Flavio villani

Flavio sitting on a chair and watching his hands


Flavio Villani is an Italian-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 to come 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.

Flavio 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. Key to this research and study has been the supervision and work with Professor David Dolan at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, an expert on this field.

Flavio playing piano

performer, pianist, composer

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.

Flavio 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.

Festivals where he has 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.

He has also adjudicated a number of national piano competitions in New Zealand in the past couple of years (Hamilton, Te Awamutu, IRMT Auckland).

Villani's delicate score derived purely through piano is stunning. [...] It makes you wonder what the musical score of your own life would be.”
Manawatu Standard - August, 2012
Collaboration with Dust Palace for Le Cirque Vole in Palmerston North

arts and collaborations

Flavio's interest in different arts collaborations and music composition has led him to collaborate with different artists and media (TV, Cinema, Theatre) for the performance and creation of 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).

The three members of the trio


Flavio is a founding member of the Villani Piano Quartet with whom he toured New Zealand with Chamber Music NZ in 2016 and the Orion Piano Trio, a European-based ensemble with whom he has toured Italy, North Macedonia and New Zealand.

Flavio has collaborated with artists such as Mark Menzies, Callum Hall, Lorelle McNaughton and others in different chamber formations.


Flavio's interest in teaching and assimilating and delivering a proper piano technique has connected him with many different specialists in the field. He has also attended 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 has 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.

Flavio’s students have not only successfully graduated at ABRSM Diploma levels but have also entered and graduated from Schools of Music at the University of Auckland and Melbourne. He was invited to give Master Classes in the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Lamezia Terme (Italy), at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok (Thailand), Victoria University (Wellington, NZ) and in other private schools in Italy and Spain.

Flavio has been accompanist and Italian coach for the summer school of NZ Opera from 2011 to 2013. He has been piano teacher for different organizations and schools in the last ten years and currently 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.