Francesco Cera, harpsichordist, organist, and conductor, is regarded as one of Italy’s leading early music specialists, internationally recognized for his performances of 17th and 18th-century keyboard music, as well as conductor of Italian early Baroque vocal repertoire.
1989-1991 specialized under L. Ferdinando Tagliavini and Gustav Leonhardt, graduating from the Amsterdam Conservatory.
1991-1994 harpsichordist of the ensemble Giardino Armonico. Recordings for Teldec and concert tournés all over Europe.
1996 founds and directs the Ensemble Arte Musica, performing Italian vocal repertoire from Gesualdo and Monteverdi to 18th-century cantatas.
Since 1990 solo recitals and as conductor of Ensemble Arte Musica at Festival of Flanders in Bruges, Resonanzen in Vienna, Baroktage Melk, Philarmonie Köln, Festival Alter Musik in Herne, Reecontros in Sintra, Fundaciòn Juan March in Madrid, Festival de Musique Ancienne in Maguelone, Saint-Michel en Thiérache, Ladegard in Oslo, Les Sommets Musicaux in Gstaad,
Musica e poesia a San Maurizio in Milan, Accademia Filarmonica in Rome, Monteverdi Festival in Cremona, Bologna Festival, Sagra Musicale Malatestiana in Rimini, and other music festivals and organ series in Europe, Scandinavia and USA.
1995-2015 performs with Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti;
recordings for Arts, Virgin, and Decca.
1996-2005 recordings for label Tactus, Arts and Tempéraments
– works of Italian 17th-century composers (Rossi, Merula, Storace, Valente)
– D. Scarlatti harpsichord Sonatas
– J. S. Bach French Suites and harpsichord Concertos
– Gesualdo fourth book of madrigals
– Monteverdi Lamento di Arianna
– Colonna Nisi Dominus
since 2006 recordings for Brilliant Classics
– Bach Orgelbüchlein
– Scarlatti and the neapolitan song
– Gesualdo Tenebrae Responsoria
– D’Anglebert complete harpsichord works
– Trabaci organ and harpsichord works
– Stradella Complete String Sinfonias
– Erotica Antiqua (Neapolitan Villanellas)
– The organ at European Courts
In 2019 the label Arcana (Outhere Music) releases a 7-CD box with Cera’s interpretation of Girolamo Frescobaldi’s four may keyboard collections, recorded on nine priceless instruments.
He has also entertained collaborations with singers Guillemette Laurens and Letizia Calandra, violinists Enrico Onofri and Marco Serino, lutenist Francesco Romano.
He has held master classes at
Royal Academy of Music di Londra, Smarano Organ Academy,
Piccola Accademia Montisi, Oberlin Conservatory, Yale University, Eastman School of Music, Arizona State University, Frescobaldi Akademiet in Grimstad (Norway)
He teaches harpsichord at Conservatorio E.R. Duni in Matera (Italy)