Paolo Calligaris – FAGOT

On a bus we can find all sorts of things: caps, scarves, umbrellas, maybe here and
there a wallet… Paolo found an orange audio cassette. Due to this cassette we
probably lost an excellent tractor mechanic or machine engineer, which is what he
was training for. Fortunately, at the age of 18 that little orange box conveyed him to
the other side of the street, to the world of music.

On the cassette were recorded Rossini’s Overtures for Orchestra, and on listening to them Paolo was completely charmed by the sound of the bassoon, its density, its power…
Of course, he was intimately familiar with music long before that. In his home town of Palmanova he had been a member of the wind band, first playing the drum and then the E-flat clarinet and saxophone. A great deal of credit for the fact that music became such a big part of his life is due to conductor Vasco Nazzi. Even today Paolo holds his words and advice deep in his heart.

He attended the class of G. Grassi at the Udine Music Conservatory for three years before continuing his studies first in Turin with V. Menghini and then in Castelfranco Veneto with Stefano Canuti. As a member of the “Triom d’ance di Udine” he was awarded prizes at numerous international competitions of chamber music.

Perhaps Metod Tomac and Matej Zupan are responsible for the fact that Paolo came to Slovenia in those troubled post-war months. They had once collaborated with the ensemble Diapason and notified Paolo of an audition for the first bassoon seat of the RTV Slovenia Orchestra in 1992. He successfully passed the audition and stayed with the orchestra for five years.

In 1995, he became a member of the Slowind Wind Quintet and in 1997 was named as first bassoonist of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. An unpleasant bout of pneumonia, which seriously threatened his life, converted him from a passionate smoker to a even more passionate mountain cyclist. Unlike the other members of the ensemble, sports connected with the sea do not interest Paolo so much, but he certainly feels at home on a bicycle – he has even participated in two downhill competitions. Smiling, he adds: “Every now and then I scare a deer or a hiker when I descend by bike at the fastest speed possible from Katarina or some other hill.”

Paolo has taught at the Klagenfurt Music Conservatorium in Austria and participated at the Summer Music School in Piran.