Matteo Gemolo (b. 1985) is an Italian flautist, musicologist and Ph.D. candidate. He has been praised as ‘one of the leading exponents’ in researching and performing contemporary music for period instruments by the British Flute Society. As a performer, his playing has been described as ‘inspiring, with a strong sense of character, sense of adventure and imagination’ (Carla Rees - PAN), ‘his interpretation is playfully, whimsical, and his ornaments are creatively virtuosic’ (The National Flute Society). He has also been appreciated for his ‘spontaneity of musical discourse (...) and astonishing breathing technique’ (Ferruccio Nuzzo - Grey Phanters), ‘grace and subtlety of phrasing (...) and round and warm sound’ (Albéric Lagier, Musikzen), his tone characterized as ‘pure and perfect, full of color and expression (Jessica Dunnavant - The Flutist Quarterly).
He regularly performs with top-notch ensembles and orchestras on period instruments such as Vox Luminis (Lionel Meunier), Les Muffatti (Peter van Heyghen), Le Concert d'Anvers (Bart van Reyn), BachPlus (Bart Naessens), La Cetra d'Orfeo (Michel Keustermans), Silete Venti! (Simone Toni), Apotheosis (Korneel Bernolet), Collegium Ad Mosam (Huub Ehlen), Terra Nova Collective (Vlad Weverbergh), B.O.X. (Pieter Theuns), Ensemble A (Hans Cammaert), Transports publics (Thomas Baeté), The New Baroque Times (Emmanuel Reche-Caserta), Stagione Armonica (Sergio Balestracci), Oficina Musicum (Riccardo Favero), and performs on the main stages and festivals such as: Concertgebouw Brugge, Bozar in Brussels, De Singel in Antwerp, SHF in the Czech Republic, Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, Festival de Sablé, Festival des Abbeyes en Lorraine, Musica Sacra Maastricht, Venice La Biennale, Ravenna Festival, Grandezze e Meraviglie in Modena, Venetian Centre for Baroque Music in Venice, Spazio & Musica at Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Festival Accademia Bizantina, Coudenberg in Brussels, Teatro dell'Arte in Milan, Teatro Della Pergola in Florence, Ars in Cathedrali in Brussels, Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, and many others.
He recorded for internationally renowned labels such as Warner Classics & Erato, Arcana and Glossa. His debut solo album ‘La Solitude à Deux’ was released by Arcana - Outhere Music (2018) and featured solos and duos for traverso and violin by G. P. Telemann, followed by a second chamber music recording with the same label, entitled ‘Affect is no Crime. New Music for Old Instruments’ (2019) where he premiered, together with his ensemble Europa Ritrovata, works by Hans-Martin Linde, Jukka Tiensuu, Jocelyn Morlock, Thanos Polymeneas Liontiris and Jacqueline Fontyn.
His CDs have been praised by the critics as recordings of ‘pure beauty, from which emanates rare poetry (...) The sound is full and warm, the ornaments cleverly thought, and the vibrato serves the musical discourse, in all circumstances’ (Laurent Graulus - Musiq3). In ‘La Solitude à deux’, Gemolo has been appreciated for his ‘surprising beautiful sound quality: a soft and round timbre, such as to recreate that precise tone contrast and all those nuances desired by Telemann’ (Claudio Bolzan - MUSICA). His latest recording ‘Affect is no Crime’ obtained great recognition from top-ranked magazines focused on classical and contemporary music, including DIAPASON (4 diapason) and AMADEUS (5 stars); the latter described it as ‘a beautiful recording and a great virtuoso interpretation, which reveals the incredible sonic possibilities of old instruments and their adequacy to the wishes of a listener that aspires to the contemporary sounds.’ His music has been broadcasted on several radios such as Klara (BE), Musiq3 (BE), France Musique (FR) and Rai Radio Classica and Rai Radio Tre (IT).
In 2019, he made his debut at Venice La Biennale with 'If I had words to tell you, I wouldn't be here now' created by the drag artist Victoria Sin and co-produced by Arts Council England and Delfina Foundation. Their performance has been praised by Art in America as follows: ‘Performance takes a significant role at the 58th Venice Biennale (...) the most thrilling was by Victoria Sin with a hunting accompaniment by Matteo Gemolo on a traverso, or Baroque flute (...) The work is a layered series of duets and dialogues: between performer and instrumentalist, between Sin's monologue and a voice-over suggesting the subconscious, between Gemolo's live improvisations and a recording of him playing a composition he wrote (both of which riffed on the music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach).’ (Elizabeth Fullerton).
Since 2013, he has been working at the Conservatory of Music in Venice, giving yearly lectures and seminaries of historical performance practice on the traverso.
In 2016, he was awarded a fellowship to begin a 3 years Ph.D. in Music Performance at Cardiff University, under the guidance of Professor Charles Wilson and flautist Rachel Brown.
As a researcher, he writes about the new repertoire for the traverso for different magazines and peered reviews, including the main Italian Flute Quarterly FaLaUt, the American The Flutist Quarterly and IMPAR, International Journal for Artistic Research in Music. As a political commentator, he writes about politics, human rights, freedom of speech and secularism for European Eye on Radicalization, Gli Stati Generali and MicroMega. He has been project leader for policy papers on human rights and religions (LGBTI Liberals for Europe during ALDE Congress 2019 in Athens, Certi Diritti XIII Congresso, Radicali Italiani, Trento).
Since 2018, he has been giving lectures on the use of the traverso in the contemporary repertoire in different institutes, including the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester UK (HARP 2018: First International Conference on Artistic Research in Performance), the University of Aveiro (FLUTE: Hands on Research 2018), the Orpheus Instituut in Gent (Music, Humans & Machines 2019) and Cardiff University, School of Music (Composition Seminars, 2019). In 2020, he has been invitated to give talks at the University of Huddersfield (UK) and Goldsmith, University of London (UK).
He collaborates with several composers which have already dedicated a number of pieces to him such as: Belgian Wim Henderickx, Joachim Brackx and Jaqueline Fontyn, Italian Giovanni Sparano, Greek Thanos Polymeneas Liontiris, American Albert Behar, Icelandic composer and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson.
He graduated in 2008 from Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice, under the guidance of Federica Lotti. He went on with his studies, focusing on the traverso (one-keyed flute), with the tutorship of Sergio Balestracci, and Marcello Gatti. In 2010, he moved to Brussels to study the traverso at the Royal Conservatoire with Frank Theuns and Barthold Kuijken, where he accomplished his studies with a Master degree ‘cum laude’ in Art in 2015. In parallel, after a Bachelor diploma in Philosophy from the University of Padua (2009), he obtained a Master degree ‘summa cum laude’ in Musicology at Cà Foscari University in Venice, with a dissertation entitled ‘Modernity of the Traverso’.
His range of interests is quite vast: from baroque to contemporary music, from history of art to philosophy, from cinema to photography. He likes collecting antique books, vintage objects and furniture, taking photos and petting his adorable late-romantic cats, Parsifal and Orest... His mother tongue is Italian. He talks and write fluently in English and French.