Paolo Pandolfo is one of Europe's leading exponents of the viola da gamba. In 1979, after studies at the Rome Conservatory, he co-founded (with Rinaldo Alessandrini and Enrico Gatti) la Stravaganza. In 1981, he moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he began collaborating with gambist Jordi Savall and his ensemble Hespèrion XX. In 1989, Pandolfo was named professor of viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, one of the leading centers for training early music performers. Since 1992, he has directed the viol consort Ensemble di viole Labyrinto, with which he has toured internationally. Pandolfo's recordings of Bach's music for the gamba (in 2000 on Harmonia Mundi and again in 2010 on Glossa), and the cello suites performed on the gamba, have generated interest in the role of the instrument in Bach's era. Yet, Pandolfo is also excited about creating new music for the ancient instrument, as evidenced by the 2004 recording Travel Notes, which contains his own music and some by his brother, trumpeter Andrea Pandolfo.
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