Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord
Paolo Bordignon has received critical acclaim for performances ranging from “outstanding… lively and distinctive” interpretations of early music to “compelling” performances of avant-garde repertoire throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. His diverse engagements have included recitals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and St. Eustache in Paris, a performance for New York Fashion Week, and conducting appearances on NBC’s Today Show.
Paolo was a featured soloist at the inauguration of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, performing the New York premiere of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra. He serves as harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic and has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Knights, Camerata Pacifica, English Chamber Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Ars Nova Copenhagen, as well as a Juilliard Gala performance with Renee Fleming and Wynton Marsalis.
He has appeared on CNN, NPR, the CBC, and on Korean and Japanese national television with Orpheus and the Sejong string orchestra, performing with Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Kyung-Wha Chung, Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Youngok Shin, and Lynn Harrell. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, David Robertson, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Hillier and, in 2008, with Midori on a series of concerts for Lincoln Center’s Great Performers of Lincoln Center performing Bach and Schnittke.
A strong advocate of new music, Paolo has worked with composers such as Elliott Carter (performing his Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano), David Conte, Jean Guillou, Stephen Hartke, Christopher Theophanides, and Melinda Wagner. As harpsichordist for Jackson Hole’s Grand Teton Music Festival, he was recently a featured soloist with the Festival Orchestra in performances led by Reinhard Goebel, founder of Musica Antiqua Köln. He has participated at festivals in Bruges, Zurich, Aspen, Bridgehampton, at the Bard Music Festival, and at the Aston Magna Academy. He can be heard in recordings on Warner Classics, Universal Music, Tuneful Oasis, Red Bandana, and Eusonia Records.
He recently presented a series of ten recitals in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Musical Instruments. With the Clarion Music Society, he gave the world première of several newly rediscovered, unpublished works of Felix Mendelssohn, including a Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte, and the composer’s only surviving song cycle.
In March 2014, he was appointed director of music and organist at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, TX, where he directs St. Paul’s Choir (70 members) and oversees a vibrant music program in the Anglican tradition comprising St. Paul’s Choral Scholars (high school), Treble Choir, three children’s choirs, Whitechapel change ringing bells, organ recitals, a chamber music series, choral concerts, and residencies in the U.S. and Europe.
He was previously Associate Director of Music at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, where he helped oversee one of the nation’s preeminent church music programs. He directed the Boy & Girl Choristers, and played the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organs of the Chapel and Church, the latter being one of the world’s largest. Deeply committed to training the next generation of musicians, he has served on the VOICE Choral Music Charter School board of directors and has been on the faculty of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.
Paolo earned master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Juilliard School. He studied organ with John Weaver, harpsichord with Lionel Party, and is the first person to graduate Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music with a degree in harpsichord (a double major with organ). Doctoral studies brought him to Leipzig and Berlin, where he examined Johann Sebastian Bach’s autograph and original performance materials of Cantata No. 67, Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ.
From 1993 to1996 he was on the roster of associate organists for the Wanamaker Grand Court organ in Philadelphia, the world’s largest operational pipe organ. 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. Born in Toronto of Italian heritage, Paolo studied organ with John Tuttle and received early musical training at St. Michael’s Choir School.