Born in Saronno, Italy, Giulio Mercati began studying the piano at the age of six under the tutelage of his grandfather, Maestro Lamberto Torrebruno, a representative of an important family of musicians: he then completed his musical studies in organ, composition, and harpsichord under such distinguished musicians as Luigi Toja, Jean Boyer, Olivier Latry, Massimo Berzolla, Bruno Bettinelli, Emilia Fadini and Danilo Costantini.
A musician of great versatility, Giulio Mercati is extremely active as a concert performer in Italy and abroad, primarily as an organ and harpsichord soloist, and as a continuo player in many important ensembles: working with I Barocchisti, under the direction of Diego Fasolis, and the Orchestra of Italian Switzerland (Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana), under conductors such as Alain Lombard, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Alexander Vedernikov, Heinz Holliger, Hubert Soudant, Antonello Manacorda, Giancarlo Andretta, Stefano Montanari, Ottavio Dantone and many others. Mercati’s organ repertoire covers music right from the Renaissance all the way to the virtuoso compositions of the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular the works of César Franck, Max Reger and Julius Reubke.
He has recorded for the RTSI (Swiss Italian Radio), Bottega Discantica and Tactus. The latest releases – on Tactus – are, respectively, dedicated to virtuoso transcriptions, of notable Wagnerian creations, for organ by Edwin Lemare, and to the complete organ works of Giovanni Tebaldini on a double CD.
He is the director of the vocal group San Bernardo, and is resident organist the Basilica Prepositurale di San Vincenzo in Prato in Milan, and at the Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli in Lugano. As an active composer, especially in the field of organ and choral music, Giulio Mercati has written the music for the theatre production of Shakespeare/Wyspiański: Burza, based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and for Stanisław Wyspiański’s Wesele, directed by Arkadiusz Tworus, which was staged in February 2007 at the Teatr Dramatyczny im. Jerzego Szaniawskiego (Poland). One of his latest and most important compositions - for organ - was commissioned in 2010 by the Delegazione Pontificia Lauretana and is based on ancient Marian hymns.
In 2013 he will be busy with music for the stage, with original compositions for the play Arianna, Arianna, directed by Mariano Dammacco. In 1996, Giulio Mercati received an Honours Degree in Philosophy from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan; for his dissertation on musical aesthetics. In 1998, the publisher Rugginenti brought out an extended essay, written by Giulio Mercati, entitled, “Bruno Bettinelli: il cammino di un musicista”, dedicated to the life and works of Milanese composer Bruno Bettinelli, in light of the most recent hermeneutic philosophical developments. He is artistic director, and even creator, of numerous prestigious international festivals in Italy and in Switzerland.