Julian Gargiulo
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Julian Gargiulo


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The best kept secret in music


Pianist Julian Gargiulo Performs at Hayes Center August 21

Story by Jesse Wood

Julian Gargiulo, who has performed all over the world, will play piano at the Hayes Center in Blowing Rock on Sunday, August 21, at 2:00 p.m.

Want To Go?

Date: Sunday, August 21
Time: 2:00
Location: Hayes Center, Blowing Rock
Cost: $30, $40 and $50

On Sunday, August 21, Julian Gargiulo will perform at the Hayes Center in Blowing Rock at 2:00 p.m. Tickets cost $30, $40 and $50 and vary by seat location.

Gargiulo isn’t your average classical pianist. For one thing, he wasn’t trained to become an extraordinary musician before he could walk; by the time Gargiulo was 13, he had only received one piano lesson.

His parents had a piano at home, and he would play tunes using only his hearing and memory. Even though Gargiulo, who was born in Italy, couldn’t read music, an Italian music conservatory accepted him into its program because he had an ear for music and showed promise. Within a couple years, he began winning competitions.

Playing music at such a young age was his decision, and he was never forced by his parents to play classical music.

“I guess I was very lucky. It was something that was up to me, and it was so fulfilling to play the piano,” Gargiulo said.

Twenty five years later and Gargiulo still enjoys playing music.

“It’s a whole ‘nother world. On a nonverbal level, it’s so communicative. [Music allows me] to express and let things flow through me. It’s a great way to be creative,” Gargiulo said. “It’s amazing—like free money.”

As unconventional as his start in music, his performances at “formal and serious” prestigious halls, as he called them, prove to break down more barriers in the classical music world.

His performances are very interactive with the audience. He doesn’t just sit at his piano stool, play music, take a bow and walk off the stage. He talks to the audience and tells jokes and allows the audience to ask questions while he is on stage.

“I’m serious when I play, [but] not so serious in life,” he said. “When people see you play, they get to know you in one respect, and when you talk to them, they get to know you in another way.”

Two years ago, Gargiulo began writing original songs, and he recently released a new CD called No Smoking, which features his own compositions along with those of Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Plazzolla. He said he is very excited to present the new songs at the Hayes Center.

Gargiulo also has a nonprofit called 16000children, which gets its name from the 16,000 children who die of hunger every day in the world. He plays concerts with fellow musicians to help out organizations that directly impact children in India and Africa.

For more information about Gargiulo and his nonprofit, click to www.juliangargiulo.com and www.16000children.org. For more information about the Hayes Center or to purchase tickets, call 828-295-9627 or click to www.hayescenter.org.
- Story by Jesse Wood

"...unique and charismatic..."

Toronto Canadiary, Sept 7, 2010


"...incisive touch of the great virtuoso."

L'Arena di Verona, Apr 12, 2010


"Gargiulo is fundamentally an extremely talented piano virtuoso..."

Cayman Islands Business Journal, Apr 7, 2010


"Julian Gargiulo surprises the audience with the passion of his interpretations."

La Repubblica, Mar 28, 2010


"Going to his (Gargiulo) concerts is like being catapulted into another dimension."

Fashion Music, Sept 2009


"Julian's charisma bewitched the audience..."

IlQuotidiano.it, Apr 18, 2007


"Fascinating, fun, ambitious and compelling...Julian is a volcano of ideas..."

Oggi 7 (New York), Jan 8, 2006


"Charismatic and communicative [Gargiulo] confirmed all the praises written about him in Italy and abroad with his acclaimed performances."

La Fiamma (Australia), Apr 2005


"Classical music never looked so hot."

St. John - Sun Times, Dec 2004


"...a marvelous tour de force..." "Somewhere between a lecture recital and Saturday Night Live, but with the added benefit of the highest caliber piano playing between skits."

St. John Times, Jan 2004, by Doris Jadan


"...it was a beautiful concert, one that we hope will be repeated yearly."

St. John Tradewinds, Jan 5, 2004, by Sis Frank


"...tremendous charm and freeness."

The Virgin Islands Daily News, Dec 28, 2003, by Lydia Harris


"...an exceptional young pianist."

Leggo Verona, 12 Sept 2003


"…exquisite Gershwin…" "…a romantic pianist…with a particular sensibility for Schumann." "…his Beethoven sonata was beautifully balanced…rich in textural subtleties."

L’Arena di Verona, Sept 14, 2003, by Chiara Zocca


"...a kind of playing reminiscent of Cortot and Rubinstein."

America Oggi, Nov 3, 2002

- Various Publishers


The release of his seventh CD 'No Smoking' with his own original compositions along with works by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Piazzolla and more.



Julian Lawrence Gargiulo is a dynamic classical pianist who renders the compositions of renowned masters with extraordinary passion and precision, and fills the concert hall with his personal brand of charm, humor and charisma. He has performed in the United States, Canada, England, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, China, and Australia, meeting always with both public and critical acclaim.

What the critics are saying:

After his Washington debut at the U.S. State Department, "…Mr. Gargiulo’s powerful energy enveloped his audience." (State Magazine)

In Germany, "…all the elements for an international career are present: talent, musicality, technique and charisma." (Garmisch-Partenkirchner Tagblatt)

In Italy, "...exquisite Gershwin...a romantic pianist...with a particular sensibility for Schumann." (L'Arena di Verona)

"Julian is a mature, serious and refined artist." (Ettore Mo - Special correspondent, Corriere della Sera, Italy)

Mr. Gargiulo performs regularly throughout the world in halls such as Carnegie Hall (US), United Nations' Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium (US), Moscow Conservatory Hall (Russia), Verona Philharmonic Hall (Italy), The Esplanade (Singapore) and the Seymour Theatre Centre (Australia). Collaborations include performances with soprano Olga Makarina (Metropolitan Opera), violinists Elizabeth Zeltser (NY Philharmonic), Dmitri Berlinsky (Paganini Gold medalist), Lucio Degani (Solisti Veneti), choreographer Neta Pulvermacher, composer/conductor Octavio Vazquez and trumpet virtuoso Joe Burgstaller (Canadian Brass). TV and Radio appearances include stations such as RAI International (Italy), RAI Tre (Italy), RTN (Russia), CTV (Canada), Radio One - CBS (USVI), Paradise Radio (USVI) and SBS (Australia).

Highlights this season include the release of his seventh CD 'No Smoking' with his own original compositions along with works by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Piazzolla and more. Also return tours of Italy, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia and a performance at New York's Carnegie Recital Hall in December.

Born and educated in Italy, with dual U.S. and Italian citizenship, Mr. Gargiulo studied at the Verona State Conservatory (Randone), the Mugi Academy in Rome (Ciccolini) and the Moscow State Conservatory (Mezhlumov). In the United States he received his Bachelor's Degree at Rowan University (Zuponcic), Master's Degree at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University (Slutsky), and his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Maryland (Rodriguez). Dr. Gargiulo is the founder and director of the Sacred Heart Concert Series, a program that brings classical music to younger audiences and the Water Island Classical Music Festival in the Virgin Islands.

In 2008 Julian founded the Non-profit organization 16000children.org which brings together musicians, visual artists and filmmakers in creating events to raise awareness for the 16000 children that die of hunger in the world every day. Performances worldwide began in Mar 2010.

In 2009 Julian was also named Artistic Director of 'Crossing Borders', a Hunter College (NY) program which presents established foreign artists currently living in NY.

This year Julian began writing a classical music column called Mostly Classical for the main newspaper in the Cayman Islands, The Cayman Compass.

Mr. Gargiulo currently resides in New York City.