Roberto Trainini was born into a non-musical family in a deep south-Italian town. He began his studies at the age of 10 when his father’s uncle Saverio Loiacono (who was a principal cellist in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon) returned from South America and asked if Roberto would like to try to play the cello. Since then the cello has never left his side. At first, Roberto studied with Vincenzo Caminiti and Pietro Bruno in Bari; and was awarded first-prize at the two major national youth cello competitions in Italy. It was at the age of 19 that Radu Aldulescu listened to his playing and took him into his class, with a full scholarship, at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland; there he had the possibility of studying chamber music with Lord Yehudi Menuhin and Walter Levin, as well. Subsequently, he went on to study cello and chamber music with Michel Strauss, Steven Isserlis and Niklas Schmidt; but the biggest influence remains that of his teacher and mentor in Hamburg: Wolfgang Mehlhorn. He was awarded several prizes at important international Cello Competitions (Markneukirchen, Belgrad, Rome, Hamburg, amongst others) and was a principal cellist at the Lüneburg Opera and the SSO Singapore. Then, his solo career took off with his debut in Iasi (Romania) performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto under the baton of Michele Santorsola. He is, nowadays, a sought after soloist in Poland, Germany, Austria, Turkey, South Africa, Romania, Cyprus, Italy, China, Japan, Mexico and Argentina. Co-founder of the Hamburger Streichsextett, Roberto was a permanent member of the Salzburger Solisten; a chamber music group that performs worldwide. A passion of his is the re-discovery of the Italian Solo Repertoire of the XX Century (together with M. Santorsola); the Castelnuovo-Tedesco Cello Concerto is a part of this project which also includes Respighi, Casella, Ghedini, and Malipiero. Furthermore, he studied and performed Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Canticle of the Sun” with the composer herself in Germany; and was awarded in 2012 the Premio Cartagine per la Musica in Rome.Roberto is currently a Cello Professor at the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano, Italy, as well as at the Academia de Arte de Florencia in Mexico City and an invited guest Professor at the Radom College of Music. He regularly holds Masterclasses in Poland, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Ukraine and Argentina. Since 2014 Roberto is a recording artist for Brilliant Classics; his highly acclaimed recording of Giuseppe Martucci’s Cello Sonatas and Pieces with Massimiliano Ferrati was the first of a series of cello and piano releases. In 2016 the Cesar Franck A major Sonata and Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, in duo with Cristiano Burato, was be released. In 2021/2022 will be released a Recording with the pianist Stella Pontoriero for The italian Label Tactus, comprising Casella’s first sonata, Respighi variations and other italian music. Since 2012 he is a Professor of violoncello at the Hochschule Für Musik Bozen and since 2015 he is also a Professor of violoncello at the Academia de Arte de Florencia. Additionally, he is currently recording the Complete Bach Cello Suites, as well as his own transcription of the Chaconne from Bach’s second violin partita for Aevea/OnClassical. Roberto performs on two cellos made specially for him by Alessandro Ciciliati in 2009 and 2014, and occasionally on the “Ex-Vatican” Stradivarius, kindly loaned to him by the Academia de Arte de Florencia.
Stella Pontoriero completed her studies in music at the “F.Torrefranca” Conservatory of Vibo Valentia where she graduated with the highest honors, and with honorable mention under the guidance of GABrustia. She took part in advanced training, piano master classes (B.Lupo, M.Marvulli, M.Pennella, L. Morales, N.Trull, G.Baldocci) and chamber music (M.Marasco, A.Oliva, PNMasi, B.Canino, L.Piovano ). She has performed solo and chamber concerts in Calabria, Sicily, Lazio (UniRoma3 Orchestra, Atlante sonoro 2013, Reale Accademia di Spagna, Vatican Museums, Oratorio del Gonfalone, etc.), Campania, Lombardia (ComoClassica 2013, Mantova Chamber Music Festival 2014) Spain, (XIII International Master Class and Piano festival), and with artists such as P.Taballione, (first flautist of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester of Monaco), A.Carere, (first flautist of the “Cilea” Theater of Reggio Calabria), S.Vella, (first flautist of the Teatro Bellini of Catania), M.Zoni, (first flautist of the Teatro alla Scala of Milan). In 2010, she has also participated in a season on behalf of the Association FONDAZIONE ADKINS CHITI: WOMEN IN MUSIC (Member of the International Council for Unesco Music) performing in Rome, Frascati and Alatri. In a solo appearance, she played with the Orchestra of the Conservatory F.Torrefranca di Vibo Valentia and with the Chamber Orchestra of “Città di Fondi” (performing with the latter in the “Fondi Music Festival 2012” season with the concert n.1 by J.Brahms). Winner of the competition for the Torrefranca Conservatory for the years 2008-2009 in collaboration with the wind instrument classes. For the academic year 2009-2010,2010-2011,2011-2012,2014-2015, 2015-2016 she was appointed piano tutor at the F.Torrefranca Conservatory of Vibo Valentia. She obtained numerous awards in national and international competitions (1 ° absolute prize and special prize in the International Competition S. Francesco Di Paola 2015 chamber music, 1st prize in the 2016 Mèlos International chamber music competition, 2nd prize in the Magliano Sabina 2016 chamber music competition, 1st overall prize in the International competition Jacopo Napoli 2016 chamber music, 1st overall prize at the “Città di Mercato S.Severino 2016” chamber music competition, 1st prize at the “Città di Filadelfia” 2016 European Chamber music competition, 1st absolute prize Ama Calabria 2016 chamber music, 1st prize at the Curci di Barletta 2016 international chamber music competition, 2nd prize in the National Sounds competition from the Aspromonte 2015 chamber music, Special Award at the 40th Cilea Competition in Palmi, City at Metro of Reggio Calabria, BachCompetition, Promenade Competition, etc.). As an accompanying pianist, she works at the Flautistic Academy of Reggio Calabria and has collaborated on several occasions with the Maestri S.Vella, (first flautist of the Bellini Theater of Catania), G.Roselli, (first flautist of the Bellini theater in Catania), Di Giorgi, (first flautist of the Teatro Verdi in Trieste), M.Marasco, M.Zoni, (first flautist of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan), D.Formisano, (first flautist of the Teatro alla Scala of Milan), A.Oliva, (first flautist of the Santa Cecilia orchestra of Rome), A.Carere, (first flautist of the Teatro Cilea of Reggio Calabria), and Paolo Taballione, (first flautist of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester of Monaco). From 2013 she is the accompanying pianist of the Flautistic Krakamp competition. She is currently an accompanying pianist at the Monteverdi Conservatory of Bolzano. She plays Graces Trio on a permanent basis with violinist, Maria Teresa De Sanio and cellist, Livia De Romanis. In 2015, she graduated in Chamber Music under the guidance of Maestro Carlo Fabiano at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia. In 2021/2022 will be released a Recording with the cellist Roberto Trainini for The italian Label Tactus, comprising Casella’s first sonata, Respighi variations and other italian music. She was professor of Chamber Music, from 2019 to 2021, at the Conservatory of Cuneo and she’s currently teaching Lettura della Patitura at the Conservatory of Vibo Valentia.