Gabriel Tacchino was propelled to international stardom after winning a string of competition prizes in the mid-'50s. By the early '60s he was regularly touring the globe and appearing with major conductors, like Karajan, Monteux, Leinsdorf, Horenstein, Cluytens, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Armin Jordan, and countless others. He became a major recording artist in the 1960s, and while he has been less active in that role from about the 1990s, many of his numerous recordings are still available on EMI, Erato, Vox, and Brilliant Classics. Not surprisingly, Tacchino first became identified with French repertory, particularly with the music of Francis Poulenc, with whom he studied. But Tacchino had always possessed a broad repertory and quickly became recognized for his eclectic sensibilities, drawing high praise for his interpretations of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Prokofiev, de Falla, Gershwin, and a spate of others. Tacchino was also a prominent teacher, serving on the faculty at the Paris Conservatory for 20 years (1975-1994).
Gabriel Tacchino was born in Cannes, France, on August 4, 1934. He began piano lessons at six; he studied music at the Paris Conservatory, where his teachers included Jean Batalla, Jacquer Févier, and Marguerite Long. Tacchino won two major competitions -- the Viotti in Vercelli (1953) and the Casella in Naples (1954) -- and won prizes at several others: the Busoni in Bolzano (1954), the Geneva (1955), and the Long-Thibaud in Paris (1957). He debuted in the U.S. in 1962, with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Tacchino began recording the complete piano works of Francis Poulenc for Vox in the 1960s. His next major project for Vox was the cycle of five concertos by Prokofiev, which he recorded from 1972-1977 with conductor Louis de Froment and the Luxembourg RSO. Tacchino began teaching at the Paris Conservatory in 1975 and was already active in the realm of chamber music, regularly collaborating with major artists like Isaac Stern, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Bruno Rigutto.
Tacchino also became active in promoting music festivals: in 1975 he founded and has since served as director of the Nuits Musicales du Suquet in Cannes, and he has regularly appeared at the Montreux, Lausanne, Prague, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Summer Festival, Richter Moscow Festival, and many others. Following his 1994 retirement from teaching, Tacchino remained active on the concert scene and has devoted a portion of time to conducting master classes in Switzerland, Canada, Korea, and, from 2006, at Tokyo's University of Fine Arts and Music.