Renato Diz is a Portuguese pianist, composer and producer based in New York City.
Born in Porto, Portugal, Renato studied exclusively classical piano for the first 12 years of his life, under the supervision of Rui Pintão, however with the intention of becoming a criminal psychologist.
A chance encounter with jazz at the age of 16 - a performance by renowned Portuguese jazz pianist and composer Carlos Azevedo - changed his life and he decided, literally overnight, to become an artist. He became the first (and only) private student of Carlos Azevedo and went on to win one of two available spots at the leading jazz program in Portugal and Spain for a double bachelor’s degree in classical and jazz performance. His main instructors were Michael Lauren and Abe Rábade in jazz, and Sofia Lourenço in the classical department. He also took private lessons with the revered pianist Mário Laginha.
In 2011, Renato moved to New York City to pursue a double master’s degree in jazz and classical performance at New York University, from which he graduated Summa cum laude. His main instructors are internationally-acclaimed jazz artists Ralph Alessi, Jean-Michel Pilc, Tony Moreno and Andy Milne, and Marilyn Nonken in classical and post-modern repertoire. During this time he was awarded a NYU Scholarship for Outstanding Performance, Ella Fitzgerald Scholarship and Leake & Watts Citizenship Award.
Renato finds inspiration in many art forms and has composed, performed and recorded post-modern, experimental, new jazz, pop, heavy metal, and world music.
One of his daring projects is a collaboration with Zulfugar Baghirov on a groundbreaking modern interpretation of selected works by Azeri / Soviet composers Qara Qaraev, Zakir Baghirov, Faradj Qarayev and Uzeyir Hajibayov. Fully sponsored by the Karabagh Foundation, the album QaraBag was released in 2014 and it's first physical edition sold out in just two weeks.
Renato is also active in composition and innovating cross-disciplinary concepts.
In 2009, he composed and recorded the soundtrack for the documentary “Memórias de um lugar (A Place’s Memories)”, which was awarded Official Selection at the Curtas International Film Festival. His project “Lake”, an interactive stage performance fusing electronics, video, acting and acoustic improvisation, won Best Artistic Project at the 2010 Serralves International Festival.
In January 2013, Renato transversed artistic mediums again in collaboration with internationally acclaimed expressionist painter Adelino Angelo. The critically acclaimed performance featured Renato spontaneously improvising on the piano to 11 randomly chosen paintings by the maestro at the Antonio de Almeida Foundation in Porto, Portugal. In the same year, his collaboration with New York Times artist André da Loba, entitled Tuttodunpezzo was awarded a Gold Medal by the Society of Illustrators. In February 2017, he released an animation short-movie in collaboration with the revered Icelandic visual artist Sigrún Hreins entitled LAKE.
In 2015 his project “I will play your soul” was selected between 26,000 applications to be featured at IDEAS Festival at New Museum.
As a performer, Mr. Diz has had the opportunity of performing at some of the most important music venues and festivals in Europe, North and South America.
Since 2011 he has been featured in a total of 20 recordings between his own music and collaborative projects that range from new music to jazz, heavy metal, world, classical, afro, experimental and avant-garde to name just a few.
In 2016 Renato Diz signed with New York based label W&J Productions and released four recordings of completely different aesthetics and instrumentations: Distance Chemistry, Poetics Of Sight, EARPRINTS & Breathing Taiwan.