Paolo Pandolfo

Paolo Pandolfo began his research in the field of renaissance and baroque musical idioms around 1979 together with violinist Enrico Gatti and harpsicordist Rinaldo Alessandrini. He studied with Jordi Savall at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland.
As a member of J.Savall's ensemble Hesperion XX from 1982-1990, he played concerts throughout the world, and made dozens of recordings (among them Bach's Kunst der Fuge, J.Dowlands Consort music, Neapolitan Renaissance Music , etc.).

In 1990, after the huge success of his first recording as a soloist (C.P.E.Bach's Sonatas for Viola da Gamba), he was nominated as Professor of viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. Since this appointment, he has concentrated his teaching activities in Basel, while his performing career takes him all over the world, playing with artists such as Emma Kirkby, Rolf Lislevand, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Mitzi Meyerson, Jose' Miguel Moreno and many others. Since 1992 he directs Labyrinto, a group of four or five viola da gambas, which is dedicated to the huge "consort music" repertoire.

Paolo Pandolfo has recorded for Astree, Emi, Philips, Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Tactus, Simphonia. Since 1997 all his recordings are by the spanish leading record company GLOSSA, with whom he made the first recording of A.Forqueray's "Pieces de Viole." This was followed by "The Spirit of Gambo"(music by T.Hume with Labyrinto and Emma Kirkby). His first unaccompained recital, A Solo, was pointed as one of the best releases of the year 1998 by Gramophone . He dedicated two releases to M.Marais: "Le Labyrinthe et autres histoires", dedicated to character music by the great French composer; and “Le Grand Ballet”, focused on his gestures and dance music. His trancription of J.S.Bach's six Solo Suites, released in 2000, has been a great success. His recordings have received overwhelmingly positive reviews, as well as many awards by leading musical magazines (Gramophone, Le Monde de La Musique, Goldberg Scherzo, Diapason, etc.). The Abel Cd "The Drexel Manuscript" is presently running for the Best Year's Cd in the category "Instrumental" for the BBC Music Magazine.

He is invited to perform and to give masterclasses all over the world. He has been described as "the Yo Yo Ma of the viol." Paolo Pandolfo builds bridges between the past and the present, bringing spontaneous and immediate life to the performance of Baroque and Renaissance music using medias such as improvisation, transcriptions, and composition of modern pieces, and making the case that the patrimony of ancient music can be a powerful inspiration for the future of Western musical tradition.