L’Estravagante is the fruit of the union of five musicians who wanted to share their common passion for chamber music, with the intention of working within a repertoire which, in being performed in a Baroque style with original instruments, rarely sees the establishment of groups with a strong tradition behind them.
The violinists Stefano Montanari, Elisa Citterio and Stefano Rossi, the cellist Francesco Galligoni and the harpsichordist and organist Maurizio Salerno consider the ensemble to be the best expression of a group effort and discovering that rare synergy necessary for the development of any creative project.
Even though its members have a rich experience behind them in both performance and teaching, recognized at an international level, the quartet was only formed recently. It has already made several CD recordings and played many concerts, appreciated both for their freshness and for the originality of their musical choices.
Thus the ensemble’s discography offers interesting monographic works like the Suonate a doi, violino & viola da gamba by D. Buxtehude, op. 1 and op. 2, published in 2007 on a double CD by the magazine Amadeus and by SACD for the Arts label, a version which received, in March 2008, the Supersonic Award from the prestigious journal Pizzicato.
For the occasion the viola da gamba player Rodney Prada took part in the musical project.
The subsequent recording for the ensemble was the six sonatas for a trio of two violins and basso continuo by J. Pachelbel, a fairly unusual work for its use of scordatura, a style used by composers like F.I. Biber, and once again published by Amadeus, this time in 2009.
They recently recorded a cd that include part of the Sonatas op.1 of Vivaldi, published by Amadeus in 2011 and re-edited by Naïve in 2012. The Ensemble monographs will reach their peak next year with the Corelli’s celebrations. Moreover the Ensemble is also known for its single voice repertory and the collaboration with musicians such as Michael Chance and Roberta Mameli have been highly prestigious.
> Stefano Montanari
Stefano Montanari won his degree in violin and pianoforte with the highest grades and cum laude, obtained a specialist diploma in chamber music under PierNarciso Masi at the Accademia Musicale of Florence, and the soloist’s diploma under Carlo Chiarappa at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (the Conservatory of Italian Switzerland) of Lugano.
Since 1995 he has been the lead violinist of the Accademia Bizantina of Ravenna, an ensemble specialising in early music, with which he has toured around the world.
He has worked with the most important figures in early music. He teaches Baroque violin at the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan, as well as the second-level course in Baroque violin at the Conservatorio “Dall’Abaco” of Verona and is a teacher of Baroque violin in the specialist course in early music at Urbino. He was a principal performer at the Christmas Concert in the Italian Senate in 2007 and 2011, where he conducted the Baroque orchestra of Santa Cecilia of Rome and performed Vivaldi’s Four Seasons live for Eurovision.
Apart from his solo work, he also works as conductor in the season of the Theatre of Bergamo where he conducted G. Donizetti’s Don Gregorio, Elisir d’Amore and Don Pasquale, and N. Piccinni’s Cecchina; he conducted G. Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at Teatro Coccia in Novara and Elisir d’Amore at Teatro del Giglio in Lucca.
He hes been regularly invited at Teatro La Fenice in Venice where he conducted G. Rossini’s Inganno felice , W.A. Mozart’s Così fan tutte and of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor. He has recently conducted W.A. Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni at the Opera Atelier in Toronto.
For five years he has been the director of the European youth project “Jugendspodium Incontri Musicali Dresda-Venezia”.
Particularly important is his collaboration with the jazz musician Gianluigi Trovesi with whom he completed a large number of recording projects and participated at the most important international festivals.
Upcoming engagements include
Estravagante: concerts in Milan and Bologna
Accademia Bizantina: concerts in Milan, Ravenna, Aix en provence, Ascona.
J.S Bach: Integral Sonatas and Partitas for Violin by J.S. Bach in Lyon and Milan
G. Bizet: Carmen at the Opera of Lyon.
W.A. Mozart: Così fan tutte at Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo.
W.A. Mozart: Il Flauto magico at the Opera of Lyon.
G.F. Handel: Alcina at the Opera Atelier Toronto.
He has recorded for Foné, Frequenz, Denon, Opus 111, Erato, Virgin, Tactus, Astrée, Thymallus, Simphonya, Bottega Discantica, Decca, Oiseau Lyre, Arts (not long ago his recording of the Sonatas, Opus 5, of A. Corelli won the Diapason d’or in France and numerous other international prizes and commendations), and Naive (in 2007 and 2010 he won the MIDEM international prize, as best record of the year for Baroque music) For the ED. CARISCH publishing house he is preparing a book, “Metodo per violino Barocco” (“Method for Baroque Violin”).
He was nominated for the Grammy Awards of Los Angeles, the world most important music award, with his record O solitude, Decca Label, as conductor and konzertmeister of the Accademia Bizantina with the counter-tenor A. Scholl.
> Maurizio Salerno
Maurizio Salerno, born in Milan, obtained his Organ and Organ Composition diploma at his hometown Conservatory, his Harpsichord diploma, with Ottavio Dantone, at the Lugano and Turin Conservatories and his Sacred Music diploma at Roma Conservatory.
