His first RCA recording, with Gerard Schwarz and the New York Chamber Orchestra, featuring the Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concerto, was released to critical acclaim; he has performed this Concerto over 350 times with major orchestras worldwide.
Bonfiglio has been a concerto soloist with leading orchestras around the world including the Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Orchestra of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Luxembourg Philharmonic, the Leipzig M D R-Radio Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Madrid Radio Television Española Orchestra, Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, the Estonia National Symphony, the Mexico City Philharmonic, as well as the Milwaukee Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Utah Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He performed the world premiere of the Henry Cowell Harmonica Concerto with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the West Coast premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under conductor Lucas Foss. Robert Bonfiglio has appeared as a soloist with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, John Williams and the Boston Pops on PBS, John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, with Fabio Luisi and the MDR Orchestra at the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Theo Alcantara and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the Teatro Colón.
Robert Bonfiglio got his Masters degree in composition from Manhattan School of Music. He studied harmonica with Cham-ber Huang and was coached for 12 years by Andrew Lolya, the first flute of the New York City Ballet, during which time he studied the major works for harmonica and orchestra. Robert studied composition with Charles Wuorinen and Aaron Copland.
ROBERT BONFIGLIO is the Founding Director of the GRAND CANYON MUSIC FESTIVAL.
BONFIGLIO - POP
Called "the Paganini of the Harmonica" by The Los Angeles Times, ROBERT BONFIGLIO has dazzled audiences at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Gewandhaus, the Teatro Colón, Lincoln Center and throughout the world with his ability to play Harmonica Concertos and turn right around and "sizzle" on the 'blues.
Robert has appeared on "CBS Sunday Morning," "CBS Morning Show," "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee," "Larry King," and Garrison Keillor's "American Radio Show." He has had feature stories and reviews in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune and was just called "the world's greatest classical harmonica soloist" by the San Jose Mercury Sun.
In the Pop field, ROBERT BONFIGLIO, has worked with such artists as Chakka Khan, John Sebastian, Bernard Purdie, Roberto Carlos, producer Arif Mardin, Mandy Patinkin and is currently has a "Harmonica America" recording with PHOEBE SNOW.
The harmonica is, without question, "America's Instrument." Its lore and legacy is woven throughout the fabric of U.S. history as its plaintive sound evokes images of our country's heritage. Abraham Lincoln played the harmonica! There are few who haven't, at some time, sought to make music on it. Raised in the heartland of Iowa, Bonfiglio has put together many CD's which expresses the breadth and depth of the American musical experience.
Heralded by the Boston Globe as the "Master of the Harmonica (whose) playing is something you have to hear to believe," his new ensemble, "BONFIGLIO" performs what Robert calls "sophisticated acoustic music" played by this talented group of artists. Their first recording, "Through the Raindrops," lauded for its blending of forms and captivating sound, spent eight months on the Billboard charts.
BONFIGLIO uses harmonica, guitar, violin and standup bass with some vocals. Drawn from the idioms of folk, jazz, country, blues, popular and classical music and set in the context of an acoustic group, the show features a wide range of music in an American style.
A virtuoso of the very first rank, Robert Bonfiglio has taken the harmonica to a new level of performance. His concerts in the U.S., Europe, South America and the Far East have received the type of critical praise reserved for the very few. Bonfiglio's pioneering work is reflected in the spirit of a land and its people is celebrated through its own instrument, the harmonica.