Hi! I'm Massimiliano Muzzi of Strichen,
the 16th Baron of Strichen, in the Parishes of Strichen, Fraserburgh and Old Deer
"What makes Massimiliano Muzzi a genuine rarity is that he plays with imagination and authority, not just an extra helping of technique. He was clearly born to be organist and is carrying out a destiny written in his genes." (IL TEMPO, Rome)
"A new genius of the harpsichord, whose career may in the future overshadow the great interpreters of our epoch" (CORRIERE DELL' UMBRIA, Terni, Italy)
“The Muzzi’s art is a miracle…” (WIENER ZEITUNG, Vienna)
Massimiliano Muzzi of Strichen, British Citizen, was born in Rome, 1972. He has been a organist for most of his life - and nothing has seemed more natural or inevitable. He made his debut as performer at “S. Lucia Church” in 1994 and was soon in demand across the world, making appearances in Vienna, with the Wiener Kammerorchester and in French Church in Berlin.
He studied organ with Luigi Celeghin at the “St. Cecilia Conservatory of Rome”, and perfectioned the art of the organ at the “Mozarteum” of Salzburg (Austria) and at the Vienna “Hochschule fur Musik” with the great professors as L. Ulmann and M. Gailit. From 1994 to 1996 he was principal organist and choir conductor at the “S. Lucia Church” in Roma.
But his most notable appointment was as Music Director at the “Beato Escrivà Church”. There he has given many outstanding performances in his “Church music Festival” and “Christmas Festival of Rome”.
By adding important areas of repertoire, by approaching rich tradition with Bach and Franck with clarity and innovative vision and by honing the sharpness of the organ precision with his fine technique, Massimiliano Muzzi has further underlined the great reputation and following of the “Rome Festival”, both at home in Italy and around Europe.
He played at the most important institutions and festivals of the world, some of them: Festival International Cervantino, Mexico City Symphony Orchestra, Washington Cathedral, S. Cecilia Symphony Academy, Round Top Festival, International Festival D’Ete de Bruxelles, Berlin Cathedral, Melbourne Autumn Early Music Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus and Dortmund Konzerthaus.
Massimiliano Muzzi is a dynamic organist who nonetheless retains a huge attention for detail. The romantic side of his nature is clearly directed to some purpose and with considerable single-mindedness.
1998 was a momentous year for Massimiliano Muzzi of Strichen. As well as Italian acclaim for his several and varied new releases, he received top critical honors in Austria in recognition of this impressive body of work: the Wiener Zeitung wrote: “The style of Massimiliano Muzzi is a miracle”.
He has been invited by some of the most important concert institutions of Europe: the the Vienna Chamber Orchestra., the Vienna Konzerthaus, Sagra Musicale Umbra, Civitafestival, International Festival of Lübeck, St. Cecilia Academy Orchestra, “Autumn Festival” of Melbourne (Australia), Berlin Konzerthaus and Dortmund Konzerthaus (Germany). He played important works for organ and harpsichord: Bach's concerts, Haydn's concerts, Manuel de Falla's Concert, Martin's Symphony for the harpsichord; Haendel's concerts, Vivaldi's concerts, Poulenc's Concert and Bossi's concert for the organ.
Massimiliano Muzzi recorded for the RAI (Italian Radio and Television), for the Italian State Record Library and others national radios and he recorded four CDs of baroque music with Foné recordings. His CD of Bossi’s and Poulenc’s concertos, was released to coincide with a run of performances of the piece with the Symphony orchestra of “S. Cecilia Academy” in Rome.
Muzzi also received other important recognition, among which: 1st Prize in 1994 at the National Organ Competition of Viterbo, 1st prize at the “International Organ Competition in 1998 of Rome”, again in 2000, he won 1st prize in the “TIM Harpsichord Grand Prix” of Rome.
His repertoire includes 500 works for organ and harpsichord and features the opera omnia for organ of Bach, Mozart and the Couperin opera omnia for harpsichord.
In 2006 he was appointed director of the National Academy of the Arts in Rome and artistic director of the “European Organ Festival in Rome”.
The most significant success this exceptional organist has had so far was in 2005. Massimiliano Muzzi was appointed General Director of the National Academy od the Arts in Rome. This distinction has certainly made Muzzi one of the most sought-after organists of the present day.
Among his future plans, Muzzi has various musical appointments scheduled in prestigious international concert halls in the world with his “Claviorganum”.
He teaches Organ and Composition to the State Conservatory of Music in Cosenza (Italy) and he is member of the Royal College of Organists in London.
In 2010 inherited the title of Baron of Strichen.
During a brief professional interlude in the sectors of financial trading and European markets, he visits the Milan Cathedral where he manifests the aspiration to serve God in a real mystical experience. On 25 January 2013 he was ordained a priest of the Ecumenical Catholic Church and consecrated as a Bishop on 8 May 2016, with the mission of creating a community in Italy.
He approaches Hesychasm in a retreat experience at the Hermitage of Camaldoli and begins to study it in depth, creating a method that is also accessible to the laity and subsequently obtaining the international deposit of the "Transcendental Hesychasm" trademark. When he completed his mandate to establish a community in Italy, some complaints relating to the past in finance lead him to face legal problems and, pending trial, even six months of unjust preventive prison. This experience affects him deeply, making him come into contact with a prison reality full of violence, poverty and despair and the desire to help ex-prisoners and people in difficulty matures. In this period he wrote the first best-selling book on Hesychasm "May your gaze illuminate the universe".
On 15 July 2020 he is incardinated in the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht, in the department of the Eastern Church.
Father Massimo currently lives in the Hermitage of the Angels dedicated to Santa Barbara as the patron saint of the Hesychasts, where he continues to form a large group of students and carries out the project of transforming the ancient village into a community of Hesychasts, monks, lay people and volunteers, as well as hosting a shelter for abused animals.