Stefano Montanari graduated cum laude in Violin and Piano and received a M.A. in Chamber Music with Pier Narciso Masi at Florence’s Music Academy. He then received an additional diploma in Violin Performance at the Swiss-Italian School of Music in Lugano under the guidance of Carlo Chiarappa. He focused his studies on historically informed practice. Since 1995, he is the first violin at the Accademia Bizantina in Ravenna under the direction of Ottavio Dantone. He is also the first violin of the Joachim Quartet, that specialises in the performance of 18th-19th Century quartets, played with authentic instruments. He collaborates with leading exponents in the field of early music, particularly with Christophe Rousset and his ensemble, Les Talents Lyriques. M° Montanari teaches Baroque Violin at both the International Academy of Music in Milan and the “E.V. Dall’Abaco” Music Conservatory in Verona. He also holds master classes at the Ancient Music Academy in Urbino. He taught Baroque Violin and Chamber Music at the Music Conservatories in Cesena, Parma, Pesaro, Piacenza and at Lugano’s Swiss-Italian School of Music between 1993 and 1999.
He has recently made his conducting debut with an As.Li.Co. production of Le Nozze di Figarowith the Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, followed by Mozart’s Messa KV 337 on the podium of the Accademia Bizantina. He was Konzertmeister in several performances of Concerto Köln. He participated in various concerts as both conductor and violin solo: Haydn’s The Seven Last Words and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Accademia Bizantina; Vivaldi and Mendelssohn with Orchestra 1813. M° Montanari conducted Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Baroque Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, for a Christmas concert in 2007 and for a gala in honor of the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification, events that were both live broadcast on national television. Stefano Montanari is Principal Director of the “Jugendspodium Dresden-Venice” project.
Highlights of his conducting career include regular collaborations with the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo (Don Gregorio; L’Elisir d’Amore; Don Pasquale and Piccinni’s La Cecchina, ossia la Buona Figliuola) and the Opéra de Lyon (Don Giovanni, Così Fan Tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro);Don Pasquale in Novara and Mantova; L’Elisir d’Amore in Lucca; a series of concerts in Canada with the ARION ensemble; Semiramide Riconosciuta at the Musique Baroque de Beaune and at the Via Stellae in Santiago de Compostela; and Don Giovanni at the Opera-Atelier in Toronto. He has recently started a research project that aims at producing the critical edition of operas of the 19th Century, particularly Donizetti, in collaboration with scholars of the Hochschule der Künste Bern. He is also currently editing a Baroque Violin method for Carisch. He recently conducted La Cecchina (ossia la buona figliola) and Così Fan Tutte at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo; L’inganno Felice, Così Fan Tutte, La cambiale di Matrimonio, L’Elisir d’amore and a series of concert at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice; Die Zauberfloete and Carmen at the Opera the Lyon (awarded as the best opera staged in 2012 season); Dido and Aeneas at the Teatro Ristori in Verona; Liederabend in Florence; Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Palermo; Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in Taranto; and cocert in Palermo, Milan, Florence, Turin and Bern. Maestro Montanari received huge acclaim for his baroque tour in Australia with the Brandeburg Cosort.
His future plans include: Le Comte Ory and a series of concerts in Lyon; Così fan tutte in Moscow; Il Viaggio a Reims in Amsterdam; L’Inganno Felice, Don Giovanni and a series of concerts on Mozart’s works at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice; Dido and Aeneas in Florence; Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Verona (Teatro Filarmonico) where he will also conduct some balletts; Bach’s Mass in B Minor and a series of concerts with the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Orchestra in Florence, concerts as violinist and conductor with Estravagante on tour in Italy, in Zurich with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, in Milan with La Verdi Orchestra.
Mr. Montanari has recorded for Foné, Frequenz, Denon, Opus 111, Erato, Virgin, Tactus, Astrée, Thymalus, Simphonya, Bottega Discantica, Decca, Oiseau Lyre and Naïve (receiving the MIDEM international award as best baroque recording both in 2007 and 2010). His recording of Corelli’s Violin Sonatas op. 5 for Arts received widespread recognition and numerous international prizes, including a Diapason d’Or. He was recently nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Classical Vocal Solo) for his recording of Purcell’s O Solitude with Andreas Scholl, Christophe Dumaux and Accademia Bizantina for Decca. His recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas has just been published for the Italian music magazine Amadeus. He is also currently editing a Baroque Violin method for Carisch. Maestro Montanari had collaborated and recorded with jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Gianluigi Trovesi.