The Italian-Egyptian pianist Francesca Khalifa was the winner of the Ferrara International Piano Festival in 2014, awarded by renowned pianist and musicologist Paul Badura-Skoda. Highlights of recent seasons include concerts as soloist with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in Egypt, the Orchestra Filarmonica Pozzoli in Milan, a solo appearance at Steinway Hall New York City, chamber music concerts with OSJ La Verdi Chamber Orchestra in New York City, solo recitals in China (Harbin Concert Hall) and Cuba (Oficina del Historiador).
Active soloist and chamber musician, Khalifa has performed extensively in Europe and in the United States. She has been a guest artist for master classes and lectures at Pino Torinese Master Classes (IT), the School of Performing Arts of Virginia Tech University, the University of Central Florida School of Music in Orlando, the E. Said Conservatory in Jerusalem.
As soloist, Khalifa had collaborated with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, the Guido d’Arezzo Symphony Orchestra (Italy), the Oosterkerk Festival Chamber Orchestra (The Netherlands) and with the MET Opera Orchestra string quartet in the realization of Mozart piano concertos (New York City). The pianist had served as Adjunct Instructor at NYU Steinhardt and Piano Faculty at the Greenwich House Music School (New York City), as well as Teaching Assistant at USF Tampa, where she also received the President’s Trio Fellowship for piano trio.
The pianist is a recipient of the City Artist Corps Grant 2021 and resulted top prize winner in the Schio International Piano Competition Alink-Argerich Foundation, the Premio Loreto Lancia International Piano Competition, the N. van Westerhout International Piano Competition. She is a graduate of Conservatorio G. Cantelli in Novara and holds a Master degree from the University of the Arts in Utrecht. Further studies include chamber music with the Altenberg Trio at the Konservatorium Wien in Vienna, Austria, and an Advanced Degree in Piano Performance and Education from NYU Steinhardt.
Her mentors are the Cuban pianist and pedagogue German Diez (1924-2014) and pianist Ena Bronstein-Barton, both former pupils of Claudio Arrau. Her research on German Diez is at the base of a documentary Piano Lessons, which received the official endorsement of the American Liszt Society. The movie premiered on 15th October 2021 at the University of Michigan during the ALS Annual Festival and has also been officially selected at the Silicon Beach Film Festival 2021 (US), and the XXXIX Turin Film Festival 2021 (IT).
Khalifa was the founder and Artistic Director of the community classical concerts series Classical Thursdays at the Brooklyn Centre for the Arts from 2016 to 2018 and is the founder and Artistic Director of the Beethoven Fest New York City, a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts. The pianist is co-founder and Artistic Director of EXTENSITY Concert Series (extensityconcertseries.com), whose mission is to contribute to the disruption of gender, racial and cultural inequity in the classical music world. Khalifa is a member of the Music Workers Alliance.
A vegetarian for more than a decade, Khalifa is now a vegan and an animal rights supporter. Her work as an activist is currently addressed towards the recognition of legal rights for pet companions, with the understanding that ultimately, no animal should be deprived of the rights to life, freedom and safety.