Carlo Aonzo


       

Recommended Listening:
Through 4 Seasons
Carlo Aonzo & Ensemble Il Falcone
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Antonio Vivaldi Concerti
Carlo Aonzo e Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure
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Paganini Duets for Mandolin & Guitar
Carlo Aonzo & Rene Izquierdo
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Mandolin Images
Carlo Aonzo & Orchestra Accademia Internazionale Mandolino
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Fantasia Poetica
Carlo Aonzo with Elena Buttiero
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KAZE
Carlo Aonzo and Katsumi Nagaoka
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The 18th Century Mandolin
Carlo Aonzo with Elena Buttiero
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Traversata
Carlo Aonzo with Beppe Gambetta and David Grisman
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Serenata
Carlo Aonzo and Beppe Gambetta
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Paganini Works for Mandolin & French Guitar
Carlo Aonzo, mandolin; Sandro Volta, guitar, with the original C.N. Mandolino Genovese
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Sample Track:  Old Italian Swing Medley
(from "Carlo Aonzo Trio - A Mandolin Journey")

Carlo Aonzo, mandolinist, is a native of Savona, Italy where he grew up immersed in music. His initial teacher, his father Giuseppe (Director of the "Circolo Mandolinistico G. Verdi di Savona"), instilled in him a love and respect for the mandolin that has remained with him all his life. As a teenager Carlo went on to study with Ugo Orlandi, the current patriarch of the Italian mandolin, at the Cesare Pollini Conservatory in Padua where he graduated with honours (summa cum laude) in 1993. His playing has been recognized with awards at prestigious competitions including winning the "Vivaldi" prize of the 6th annual Vittorio Pitzianti National Mandolin Competition in Venice and first prize at the 27th annual Walnut Valley National Mandolin Contest in Winfield, Kansas.

Carlo has toured throughout Europe, Italy, Japan, the USA and Canada as a soloist and with chamber ensembles and orchestras (both professional and amateur). He has worked with many prestigious musical institutions including La Scala Philharmonic in Milan, Emilia-Romagna Symphony Orchestra, Savona Symphony Orchestra, Cannes Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Chamber Orchestra and as director of the Ligurian Plectrum Orchestra (Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure) who were called to play in the presence of Pope John Paul II. In 1998 he inaugurated the annual winter International Mandolin Festival in Varazze, Italy, and directed many editions of the festival over the years, calling on some of the most respected names in mandolin and guitar to perform there.

Carlo’s recordings reflect his scholarship and passion to both champion the mandolin’s forgotten past and to develop its classical tradition into the future. He has recorded Paganini’s complete works for mandolin on period mandolino genovese with the octave-guitar tuning (Integrale per Amandorlino & Chitarra Francese). His recordings have also featured the works of early 20th century Italian virtuosi with guitarist Beppe Gambetta (Serenata) and Italian immigrants to America with Gambetta and mandolinist David Grisman (Traversata). He featured on David Grisman's cd Crossing (American mandolin). For Mel Bay, he has recorded an in-studio video concert of solo mandolin repertoire (Carlo Aonzo: Classical Mandolin Virtuoso), was featured in the book Mandolin 2000 and in 2010 released the book & cd collection Northern Italian & Ticino Region Folk Songs for Mandolin. His Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure's recording of arrangements of Vivaldi concerti (Antonio Vivaldi: Concerti per Mandolino e Concerti per Orchestra) is a rare demonstration of the rich sonority of a modern, active mandolin orchestra.

His collaboration with guitarist Katsumi Nagaoka in Europe has resulted in successful concert tours and an exciting CD, Kaze, which offers both a respectful nod to historic repertoire and premiers lively, sophisticated new compositions. Other recent recordings have featured him partnered with keyboardist Elena Buttiero (on spinet and piano): Il mandolino italiano nel Settecento (2008) and a cd of Romantic works, Fantasia Poetica (2010). Carlo's duo with Elena Buttiero has completed three successful tours of the USA (in 2009, 2010 and 2011) and were invited to perform at the Europfestival Zupfmusik 2010 in Bruchsal, Germany. Carlo’s most recent collaboration with Cuban guitarist René Izquierdo in the US has seen the release of a lively rendition of music for mandolin and guitar by Genoese composer and violinist Niccolo Paganini (Paganini). Carlo and René toured the southern states of the US in October 2011 and embarked on a cd release tour of the Northeast US in May-June 2012, including a performance for the Italian Consulate of Philadelphia for Italian National Day.