ROBERT BONFIGLIO (b 1950 )
Called ‘the Paganini of the harmonica’ by the Los Angeles Times, Robert Bonfiglio dazzles audiences worldwide with his constant reinvention of the harmonica, from classical concertos to sizzling blues. Bonfiglio has performed harmonica concertos as the soloist with over 200 major orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic of the Teatro Colón, the Luxembourg Philharmonic, the Leipzig MDR-Radio Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Madrid RTVE Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Mexico City Philharmonic, as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the major halls of the world—Carnegie Hall, the Gewandhaus, the Teatro Colón, the Teatro Massimo, Teatro Amazonas, Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl.
His first RCA recording, with Gerard Schwarz and the New York Chamber Orchestra, featuring the Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concerto, was released to critical acclaim; he has performed the work over 400 times with major orchestras worldwide. Bonfiglio has recorded for RCA, Arista, CBS, Sina Qua Non, High Harmony, and QVC Labels. He performed on the GRAMMY® winning recording, Ragtime. In the pop field he has performed and recorded with Bernadette Peters, Chaka Khan, Mandy Patinkin, Marvin Hamlisch, John Sebastian, Phoebe Snow and Roberto Carlos.
Robert Bonfiglio obtained his masters degree in composition from the Manhattan School of Music. He studied harmonica with Cham-ber Huang and was coached for 12 years by Andrew Lolya, the first flute of the New York City Ballet, during which time he studied the major works for harmonica and orchestra. Bonfiglio studied composition with Aaron Copland.
Robert Bonfiglio is the founding director of the Grand Canyon Music Festival.