He was adjudicator of a number of national piano competitions in New Zealand in the past couple of years (Hamilton, Te Awamutu, IRMT Auckland), he was member of the Villani Piano Quartet with whom he toured New Zealand with Chamber Music NZ in 2016 and is a member of the Orion Piano Trio, a European based ensemble with whom he toured Italy and North Macedonia before the current worldwide limitations. Moreover he has given masterclasses to the "Tchaikovsky" Conservatory in Lamezia Terme (Italy) and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok (Thailand) as well as been part of different summer schools in Spain and Italy in recent years.

He directs and teaches at the private music school L'Accademia set in the St Heliers Community Centre in Auckland through which he organises music lessons, masterclasses and events.


Flavio's interest in teaching and assimilating and delivering a proper piano technique led him to many different specialists in the field. Moreover to this interest, he has followed numerous seminars on memorization, body percussion, the Alexander technique and Feldenkrais methodology, of which he is a fervent believer. Recently, as part of his Doctorate, he's been researching a more creative approach to the learning of music which involves creativity and improvisation and uses the classical score as a pretext for learning and mastering a more comprehensive musical language.

He has had students not only successfully graduating ABRSM Diploma levels but also entering and graduating at the University of Auckland and Melbourne. He was invited to give Master Classes in the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Lamezia Terme (Italy) and at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok (Thailand).

He has been accompanist and Italian coach for the summer school of NZOpera from 2011 to 2013. He's been piano teacher for different organizations and schools in the last ten years and currently he is founder and Director of L'Accademia Music School in Auckland where he teaches piano and organizes and promotes events and masterclasses collaborating with various local and international musicians.


If you want to know about my music.


Find out concerts and events on my calendar.


All words around my world.


A selection of rumors about me.


Watch my experiences by photos.


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