Born in Messina in 1962, he graduated from the Conservatorio “Corelli” of his hometown in 1986, and continued his musical education in Rome with Martin Joseph, at the National Music Jazz Workshops in Siena with Enrico Pieranunzi and Bruno Tommaso, at the Berklee Summer School of Perugia with Bud Fredman in composition and orchestration, and at the Accademia Chigiana of Siena with Ennio Morricone and Sergio Miceli in Film Music. He made his debut in 1979 as a jazz pianist collaborating, among others, with Paolo Fresu, Gianluigi Trovesi, Giulio Capiozzo, Bradley Wheeler, Faisal Taher.
He regularly plays in music venues and festivals, alternating concerts with teaching and composition. In 1996 he takes part to the 50th Edimburgh Fringe Festival, performing at the Demarco European Art Foundation with the show “Partitura per sangue e anima”. In 1996 he also ended the composition of his opera “La distanza della Luna”, based on the novel by Italo Calvino, that premiered in January 1997 at the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele of Messina and successfully repeated in many performances, the most recent at the Ancient Theatre of Taormina for Taormina Arte Festival 2007, with the actors Arnoldo Foà and the Mediterranean Symphonic Orchestra.
With the composition “Le tempeste” he won in 1999 the third edition of the Piano Composition Contest “De Musica” in Savona. In January of 2002 he performed the multimedia project “Il gabinetto del dottor Caligari”, inspired by the homonymous film of Robert Wiene, with the Compagnia Virgilio Sieni Danza. In 2004 he completed the composition of “Atlas Coelestis, the music and the stars”, performed in important Scientific Institutions (Modena Planetarium, Rome Planetarium, Earth Science Laboratory of Pontassieve, University of Messina, Pitagora Award of Crotone, Science Festival of Rome) and published on the scientific revues “Coelum” and “Le stelle”.
For cinema, he realized and played live music for silent movies (“Sunrise” by Murnau, “Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari” by Wiene commissioned by Theatre of Messina, “You’re Darn Tootin’” by E. Kennedy starring Laurel-Hardy, “Cops” by Buster Keaton, “Voyage dans la Lune” by Georges Méliès, “Cenere” by Febo Mari starring Eleonora Duse, “The Phantom of the Opera” by Rupert Julian starring Lon Chaney commissioned by Taormina Film Festival); compositions for soundtracks with directors Francesco Calogero (“Visioni private”), Anne Riitta Ciccone (“L’amore di Màrja”), Citto Maselli (theatrical staging of “Codice private”), Nanni Moretti.
Giovanni Renzo composed the music for more than twenty theatrical performance, working, among others, with Ninni Bruschetta, Giancarlo Sammartano, Donato Castellaneta, Maurizio Marchetti, Walter Manfrè, Duilio Del Prete, Amanda Sandrelli, Giancarlo Giannini, Arnoldo Foà. He won the Special Mention at the International Film Music Contest “Mario Nascimbene Award 2006”.
Since 2010 he is protagonist of the “Cosmic Concert”, an annual event for the Global Astronomy Month organized by Astronomers Without Borders and broadcast live streaming worldwide.
Renzo was quoted by the Spanish Blog “Los mejores pianistas del Mundo” as one of the world’s greater pianist, mainly for his original work about music and astronomy.
His first recording, “Eclisse” (1989), is a collection of piano solo compositions. Then he produced “La distanza della Luna” for piano and orchestra (1996 and 2007), “Il mare” (2001), live recording featuring Paolo Fresu, “Atlas Coelestis”, book plus DVD (2008), and the piano solo albums “Infanzia” (2008), “Racconti per pianoforte” (2010), “Live in Marsala” (2018).