Harpsichordist, organist, and conductor Paolo Bordignon has received acclaim for “outstanding," “lively and distinctive" interpretations of early music to “compelling" performances of avant-garde repertoire.
Paolo is harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic and performs in 2018-19 with Camerata Pacifica, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, ECCO - East Coast Chamber Orchestra, and a Trans-Siberian Arts Festival tour with the Sejong Soloists. He has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Knights, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
As a soloist and chamber musician, he has collaborated with Sir James Galway, Itzhak Perlman, David Robertson, Reinhard Goebel, Paul Hillier, Bobby McFerrin, and Midori, as well as Renée Fleming and Wynton Marsalis in a Juilliard Gala. For the opening of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, he gave the east coast première of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra. He has also appeared in solo performance for New York Fashion Week.
Festival appearances include Aspen, Bard, Bay Chamber, Bridgehampton, Jackson Hole, Palm Beach, and Vail. He has recorded for Warner Classics, Universal Music, Manta, Tuneful Oasis, Red Bandana, and Eusonia Records. He has appeared on NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, NPR (including Pipedreams and Performance Today), the CBC, and on Korean and Japanese national television.
Paolo has worked with composers such as Elliott Carter (performing Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano for his 90th birthday celebration), David Conte, Jean Guillou, Stephen Hartke, Christopher Theophanides, and Melinda Wagner. With the Clarion Music Society, he gave the world première of several newly-rediscovered chamber works of Felix Mendelssohn.
Organ & Church Music
Paolo has performed organ recitals at venues such as St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York and St. Eustache in Paris, and he has been a regular organ recitalist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, including a 10-recital residency in 2010-11.
He served as Director of Music & Organist at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, directing a music program in the Anglican tradition comprising St. Paul’s Choir, Choral Scholars, children’s choirs & RSCM program, Whitechapel change-ringing bells, organ recitals, lectures, a chamber music series, fine arts academy, choral concerts and residencies in the U.S. and Europe.
He was previously Associate Director of Music at St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, where he helped oversee one of the nation’s pre-eminent church music programs. He directed the Boy & Girl Choristers and played the Aeolian-Skinner organs of the Chapel and Church, the latter being one of the world’s largest.
At the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Paolo studied organ with John Weaver and harpsichord with Lionel Party. He earned Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in harpsichord from the Juilliard School. Doctoral studies brought him to Leipzig and Berlin, where he examined the manuscript and original performance materials of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ.
Paolo is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, having won the major prizes. While an undergraduate, he was on the roster offering twice-daily concerts on Philadelphia's Wanamaker organ, the world’s largest operational pipe organ.
Born in Toronto of Italian heritage, Paolo studied organ with Brian Rae and John Tuttle. He attended St. Michael’s Cathedral Choir School, an affiliate of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, where his mentors included Msgr. Thomas Barrett Armstong. At age 17, Paolo was appointed Associate Organist of St. Michael's Cathedral, seat of Canada's largest Archdiocese, assuming service-playing responsibilities for the choral services.