Paolo Bordignon, Harpsichord

The New York Philharmonic

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Biography
Paolo Bordignon

Paolo Bordignon’s 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. He 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. Recent highlights include performances with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ars Nova Copenhagen, and at a Juilliard Gala performance with Renée Fleming and Wynton Marsalis.

Mr. Bordignon 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, playing Bach and Schnittke.

A strong advocate of new music, Mr. Bordignon has worked with composers such as Elliott Carter (performing his Double Concerto), 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.

In 2008 he gave the world premiere of some newly rediscovered, unpublished works by Felix Mendelssohn, including a Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte, and the composer’s only surviving song cycle. He recently presented a series of ten recitals in residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Musical Instruments.

Mr. Bordignon serves as associate director of music at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, where he helps to oversee one of the nation’s preeminent church music programs. He directs the Boy & Girl Choristers, and plays 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 serves on the VOICE Choral Music Charter School board of directors and is on the faculty of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.

Paolo Bordignon 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 a graduate of Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. 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. Mr. Bordignon is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He grew up in Toronto, where he studied organ with John Tuttle and received early musical training at St. Michael’s Choir School.

“When performing any piece, you’re handed a message from the composer and asked, 'Could you please pass this on?'”

Q&A with Paolo Bordignon

THE FACTS: Born in Toronto, Canada. Bachelor’s degree from The Curtis Institute of Music; master’s and doctorate from The Juilliard School; diplomas from Royal Canadian College of Organists and Royal Conservatory of Music. Prior to the Philharmonic: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Fashion Week, conducting appearances on NBC’s Today, inauguration of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Currently: associate director of music at St. Bartholomew’s Church, directing the Boy & Girl Choristers and playing one of the world’s largest pipe organs. At the Philharmonic: Joined in December 2011 (regular substitute since 2001)

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: As a boy chorister I was awestruck when I heard Bach’s Christmas Oratorio come together. The first time I heard how my piece of the puzzle fit into the whole was miraculous.

FIRST PIECE YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH: It’s a tie: Beethoven’s Fifth and Messiaen’s Transports de joie.

WHEN DID YOU BEGIN PLAYING? I started piano at age five, but I’m glad the harpsichord only found me at 18. It was love at first sight, but I wouldn’t have been prepared before that.

HOW DID YOUR INTEREST IN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC BEGIN? I was very lucky as a young person to have mentors who took me to hear — and meet! — Berio, Carter, Penderecki. Playing new music always seemed to me a normal part of functioning in the present. It fascinated me and was exciting! One Sunday during my first year of organ lessons, at age 12, Mr. and Mrs. Messiaen showed up to Mass. It was a kind of “holy” experience for me, and I beheld his music, then and now, with wonder and admiration.

TELL US ABOUT PERFORMING THE WORLD PREMIERE OF UNPUBLISHED MENDELSSOHN PIECES IN 2008: When performing any piece, you’re handed a message from the composer and asked, “Could you please pass this on?” In this case the message was handwritten from Mendelssohn, which was humbling and transporting.

WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF NOT A MUSICIAN? A professional gourmand or the postman at Moose, Wyoming, 83012 (inside Grand Teton National Park)

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NAME: It’s Italian: Mom’s from Abruzzo and Dad’s from the Veneto.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? A music collection is a kind of closet: mine has everything from “Sunday best” to unmentionables.

WHAT ARE YOU READING? I’m an incurable bibliophile. Currently: Diderot, Kabat-Zinn, Christoph Niemann, Granta, a book about bookshelves. And usually something on wine.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? I live for food and (especially) wine. I also love languages, running, exploring NYC, and laughing.

As of September 2012

Upcoming 2018-2019 Performances
×

Location: (Directions)
Price Range:
Duration:

2

June, 2019 Sunday

Very Young People's Concerts: "Treble and Bass"
More

12:30 PM Concert

Very Young People's Concerts: "Treble and Bass"

Program To Include
Ponchielli / Arr. A. Roitstein Dance of the Hours, from La Gioconda
Pryor / Arr. T. Wiprud, Lyrics R. Young The Whistler and His Dog
J.S. Bach Selections from Keyboard Concerto in D major
Artists
Rebecca Young Host
Fiona Simon Violin
Peter Kenote Viola
Satoshi Okamoto Bass
Yoobin Son Flute
Paolo Bordignon Harpsichord
Doug Fitch Director / Designer
Very Young People's Concerts: "Treble and Bass"
More

3:00 PM Concert

Very Young People's Concerts: "Treble and Bass"

Program To Include
Ponchielli / Arr. A. Roitstein Dance of the Hours, from La Gioconda
Pryor / Arr. T. Wiprud, Lyrics R. Young The Whistler and His Dog
J.S. Bach Selections from Keyboard Concerto in D major
Artists
Rebecca Young Host
Fiona Simon Violin
Peter Kenote Viola
Satoshi Okamoto Bass
Yoobin Son Flute
Paolo Bordignon Harpsichord
Doug Fitch Director / Designer

3

June, 2019 Monday

Very Young People's Concerts: "Treble and Bass"
More

10:30 AM Concert

Very Young People's Concerts: "Treble and Bass"

Program To Include
Ponchielli / Arr. A. Roitstein Dance of the Hours, from La Gioconda
Pryor / Arr. T. Wiprud, Lyrics R. Young The Whistler and His Dog
J.S. Bach Selections from Keyboard Concerto in D major
Artists
Rebecca Young Host
Fiona Simon Violin
Peter Kenote Viola
Satoshi Okamoto Bass
Yoobin Son Flute
Paolo Bordignon Harpsichord
Doug Fitch Director / Designer
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Upcoming 2019-2020 Performances
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Location: (Directions)
Price Range:
Duration:

No upcoming solo or chamber events.

×

Purchase 3 or more eligible concerts & save.

About Create Your Own Series:

Pick three (or more) concerts and and enjoy exclusive Subscriber Benefits including unlimited free ticket exchange. Ideal for concertgoers who want the ultimate in flexibility and the benefits of being a subscriber.

Subscriber Benefits:

  • Free, easy ticket exchange (available online or by phone)
  • Save on subscription concerts all year long
  • Priority notice on special events

How it Works:

  1. Look for the Create Your Own Series icon CYO eligible icon next to a concert and add it to your cart.
  2. Simply follow the directions in the shopping cart and enter promo code CREATE3 at check out.
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