NICOLA TESCARI studied classical piano in Milan, at Civica Scuola di Musica, and composition and orchestral conducting at New England Conservatory, in Boston. Among his teachers are some of the greatest composers of our time (Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, Franco Donatoni, Elliott Carter, and Lee Hyla). He follows master classes in Germany, France, Italy, and Austria. Tescari works as assistant conductor to John Adams (Rhode Island Philharmonic), Arnold Bosmann, and Janos Fürst, and made his conducting debut in 1999 with the Musica Rara Orchestra. In 2002 he was asked to conduct the premiere of Nicola Piovani's operetta, Concha Bonita, directed by Alfredo Arias at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris. Since then, he has been invited as guest conductor throughout Europe.
Since 1995 he has composed music for theater, writing the score for Heliogabalus, Rebecca e il Prete, Salomon Gripp, and Le Chant des Paladins; with Totem, Nicola started a long artistic relationship with its author, Alessandro Baricco. After accompanying at the piano his readings at Rome’s International Literature Festival at the Basilica di Massenzio, he collaborated in 2007 with the writer on the theatrical adaptation of Melville's Moby Dick for the RomaEuropa Festival (with Paolo Rossi, Stefano Benni, and Clive Russell).
Meanwhile Nicola began the pathway that led him to write the scores for feature films (Vertical City, Il Primo Estratto, The Eyes of the Other) and for TV series. In 2006 he was a Ciak d’oro nominee for the score of Fausto Paravidino's Texas, produced by Fandango, screened at 62nd Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia and winner of the critics’ award, Premio Pasinetti.
In 2007 he composed for Waiting for the Sun by Ago Panini (nominated for a 2008 Ciak d’oro). In 2009 he conducted and re-orchestrated Mozart’s music for Carlos Saura’s new feature film I, Don Giovanni with cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (opening night at the Toronto Film Festival and a special event at Festival Internazionale del Cinema di Roma), and he wrote the score for Francesca Comencini's Lo Spazio Bianco, in competition at the Venice Film Festival. In 2010 Nicola composed the score for Guido Chiesa's Io sono con te (in competition at the 2010 Roma Film Festival), and he is currently working on Laura Morante's new feature film Cigliegine and Michele Rho's Cavalli.
Tescari has played piano with some of the most distinguished improvisers, among which are Joe Maneri, Jamie Moore, Paul Bley, Bob Moses, Nathan McBride, Lester Bowie, and Katia Labèque. He has collaborated in many recording productions, both as artistic director and player (including Silvia Malagugini, Meg, Lester Bowie, Caparezza, Sting, Katia and Marielle Labèque, and Nadéah).
In April 2006 he was appointed by Teatro Massimo di Palermo to serve as music director and main arranger for Across the Universe, a musical journey around the music by the Beatles. Nicola, both conductor of the orchestra and choir and a soloist, shared the stage with some of the most accomplished soloists (Katia and Marielle Labèque, Viktoria Mullova, Giovanni Sollima, Matthew Garrison, Marco Postinghel, Pascal Moraguès, and David Chalmin). The event was repeated throughout Europe and soon became a recording project (Patti Smith, Daniel Day-Lewis, Katell Keineg, Nadéah, and Massimo Pupillo participated in the recordings); a new CD was released in January 2011.
Nicola arranged for Sting (with Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and for Katia Labèque’s Shape of my Heart). Sting is currently touring Europe with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, performing some of the arrangements (which appeared on Deutsche Grammophon's CD/DVD Live in Berlin). Tescari is currently a member of the artistic committee of Katia and Marielle Labèque's foundation (KML Fondazione).