Gianna Abondolo, cellist, leads a dynamic career performing regularly as soloist, chamber musician, improviser, and composer. Top prizewinner of the 1988 Young Musician’s Foundation Debut Competition, she gave her New York solo debut performance in 1991 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she started playing the cello at age eight and subsequently began concertizing, including at the age of 15 a performance of Vivaldi’s double concerto with Yo-Yo Ma and the Crossroads School Orchestra of which Terry McQuilkin of the LA. Times wrote, “clearly a musician of exceptional talent”. In 1991, upon receiving her Masters Degree from the Juilliard School, she won a position with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction ofEsa Pekka Salonen, with whom she played for four years. She has played in numerous festivals including Marlboro, Tanglewood, Steamboat Springs, Santa.Clara Univ. New Music Fest., Other Minds SF, the Santa Barbara Academy of the West, and in Italy at the Accademia Chigiana and the Festivale Positano. Ms. Abondolo resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where she has played with the Adorno Ensemble, Quartet San Francisco, SF Contemporary Music Players, and as principal cellist of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the SF Chamber Orchestra, and the Berkeley Akademie. Among the noteworthy composers she has worked with include Joan Tower, John Adams, Esa Pekka Salonen, Lou Harrison, Gabriela Frank, Karen Tanaka, and Alex Shapiro.
As a composer herself, her compositional style blends ethnic influences with western classical tradition. She has been commissioned to write for individual artists, dance, and film, including the musical score for the film Of Stones and Water (2014), directed by Tonia Shimin. Her compositions have been performed by Santa Barbara Dance Theater (UC Santa Barbara), and at the Cunningham Space in New York City, Jacob's Pillow, the Oakland Dance Festival, UC Berkeley, Mills College, Old First Concerts in San Francisco, the Santa Clara University New Music Festival, Music at the Mission San José, Cal State LA, Strings Showcase in Berkeley, and by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Of her recordings, her CD “De’ja` Vu”, was showcased on S.F. Bay Area radio stations, “Sing Out” KPFA and KALW.
Gianna is a former lecturer of UC Berkeley and is on the faculty of Mills College in Oakland, California. She also teaches privately to students of all ages and levels in her home studio.