Antonio De Innocentis

A world top performer

 

Antonio De Innocentis was born in Naples in 1961. In 1985 he was awarded ‘Summa cum Laude’ at the D. Cimarosa Conservatory in Avellino, Italy. Then he got further diplomas at the Vienna Conservatory and at the Salzburg Mozarteum.

He gave his first concert in 1980 and since then has played all over Europe and toured regularly in the USA. He was the first guitarist in the world to have performed the entire ‘24 Caprices’ by N. Paganini in one single concert (Avellino, Italy, 1992) with a repeat performance at The Old Malthouse Music Society in Sawbridgeworth, England, in 1996. After that UK performance the society organiser Chris Dell wrote in the Classical Guitar Magazine: “This guitarist is world class, of that there can be no doubt.”

Several composers have written and dedicated their works to him including John W. Duarte, Ursula Ditchburn, Neil Smith and Colin Tommis from the UK; John Bent, Pasquale Bifulco, John Oster from the USA; Jonatas Batista-Neto from Brazil; Luigi Arbolino, Marcello Parisi and Giovanni Zaccari from Italy. In addition to performing, he gives master classes in Italy, the UK, Norway and the USA.

In October 1999 he took part in John Duarte’s 80th birthday concert in London and, in 2005 played at his first memorial. In June 2009 in Norwich, invited by Christopher Duarte, he performed two guitar concertos – “A Tudor Fancy” by J. Duarte and “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre” by J. Rodrigo – with the Academy of St. Thomas Orchestra conducted by Roger Coull, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of John Duarte’s birth.

He has recorded seven CDs for Fiammant Records: “Guitar Recital” (1997); “Premiere!” (2004); “Live at Kellie Castle” (2005), “Return to Glenmore” (2005), “The 24 Caprices op. 1 by N. Paganini” (2010), “Vive la France!” (2011) - in collaboration with GiZa Records – and “Dialogues” (2013).

His arrangements of Scottish traditional music were published in 2008 by Lathkill Publications, England, and reviewed in the Classical Guitar Magazine. In September 1998 and October 2000 the magazine’s music supplement was dedicated to his transcriptions followed by an interview in March 2003.

In the Summer 2009 he also wrote the original soundtrack for the theatrical play “GiuseppinaUna donna del Sud” by Italian actor Pierluigi Tortora premiered in September 2009 at Casertavecchia International Art Festival “Settembre al Borgo” with repeat performances in Italy.

“…Antonio De Innocentis is in all respects a remarkable artist, one who must be included in the upper echelon of today’s guitarists…”

John Duarte, 1999

 

“…De Innocentis opened with three Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti that did not seem possible for mere mortals to play on the guitar… This Neapolitan’s playing… was fast, loud, and exciting, replete with breathtaking position changes and stretches. His speed and power were remarkable…”

Joseph Mayes, GFA Soundboard, USA

Antonio De Innocentis is a guitar player of formidable technique…”

Mark Switzer, GFA Soundboard, USA

 

“Antonio De Innocentis is a player whose dark-toned virtuosity ranks him highly amongst the new breed of players establishing identities around the world. His strong technique and unpretentious musicianship were perfect tools to deal with the Prelude, Canto and Toccata op. 38 by John Duarte…De Innocentis executed extremely difficult triplet passages with impressive strength and was the picture of professional composure.”

Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine, UK

“…A true musician, a player able to join refined and virtuosic technique, serious and reflexive work and a real artist’ sensibility…a great professional, a masterly expert of styles and of the instrument’s possibilities; a guitarist who, no doubt, will be master and model for future generations.”

Avelina Vidal Seara, Royal Higher Conservatory of Madrid


“…This guitarist is world class, of that there can be no doubt…”

Chris Dell, Classical Guitar Magazine, UK

“…In my experience only David Russell plays Scarlatti with the same combination of technical assurance, musical and stylistic correctness, and true harpsichord-like playing. De Innocentis’s two-strings trills are blazing and crystal-clear. His control of staccato and the stopping of the notes at their exactly correct points is the mark of a finely honed technique and a very meticulous musical mind… Not since I heard Julian Bream at UCLA for the very first time in 1969 have I been SO overwhelmed by a new player…This player must become better known – and fast!…”

John Bent, New Millennium Guitar Magazine, USA

“…A finger-crunching virtuoso…, De Innocentis injected flair and dynamism into the usually sedate business of Scarlatti on the guitar.”

Paul Fowles, Classical Guitar Magazine, UK

“…His performance at Kellie Castle surpassed all expectations… Antonio gave a fascinating interpretation of Bach’s Chaconne…The capacity audience at Kellie Castle was ecstatic in its applause for this virtuoso performance…”

Ursula Ditchburn, “St Andrews Citizen”, Scotland

“...The technical skill, the creation of different shades and moods of tonality put into Paganini's 'Three Caprices' was remarkable... P. Stewart's 'Povero Pietro' composed for Antonio and J.S.Bach's Sarabande showed the artist's great feeling for musical structure. Whether playing Scarlatti or Scott Joplin, Antonio manages to enter the very essence of a composition and interprets each piece with great enthusiasm and musicianship. It was a privilege to have one of the great guitarists of our time in Pittenweem.”.

Ursula Ditchburn, “St Andrews Citizen”, Scotland

“…Antonio is a unique musician who balances phenomenal techniques with an acute and sensitive musicality to produce music appealing to all listeners.” Peter Stock, “Inverurie Herald”, Scotland

A stunning concert from Antonio: …he rendered a near perfect interpretation of Bach’s Suite BWV 1012. The listener experienced the remarkable complexity of sound, structure, harmony and counterpoint. The result was stunning. Equally fascinating was Antonio’s insight into traditional Scottish Airs. His arrangements for guitar reflected the very essence of Scottish songs… The concert ended with Duarte’s ‘Americana’ and Paganini’s ‘3 Caprices’, both compositions played with the technical skill and virtuosity rarely found in guitar playing these days.”

Ursula Ditchburn, “St Andrews Citizen” and “Dundee Courier”, Scotland


Antonio gave an incredible performance of a very elaborate program… his playing was brilliant, with gigantic stretches and rapid harmonies… At the end of the concert I was convinced that I witnessed one of the world’s greatest guitarists in action… He dazzled the audience by his colourful playing, rhythm, perfect intonation, speed, and splendid interpretive ability… I recommend anyone who has the opportunity to hear Antonio performing live not to think twice about it, go and hear this fantastic artist, it will be a life changing experience.”

Pasquale Bifulco, Leavitt Area High School, Turner, Maine, USA


“… The Paganini, of course, was thrilling. The powerful and sustained production of notes at the fingerboard in Caprice # 5 literally caused jaws to drop. It’s not over the top to say that Antonio’s playing hits one with the force of revelation. It is as though the guitar had yet been reserving some untapped potential in anticipation of the master who could unlock it. Antonio’s musicianship is enchanting, utterly wonderous. The sword has been pulled from the stone.”

Bill Heckman, Dover-Foxcroft Chamber Music Society, Milo, Maine, USA

 

"Antonio is unbelievable, a unique artist who combines incredible passion, unrivalled