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Italian viola da gamba soloist and conductor, Vittorio Ghielmi is compared by the critics to Jasha Heifetz (“Diapason”, Le monde de la Musique) and to Pablo Casals. He has brought to light an entirely new perspective on the repertoire of European ancient music, and particularly for the viola da gamba. He attracts particular attention for the intensity and versatility of his musical interpretation, as well as for his new approach to the viola and to the sound of the repertoire of ancient music.

Ghielmi is considered one of the most remarkable viola players, and is a winner of the «Concorso Internazionale Romano Romanini per strumenti ad arco» (Brescia, 1995) and of the Erwin Bodky Award (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1997). As viola soloist or conductor (working with orchestras such as the London Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl Hall (Graun concerto), the Wiener Philharmoniker, Il Giardino Armonico, Freiburger Baroque Orchestra etc.), and as a duo with his brother Lorenzo Ghielmi or with Luca Pianca, he has played in the most important halls of Europe, the United States, and Japan, such as Musikverein Wien, Berliner Philharmonie Berlin, Casals Hall, Tokyo.

He has been invited to play as a soloist at the world premieres of many “new music” compositions, including works by Kevin Volans at the Teatro Regio di Torino and Nadir Vassena at the Berliner Philharmoniker Hall and has played in duos and trios with artists such as Gustav Leonhart, Christophe Coin, Viktoria Mullova, Giuliano Carmignola, Cecilia Bartoli etc.

He is one of the rare viola da gamba players often asked to play as a solo performer with orchestras. He has assisted Riccardo Muti at the Salzburg Pfingstam festival, and in 2008, Uri Caine composed and dedicated a «concerto for viola da gamba and orchestra» to him premiered at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Ghielmi has recorded several solo albums winning which have won critic prizes (Decca, Teldec, Naïve, Harmonia Mundi France, Accent, CPO etc.). His last productions have been for Winter&Winter, Munich, Germany and Passacaille, Belgium.

As well as being named head of the department of viola da gamba at the Luca Marenzio conservatoire in Brescia, he has given a number of master-classes and conferences in Universities around the world, and has set up a course named Il Suonar Parlante and organised concerts at the «Politecnico della cultura, delle arti e delle lingue» in Milan, dedicated to the technique of ancient instruments and to their survival in the “ethnical” music tradition.

Ghielmi is the author of a famous Method for viola da gamba (with Paolo Biodi, Ut-Orpheus) and of unpublished scores and studies on the ancient repertoire (Fuzeau, Minkoff). He has furthermore worked on the integral edition of Johan Gottlieb Graun’s Viola da Gamba Concertos, and has directed the scientific musical research of “Libroforte-Fine Music editions”. He himself plays on a gamba made by Michel Colichon, Paris 1688.

His ensemble, Il Suonar Parlante, devoted to a new interpretation of the ancient repertoire, has also played with important jazz players such as Kenny Wheeler, Uri Caine, Jim Black, Don Byron, Markus Stockhausen, Nguyen Lê, pop singer Vinicio Capossela and flamenco star Carmen Linares. Several jazz players and composers have written new music for this ensemble. The ensemble also collaborates with traditional Asian musicians such as the Afghan virtuosos of «Ensemble Kaboul» (Khaled Arman).


Lorenzo Ghielmi, clave y Vittorio Ghielmi, Viola da gamba: Obras de Carl P. Emanuel Bach, Louis Marchand, Antoine y Jean-Baptiste Forqueray.

Tráiler “THE HEART OF SOUND – A musical journey with Vittorio Ghielmi” Documental, dir. Paul Fenkart.


Dossier de Vittorio Ghielmi