Cristiana Passerini obtained a degree with excellence in harp performance from the Conservatorio di musica di Bologna, studying with Alba Novella Schirinzi. She continued her specialized studies with Judith Liber, solo harpist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and participated in masterclasses at the Scuola di Alto Perfezionamento di Saluzzo and the Accademia Musicale di Firenze.
From the outset of her career, she collaborated as first harpist with a number of orchestras: RTSI di Lugano, Filarmonica Toscanini, Fondazione A. Toscanini, Orchestra della Toscana, Teatro Regio di Torino, La Fenice di Venezia, Young Israel Philharmonic, RAI di Napoli, Sinfonica di Sanremo. This experience gave her the opportunity to play under conductors such as Metha, Muti, Maazel, Gavazzeni, Inbal, Nagano, Bertini, Dervaux, Latham-König. She has furthermore been a member of orchestras including the RAI di Milano, the Arena di Verona, and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
After her daughters Benedetta and Angelica were born, she decided to dedicate herself to solo and chamber repertory, to teaching, and to research on rare historical compositions, either written specifically for the harp or found in repertories common to a number of instruments.
She is professor of Harp at the Conservatorio di musica di Adria (Ro) and regularly holds seminars and masterclasses across Italy, often in collaboration with the musicologist Mario Baroni or the harpist Lisetta Rossi.
Her principal specialization is in historical performance practise of 17th and 18th century music. Her love of baroque music in particular has led her to develop a refined technique, able to transfer keyboard repertory to the harp. She has recently recorded a compact disc entirely dedicated to the Partitas by J.S. Bach (La Bottega Discantica 2009); one of these works, that she edited in a harp transcription (Rugginenti 2007), was included in the program of the 17th International Harp Contest, held in Israel in 2009, celebrating its 50th anniversary. She has also edited Urtext scores of music for the single-action harp (Ut Orpheus 2009).
She has been invited to perform as a solo harpist and in chamber groups by the following prestigious concert societies: Praga Festival, Ravenna Festival, Neue Italienische Musik a Berlino, Bologna Festival, Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna, Music Factory Festival a Bergen, Società dei Compositori a Reykjavik, Società Filarmonica di Trento, Società dei Concerti a Brescia, Istituto Liszt a Bologna, I Teatri di Reggio Emilia, Di Nuovo Musica, Asolo Musica, Accademia Musicale Napoletana, Estate Fiesolana, Rondottanta, Cantiere d’Arte di Montepulciano, Spazionovecento, G.A.M.O., and many others.
She has dedicated particular attention to 20th century music, participating in world premier performances of solo and chamber works by Donatoni, Nordal, De Pablo, De Olavide, Gentile, Ronchetti, Francesconi, Sani, Cappelli, Hellstenius, Käch, Cisternino, Scattolin, Reverdy, Matthus, Scannavini, Giommoni.
She has performed the solo part of works for harp and orchestra by Mozart, Händel, Debussy, Ferroni, Gossec, and has been accompanied by the Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia, conducted by Donato Renzetti.
Among the chamber groups with which she has collaborated: Ensemble A. Toscanini, Nextime, FontanaMix, Zephir Ensemble, I Solisti del Balthasar-Neumann-Chor, I Virtuosi Italiani, Icarus, I Solisti Dauni, Nuovo Ensemble di Musica/Realtà, Gli Accademici Veronesi, Camerata Anxanum, Octandre, MusicAttuale.