Emile Pandolfi is a master of piano technique who happens to love playing the piano, enjoying great music, hanging out with long time friends and making new ones. He believes in having fun in both his personal life and his professional one. And that is the foundation upon which his career is built. Emile’s primary focus is arranging and performing songs from Broadway, soundtracks and the American Songbook. But he didn’t start out that way…
He began his classical training at the age of five, in his hometown of Brooklyn. When his family relocated to South Carolina a few years later, he continued his training without interruption, taking lessons at Furman University’s Music Department’s College Prep program.
Pandolfi made his orchestral debut at fourteen with a Mozart piano concerto with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. During his senior year in high school, he was asked to perform Rhapsody in Blue with the same fine orchestra - but on a less-than-fine piano; and his most memorable moment came when … the pedals fell off the piano. He and the concertmaster (!!) took a few minutes to try to reattach them; when that didn’t work, another piano was wheeled out, the orchestra began again, and all went on as rehearsed - take two! For Pandolfi, a loose screw was just something to laugh about. (And, yes, he has been accused of having a screw loose more than once).
After earning his graduate degree in piano performance off he went to … St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Sounded like fun - and it was! And strangely enough, there began his club career. After a few years on the island, his carefree, no-plan attitude took him to Sussex, England; Denver, and Los Angeles; at each destination a nightclub was his venue.
Los Angeles also provided an opportunity that isn’t generally available to pianists; once again he performed Rhapsody in Blue, but this time his venue was the LA Coliseum for the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics.
In1985 Emile returned to South Carolina. With the mild seasons, beautiful mountains and gorgeous beaches within easy reach it seemed a perfect place to raise his young family. It turned out to be a great decision and an unlikely launching pad for a recording and performing career - but then, it fit right in with the lack of long-term planning.
Emile recorded his first solo CD, By Request, in 1990 on his own MagicMusic record label. With national distribution a few months later, he quickly shot to the top of the alternative market and, 30 CDs later, continues to enjoy his reputation as one of the world’s top popular pianists.
When you see him in live performance, he’ll astound you with his technique (how many hands??) but he’ll surprise you with his love of laughter. He is, after all, Italian. Decidedly “un-serious”, Emile will romance you to your heart’s content but then make you chuckle between the songs. Maybe that’s why everyone feels so good about Emile!