Described as “one of the best guitarists of his generation” by Soundboard Magazine and Guitar Player Magazine, Paulo Martelli has been revolutionizing the guitar scene of his home country of Brazil at the same time that he has been establishing international recognition as an exceptional performer and prolific producer.
An acclaimed performer as well as winner of several international competitions and awards, Mr. Martelli has appeared as a soloist and with distinguished orchestras and chamber music ensembles in Brazil and abroad, including the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Grammy Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor, and the Campinas Orchestra for the Brazilian première of Francisco Mignone´s Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra. Also an accomplished recording artist, Mr. Martelli has released four albums acclaimed for their “perfection” (Classical Guitar Magazine, UK), “solid and brilliant technique” (Soundboard Magazine, USA), and “impeccable musicality” (Gendai Magazine, Japan). In 2012, Paulo premiered Lendas Amazônicas, a fantasia concertante for two guitars and orchestra written by legendary Brazilian guitarist Marco Pereira, and recorded the première of this work live for SESCTV performing alongside the composer. His interest and dedication to expanding the repertoire of the guitar has led numerous composers to dedicate new works to him, including Sérgio Assad, Geraldo Ribeiro, Douglas Lora, Marco Pereira, João Luiz Lopes and Mark Delpriora.
In recent years, Mr. Martelli has dedicated himself to becoming a master of the 11-string guitar. His lyrical voice and effortless technique along with his development of new works for the instrument have placed him as one its foremost virtuosos. His innovative arrangements of works by J. S. Bach for 11-string guitar have been praised by critics as “outstanding” and “miraculous.”
As a producer, Paulo Martelli created Movimento Violão, an international concert series that for over ten years has presented some of the world’s finest guitarists and showcased Brazil’s finest up-and-coming musicians. Each season of Movimento Violāo is broadcast nationwide on Brazilian television and released on CD and DVD, presenting artists with new standards of excellence while also producing an unparalleled archive for future generations. In 2011 Mr. Martelli premièred Movimento Violão in the United States with a solo performance at the Kennedy Center, which was webcast live and streamed over the internet on-demand.
Along with his work as a performer, Paulo Martelli is widely respected as an educator and scholar, having held the chair of the guitar department at the University of Ribeirão Preto, Brazil for several years. Also committed to private teaching, he has prepared young talents for successful auditions in top music schools such as The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. In 1999, in recognition of his deep commitment to music education, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture awarded him the “Virtuoso Scholarship” that allowed him to develop studies in tablature systems at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. In 2000, he was a recipient of the Andrés Segovia Award, one of the highest honors in the field of classical guitar.
Paulo Martelli holds a masters degree from The Juilliard School and a professional studies diploma from Manhattan School of Music. He presented his New York City debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1995, where he has returned to perform on several other occasions.
Mr. Martelli began studying guitar at the age of ten, under the guidance of Francisco Brasilino and Henrique Pinto. Later, he became a mentee of legendary virtuoso Sérgio Abreu. He is currently faculty at the Municipal Music School of São Paulo (EMESP).