MARCH 1, 1996



by Allan Kozinn

James Barbagallo, an American pianist who won the bronze medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1982 and who performed for several year, as a member of the Amadeus Trio, died on Monday at his parents' home in San Leandro, California. He was 43 and lived in Manhattan. The cause was a heart attack, said Lee Walter, his press representative.

In recital, Mr. Barbagallo was a powerful player who was at his best in barnstorming works by Prokofiev and Schumann, but he also had the sensitivity required for the music of the French impressionists. He also regularly included works by American composers in his recitals, and had released the first three discs in a projected nine-discs survey of the works of Edward MacDowell on the Marco Polo label. He was in California to make more recording for the series when he died.

Mr. Barbagallo was born in Pittsburg, California, on November 3, 1952, and made his public debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra after he won a contest when he was 16. He attended California State University in Hayward and the Juilliard school in New York City, where he was a student of Sascha Gorodnitzki. He eventually became Mr.Gorodnitzki assistant.

In 1982, Mr Barbagallo won the William Petschek Award at Juilliard, which included a New York Recital Debut at Alice Tulley Hall. He won prizes at several other competitions, including the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, the Geneva Competition and the University of Maryland Competition.

He is survived by his parents, Sebastian and Eleanora Barbagallo; two sisters, Lynn Phalan of Carson City, Nevada, and Noreen Byrd of Danville, California; a brother, Bill, of Los Angeles, and his companion, Mark Gasparini.