Short Bio


Fiammetta Tarli plays regularly in Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, Poland, and the UK, both as a soloist and in different chamber music groups, including pianist Iain Ledingham, violinists Yana Burova and Ofer Falk (former first violin of the Allegri Quartet), and her husband Ivo Varbanov (two pianos – four hands). Highlights of her recent engagements include multiple performances at Cadogan Hall, London, and in various prestigious festivals such as ‘Brahms Unwrapped’ at the Kings Place (London), ‘Conciertos Temáticos’ in Santander, the Sofia Music Weeks, the main festival in Bulgaria, the International Chamber Music Festival ‘Konvergencie’ in Bratislava, and Piano Extravaganza (Sofia, 2016), and in well known venues such as West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, Royal Concert Hall, New Auditorium, Glasgow, Honeywell Music Room, Oxford, St John Smith Square, London, St Georges, Bristol, Wye Valley Music Festival, etc.  In June 2016 she performed in a UK tour promoting her recently founded record label.

Her concerts have been broadcast by RAI and Rete Toscana Classica (Italy), Slovak, Bulgarian and Spanish National Radios. Together with Ivo Varbanov she founded a new audiophile record label: Independent Creative Sound and Music (ICSM) Records.

She started studying piano at the age of five with Giampiero Semeraro in Pisa, her hometown, and gave her first concert at nine. She earned her diploma in Piano Performance and Music Studies (10/10 cum Laude and Special Award) at the Florence Conservatoire at the age of seventeen. She specialised in solo repertoire with Maria Tipo, Lydia Rocchetti Pezzati and Ilonka Deckers, and in vocal and instrumental chamber music with Iain Ledingham at Royal Academy of Music, London. She participated several times in masterclasses with Alexander Lonquich and Elio Battaglia. Her keen interests in literature and musicology prompted her to achieve her Master of Musicology (MMUS, passed with Distinction) and PhD (with an AHRC scholarship) at King’s College London, while continuing her performing and teaching activity. She has been leading masterclasses at the Music Department of Emanuel School, London, and at the Radom National Music School in Poland.

Fiammetta’s first two recordings of piano works by Schumann were published by Gega New (Bulgaria) in 2007 and 2013. Her first two recordings for ICSM Records (ICSM 001, the complete four-hand waltzes by Brahms with Ivo, and ICSM 003, a solo programme) were released in May 2014 with a launch of the label at the Kings Place, London, and received wide acclaim by the international press (International Record Review, Rivista Musica, Fanfare, Observer, Klassisk Musikkmagasin, HI-FI+). Légendes anciennes (ICSM 006, again with Ivo) was published in the Autumn-Winter 2015, and two more recordings will be released in the next future: a two-piano programme by Brahms (ICSM 011), and a twentieth-century programme with the Italian flutist Daniela Troiani (ICSM 013).

Her recording projects in 2017-2018 include Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Piano Quintet, a two-piano programme with the world première recording of a piece especially composed for the duo Tarli-Varbanov by the Argentinian composer Silvina Milstein (King’s College London), a solo recording featuring piano compositions by Ravel, Debussy and Martin Georgiev (world première recording), and Mozart’s Two-piano Concertos (K. 365 and 242). Over the next seasons Fiammetta will perform in the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Italy, and Spain.

Yana Burova, violin, and Fiammetta Tarli, piano: An impressive tone quality… An emotional performance…with intensive music-making and a soft, supple transfer from a beautiful lyrical mood…to an energetic virtuosity.

—Ekaterina Docheva, Kultura (Bulgaria)

Freedom… Tarli…performs…with both style and flair. Some of the highlights of her disc… are magical, such as her fiery, yet at times light-hearted reading of Schumann’s “Aufschwung,” her impassioned way with “In der Nacht,” or the ultimate stillness she creates in the last of Schoenberg’s six pieces.

—Scott Noriega, Fanfare (USA)


Tarli plays the Moments musicaux with an unaffected directness that allows them to speak with charm and grace. The Fantasiestücke is… fully mature Schumann, marked by all the arabesque-like keyboard figuration, spontaneous-sounding melodic sweep, Romantic impulse, and technically demanding virtuosity, all of which Tarli demonstrates her mastery of and real feeling for…

—Jerry Dubins, Fanfare (USA)

I would place Tarli’s readings [of Schoenberg’s Six Piano Pieces Op. 19] on equal footing with those I’ve heard by Roland Pöntinen on BIS and Maurizio Pollini on Deutsche Grammophon, and she is better recorded on this ICSM release than either of them.

—Jerry Dubins, Fanfare (USA)


I was especially impressed with the sense of buoyant fun that Fiammetta Tarli found in Schoenberg’s op. 19 Klavierstücke. ★★★★★

—Martin Anderson, Klassisk Musikkmagasin (Norway)

A dizzying experience… Husband and wife Ivo Varbanov and Fiammetta Tarli bring sparkle and swing…on…the first outing on their new label. ★★★★

—Stephen Pritchard, The Observer (UK)

The performance of Fiammetta Tarli and Ivo Varbanov are consistently stylish and enjoyable: these musicians resist the temptation to over-inflect this music, but they are always alert to details and always find an attractive range of colour on a beautiful and characterful modern piano by the Bayreuth firm Steingraeber…It is a splendid IRR debut from the new ICSM label.

—Nigel Simone, IRR (UK)

Simple and subtle approach of Varbanov/Tarli…Their subtle use of rubato, of agogic accents, of pause and breath belie that they are two separate performers playing here, so in tune, so in sync are their conceptions of this music. This is, simply put, Brahms as it should be played.

—Scott Noriega, Fanfare (USA)


Si respira un’aria di domestica intimita` nell’approccio alla musica di Fiammetta Tarli ed Ivo Varbanov, un po’ perche? utilizzano un grancoda Steingraeber & Sohne dalle sonorita` vecchio stile, calde e ruvide, un po’ perche? fraseggiano in modo affabile, quasi colloquiale, con un tocco non troppo elaborato, come ai valzer brahmsiani ben si conviene. Del resto essere compagni nella vita, oltre che alla tastiera, aiuta ad entrare in sintonia con lo spirito dell’Hausmusik romantica.

—Luca Segallo, Rivista Musica (Italy)


The two sets of Liebeslieder Waltzes for just piano four hands, performed in their piano four-hands versions by Varbanov and Tarli, are an absolute delight to hear.

—Jerry Dubins, Fanfare (USA)

Amazingly, when you subtract the vocal side of the Liebeslieder Waltzes, the piano reduction brings unexpected interest…A purely instrumental rendering is rather like hearing a large new set of Brahms intermezzos.

—Huntley Dent, Fanfare (USA)


Schoenberg, though brief is a reason enough to own this CD. Here Tarli is brilliant and articulate, allowing the background Romanticism of these pieces to come to the fore.  I would welcome a CD of twentieth-century piano music from Tarli. This is how piano music should be recorded. – 10/10

HI-FI Plus (UK)


I was surprised to find that Brahms’ three waltz-cycles end-to-end make a kind of mega-cycle of their own – and that the ear remains fresh after an hour of waltzes is a tribute to the intelligence and inventiveness of the performances, which bubble with joy… Here you have an hour of sheer delight. ★★★★★

—Martin Anderson, Klassisk Musikkmagasin (Norway)


Tarli plays romantic music as though it is classic music – simple and elegant without excessive colour or decoration… Reminds you of two peas in a pod when she plays Steingraeber, the finest grand piano.

—Michiuyu Kitao, The Record Geijutsu (Japan)

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