About Carlo Aonzo
by Eugene Braig
Carlo Aonzo, mandolinist, is a native of Savona, Italy. From a musical family, his initial teacher on the instrument was his father. He went on to study with Ugo Orlandi, the current patriarch of the Italian mandolin camp, at the Cesare Pollini Conservatory of Padua. His playing has been recognized with awards at prestigious competitions including the "Vivaldi" prize of the 6th annual Vittorio Pitzianti National Mandolin Competition in Venice as well as the 27th annual Walnut Valley National Mandolin Contest in Winfield, Kansas.
Carlo has toured throughout northern Europe, Italy, and the USA as a soloist or with chamber ensembles and orchestras. He worked with many musical institutions including La Scala Philharmonic, Milan. As director of the Ligurian Plectrum Orchestra (Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure), he has been called to play in the presence of Pope John Paul II. Since 1998 he has created and directed the annual winter Festival Internazionale di Mandolino in Varazze, Italy; performers there have included the most respected names in mandolin and guitar. He is an active scholar of historic mandolinists and mandolin repertoire and has contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He is a regular faculty member at the mandolin-oriented Kaufman Kamp and teaches annual June workshops in New York.
Carlo’s recorded output reflects his scholarship and passion to champion the mandolin’s forgotten past. He has recorded Paganini’s complete works for mandolin on period mandolino Genovese with the octave-guitar tuning (Integrale per Amandorlino & Chitarra Francese, Arion). His recordings have also featured the works of early 20th century Italians with guitarist Beppe Gambetta (Serenata, Acoustic Music Records) and Italian immigrants to America with Gambetta and mandolinist David Grisman (Traversata, Acoustic Disc). For Mel Bay, he has recorded a video studio concert of solo mandolin repertoire (Carlo Aonzo: Classical Mandolin Virtuoso) and was featured in Mandolin 2000.
"Carlo is a marvelous performer who simply exudes magic when he plays."
Terry Pender, editor Mandolin Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 4
The Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure was founded by Carlo Aonzo in Genova, Italy in 1998. It is formed of 25 musicians, both professionals and amateurs. It is considered one of the most acclaimed and influential plucked string ensembles active in Europe today. The orchestra specializes in playing original repertoire for plucked string ensembles and transcriptions of Baroque orchestral works.