Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli - two among the most active and famous Italian guitarists - met in Texas, far away from native Italy, in Autumn 2000. Since then, they have shared a number of ideas, musical projects, and travels all over the world. In 2002, with violinist Ivan Rabaglia and cellist Enrico Bronzi, they created a chamber music group devoted to the discovery of unknown works from the XIX Century repertoire. A year later, in 2003, they formed a duo that has already performed throughout Europe and North America, and has been acclaimed everywhere as one of the best ensembles ever heard. Matteo and Lorenzo have recorded François de Fossa's Three Quartets, op. 19, Antoine de Lhoyer's Music for two Guitars, and a selections of Masterworks of the 20th Century (forthcoming), as well as half a dozen solo recordings on the labels Naxos, Kookaburra, Stradivarius, Brilliant Records and Mel Bay.
Matteo Mela was born in Imperia in 1971. A student of Renzo Doria Miglietta in his hometown, he moved to Cremona to pursue his studies of musicology at the University. In Cremona he met Giovanni Puddu, who played a major role in his musical education; at the same time, he had the chance to attend the classes of Angelo Gilardino, Alirio Diaz, Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, the Assad brothers. Moreover, he studied chamber music at the Accademia Pianistica di Imola with Dario De Rosa, Alexander Lonquich, and Pier Narciso Masi. As a member of the Mela-Bandini duo Matteo won – between 1991 and 1998 – the first prize in several prestigious chamber music competitions, such as the Aram (Rome) 1992, the F. Cilea Competition in 1993, the GMI in 1994, the Città di Gubbio, Città di Caltanissetta and Perugia Classico Competitions in 1995. Recently he has been enjoying regular collaboration with Lorenzo Micheli in a number of projects.
Matteo also regularly gives recitals and makes tv and radio appearances across Europe and North America (recent engagements have included performances in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Turin, Naples, Paris, Hamburg, Cologne, Warsaw, Oslo, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston). A teacher at the Accademia di Perfezionamento “G. Caccini” in Montopoli Val d’Arno and at the Accademia Musicale Tema in Milan, Matteo has released a CD of Latin American Dances (Quadrivium, with G. Bandini) and the solo CD Italian virtuosos of the nineteenth century (Kookaburra), as well as the Three Quartets, op. 19, by french composer François de Fossa (CD Stradivarius). His forthcoming new CD includes Astor Piazzolla’s complete guitar music, featuring Ivan Rabaglia (violin), Lorenzo Micheli (guitar), Per Arne Glorvigen (bandoneon) and the Piazzolla String Ensemble.
Hailed by the musical critics as “virtuoso extraordinaire” (Nice Matin, France), “absolutely astonishing” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, USA), “prodigious talent” (Soundboard, USA), “the prince of the guitar” (Suonare, Italy), Lorenzo Micheli is today one of the most important and active Italian guitarists in the world. A student of Paola Coppi in Milan, Frédéric Zigante in Lausanne and Oscar Ghiglia in Siena and Basel, he graduated with full marks from both the Conservatory of Trieste and the Musik-Akademie of Basel. Since winning the first prize in some of the most important guitar competitions in the world (Gargnano, 1996; Alessandria, 1997; ARAM, Rome 1999; Mauro Giuliani, 1999; Guitar Foundation of America, 1999), Lorenzo Micheli has taken up a busy concert career throughout the world, performing regularly—both as a soloist and with orchestra—in many European countries (Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Germany, the UK, France, Croatia, Finland, Turkey, Poland, Slovenia) and all over the US and Canada, as well as in Africa and Latin America. He gives masterclasses at universities and music festivals throughout North America and Europe, and he has made recordings for radio and TV in three continents. As years go by, he is more and more involved in chamber music projects with friends Matteo Mela (guitar), Ivan Rabaglia (violin) and Enrico Bronzi (cello).
His several recordings, reflecting his leaning towards works written originally for the guitar, include the music of Dionisio Aguado (Stradivarius), a selection of guitar works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Naxos), the Three Quartets, op. 19, by the French composer François de Fossa with Matteo Mela and the members of the Parma String Trio (Stradivarius), the complete works for solo guitar by Miguel Llobet (Naxos), the complete guitar Concertos by Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Brilliant), as well as the live video Live at Texas Tech University (Mel Bay). Website