Aniello Desiderio


At the age of eight, Aniello Desiderio made his first public performance and displayed such outstanding gifts that music critics began to speak of him as an “enfant prodige,” “wunderkind,” “a genius,” “the Orpheus of the guitar,” “a guitarist of the century,” and “il Fenomeno.”

He quickly established himself as a concert artist with a distinct voice and would go on to win 18 first place awards in both national and international competitions. Notable among them are 1st Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of South American music at the International Guitar Competition in Havana, Cuba (1988); “Neapolitan of the Year'' Award in Italy (1988); 1st Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of Tárrega’s music at the International Francisco Tárrega Competition, Benicasim, Spain (1992), and 1st Prize at the International “Guerrero'' Competition, Madrid, Spain (1994).

Aniello Desiderio performs regularly as a recitalist in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, in some of the world’s most important concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Palau de La Musica, Mozarteum, Munich Philharmonie, Koelner Philharmonie, Alte Opera, Tonhalle, Teatro delle Palme, Radio France, Die Glocke, Istanbul Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonie, Opera House Wien, and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

A regular soloist with orchestra, his recent appearances include performances with the Oregon Symphony (USA), Pro Musica Columbus (OH, USA), Bavarian Chamber Orchestra and Romulo Larrea (Bandoneon) Tango con Passion (Germany), Zagreb Symphony, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra (Turkey),  RSO Berliner, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Alessandro Scarlatti, I Pomeriggi Musicali, Bach Collegium, Wiener Kammerorchester, and Kremerata Baltica with Gidon Kremer, as well as an invitation by legendary violinist and conductor Salvatore Accardo to the “Settimane di Musica Internazionali” in Naples, Italy, where he performed with Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra lead by Vladimir Spivakov.

In 1999 he received the “Artist in Residence Award” from the German Radio DLF at Musikfest Bremen together with Gidon Kremer. That same year, the German Television BR/TV produced a music documentary and portrait about Aniello Desiderio in Naples which has been broadcast throughout Europe.

He was invited to the 70th birthday Gala of Maestro Lorin Maazel by the Bavarian Radio and Television station. The world-famous painter Ernst Fuchs invited him to perform at his Museum-Villa in Wien and in 2010, he performed the “Concerto Madrigal” by Joaquín Rodrigo with the legendary classical guitarist Angel Romero.

An avid chamber musician who over decades has been involved in many projects. His guitar duo with renowned guitarist Zoran Dukic, has been a favourite at numerous European festivals since the early 1990s and frequently reinvited to perform at major international venues including the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona Spain.

Together with his brothers Gennaro and Gaetano Desiderio, and other famous Neapolitan musicians, he founded the group Passione Napoletana, performing the highly emotional music of his home town Naples: “Serenate, Tanghi, Danze, Canzoni e Tarantelle Napoletane.”

In the autumn of 2009, his “Quartetto Furioso” with violinist Gennaro Desiderio, pianist Gaetano Desiderio and percussionist Salvatore Minale recorded a program consisting of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” which was released on the famous German label Termidor, a label which also featured artists such as, singer Sabine Mayer and Grammy Award winning Cuban-American alto saxophonist, clarinettist and composer Paquito D’ Rivera.

Aniello Desiderio has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Frame, Waku Music, Koch-Universal, Adoro Records, Brilliant Classic, Accelerando Music Production, and since 2018 records for the GuitarCoop label.

A champion of new music and often referred to as the musician of musicians, he inspired the renowned guitarist John McLaughlin to request him to perform the European premier of his Concerto “Thieves and Poets” which was premiered at Koblenz International Guitar Festival & Academy, Germany, with the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie. Other composers who have written new works for Aniello Desiderio include Roland Dyens, Stephen Goss, Dale Kavanagh, Carlo Domeniconi, Simone Iannarelli, Georg Schmitz and the late Angelo Gilardino.

In high demand as a teacher, he was concert artist and professor in residence from 2004 to 2012 at the International Guitar Academy in Koblenz (Germany) and from 2012 professor for guitar at the University of Music S. Giacomantonio, Cosenza and Gesualdo da Venosa, Potenza, both in Italy. For two years in a row, he was invited to give master classes at Internationale Sommer Akademie Universität Mozarteum (Salzburg, Austria).

Amongst his students you will find an emerging new generation of today’s brightest and most promising concert artists containing winners of some of the world’s most prestigious guitar competitions. They include Artyom Dervoed, Pavel Shamshura, Carlotta Dalia, Andrea Roberto, Nino D'Amico, Elia Portarena, Eleonora Perretta, Cristina Galietto, and Nicola Montella among many others.

Aniello Desiderio graduated with honours from the Conservatory of Music in Alessandria, Italy in 1992. He is currently the professor of guitar at the University of Music Domenico Cimarosa, Avellino (Italy).

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