The Kennedy Center

Paulo Martelli



Biography

Praised for his lyrical voice and ebullient virtuosity, Paulo Martelli is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in Brazil today. A gifted performer, he has appeared in concerts, master classes, and on television, displaying both remarkable facility and astute interpretation. He is also a dedicated scholar and pedagogue, and through his efforts has become one of the leading proponents of the classical guitar in Brazil.

A native of Brazil, Mr. Martelli began studying guitar at the age of 10 under the guidance of Francisco Brasilino and Henrique Pinto. Later studies with friend and mentor Sergio Abreu instilled in him great respect for the tradition and repertoire of the guitar, to which he tirelessly dedicated himself.

As a youth, Mr. Martelli received many prizes and honors, including awards in the prestigious Young Artist Competition, the Villa-Lobos Competition, and the First Mozarteum University Scholarship Competition. After graduating with honors from the University in 1989, he immediately assumed a professorship at the Ribeirão Preto University in São Paulo where he taught for several years.

In 1993, Mr. Martelli left his professorship to pursue his studies of the guitar abroad at the Juilliard School in New York City. He made his New York debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in 1995, and in the same year released his self-titled first album, for which he received critical acclaim throughout Europe, the Americas, and Japan. A recipient of the Jeremy Green Scholarship, Mr. Martelli completed his Master’s Degree at the Juilliard School in 1997. Upon his graduation from Juilliard, Mr. Martelli returned to Brazil where he has since toured extensively as a solo artist and with Brazil’s greatest orchestras.

In addition to his achievements as a musician, Mr. Martelli has distinguished himself as a teacher and scholar.
Throughout the U.S. and Brazil he has sought to educate a new generation of guitarists through master classes and private instruction. In 1999 in recognition of his deep commitment to music education, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture awarded him the “Virtuoso” scholarship with which he has begun studies in notational tablature systems at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2000 he was also awarded the Andrés Segovia Award by the Manhattan School.

Mr. Martelli has composed and recorded the Suite for the Ballet “The Man Who Hated Mondays” for which he received the Funart Caravás Award in Brazil in 2005. In 2006, he recorded “Miosótis”, a recording featuring new arrangements for the 11-string guitar and guitar duos including compositions by the pop Brazilian composer Jose Henrique Martiniano. Mr. Martelli partnered with João Luiz Lopes, winner of the Guild Artists Competition 2006 in the “Miosótis” LP with whom he performs extensively. Recently, Mr. Martelli has been devoting himself to playing baroque and renaissance repertoires on the 11-string guitar, of which only a handful of people in the world are known to play at a virtuosic level.

Watch Past Performances

Video 11/26/2011: Paulo Martelli

The influential 6- and 11-string guitarist plays as part of the Brazilian series Movimento Violão, which aims to spread classical music to the public by highlighting some of the best guitarists in Brazil. Presented in cooperation with the Embassy of Brazil.

Paulo Martelli