He furthered his studies at the “Schola Cantorum” in Basel with Jean-Claude Zehnder; he studied afterwards with Andrea Marcon. His intense soloist concert schedule has brought him throughout Italy and Europe, but he played also in the U.S., South America, Russia and Australia. With violinist Stefano Montanari he founded the ensemble “L’Estravagante”, with whom he recorded works by Buxtehude, Pachelbel, Vivaldi and Bach. As a continuo player he collaborates with renowned European orchestras, such as the Orchestra Mozart (conducted by Claudio Abbado), the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (Orchestra of Italian Switzerland) and I Barocchisti of RTSI (conducted by Diego Fasolis).
In February 2012 with the Orchestra “I Pomeriggi Musicali” conducted by Marco Guidarini, he premiered as soloist (with Maurizio Croci) the concert “I tempi di Dafne” for two harpsichords and orchestra by Carlo Galante.
With organist Edoardo Bellotti he has recorded a number of CDs with music for two organs for Amadeus magazine and Bottega Discantica. He often holds courses at important Music Academies and Conservatories.
He is resident organist of the renowned Basilica di Santa Maria della Passione (Milan).
He currently teaches Organ and Organ Composition at Darfo Conservatory - Boario Terme.
> Elisa Citterio
Elisa Citterio completed her musical studies at the Conservatory L. Marenzio of Brescia and obtained her diploma in violin and viola with the highest grades and the honorable mention; she furthered her studies with F. Gulli, A. Carfi, C. Romano, P. Vernikov and with E. Onofri, L. Mangiocavallo e C. Banchini in baroque violin.
Her artistic life is divided between the orchestra activity (she played as konzertmeister and soloist for the orchestra of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, and she has been collaborating with the most important theatres of Northern Italy) and the intense chamber music activity in prestigious ensemble such as Dolce & Tempesta, Europa Galante, Accademia Bizantina, Accordone, Zefiro, La Venexiana, La Risonanza, Ensemble 415. She took part in a large number of tournée and recordings.
Moreover, she performs an important concert activity as first violin and director of the Ensemble Brixia Musicalis and a chamber music activity with the harpsichordist Stefano Demicheli.
Since 2004 she has been performing with the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
> Stefano Rossi
Stefano Rossi graduated “cum laude” in baroque violin at Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where he studied with Lucy van Dael.
He is a member of the orchestra Accademia Bizantina and he collaborates as soloist and konzertmeister with groups such as Holland Baroque Society, Concerto d’Amsterdam, Cappella della Pietà dei Turchini, Amsterdam Baroque Orchesta, Musica ad Rhenum, Zefiro, Banchetto musicale, Al Ayre Espanol.
He has also been recording for a large number of european radio and for record labels such as Naive, Stradivarius, Decca, Ambroyse e Virgin Classic.
He plays an instrument made by Hendrick Jacobs, 1694.
> Francesco Galligioni
After graduating from the class of Gianni Chiampan at the Conservatorio C. Pollini in Padua, Francesco Galligioni continued his cello studies in master classes with Michael Flaksman and Teodora Campagnaro and later with Franco Maggio Ormezowski at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and at the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini in Parma. He perfected his playing of the Baroque cello in master classes given by Walter Vestidello and Gaetano Nasillo; afterwards he worked together with such renowned experts on early music as Anner Bylsma, Giuliano Carmignola, Andrea Marcon, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Diego Fasolis, Bob van Asperen, Gustav Leonhardt and Christopher Hogwood.
Galligioni’s passionate interest in early music also led him to play the viol and he completed his studies of this instrument in 2007 with Paolo Biordi at the Florence Conservatory. Francesco Galligioni is a founding member of the Accademia di San Rocco and of the Venice Baroque Orchestra, with which he performs regularly as first cellist in the world’s most important concert halls, including the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. He has also worked as section leader together with the Sonatori della Gioiosa Marca, the Orchestra Barocca del Friuli Venezia Giulia G. B. Tiepolo, I Barocchisti, l’Accordone Oman Consort, gli Incogniti Arte dell’Arco, Gambe di Legno Consort, and Opera Stravagante.
He is the first cellist of the group L’aura Soave directed by Sergio Azzolini, with whom he recorded two CDs for the Naïve Label in the Vivaldi Ediction.
Besides making several recordings with the Venice Baroque Orchestra Galligioni has also recorded trios with Giuliano Carmignola and Lutz Kirchhof as well as sonatas with Anner Bylsma.
He regularly performs with the chamber music group L’Estravagante.
After lecturing at the at the Conservatorio T. Schipa in Lecce, at the Conservatorio A. Buzzolla in Adria (Rovigo) and at the Conservatorio F. Cilea in Reggio Calabria, Francesco Galligioni at present teaches at the Conservatorio N. Paganini in Genoa. Francesco Galligioni plays a cello made by Paolo Antonio Testore in 1740 and a viol from the early 18th century.