A violin and piano graduate, Stefano Montanari specialised in chamber music in Florence and Lugano. From 1995 to 2012 he was concertmaster of the Accademia Bizantina in Ravenna, directed by Ottavio Dantone, with whom he performed throughout the world. He teaches at the Claudio-Abbado International Academy of Music in Milan and publishes a baroque violin method. At the same time, he pursued a career as a conductor at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo and at La Fenice in Venice, and has since conducted all over the world: in Novara, Mantua, Santiago de Compostela, Toronto and the Arena in Verona, as well as at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. He also performs at the keyboard, accompanying and conducting on the harpsichord or fortepiano, and is taking part in a critical edition project of nineteenth-century operas run by the Bern University of the Arts. He won a Diapason d'or for his recording of Corelli's Violin Sonatas op. 5, and his album 'O Solitude', with Andreas Scholl and the Accademia Bizantina, was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award.