The tutors

Blandine Rannou, harpsichord


Blandine Rannou was unanimously awarded first prize for harpsichord in 1983 at the Angers CNR (regional national conservatory for music), after which she studied at the CNSMD (national higher conservatory for music and dance) in Paris, where she obtained first prize for harpsichord and first prize for basso continuo in 1987, followed by a first prize for chamber music in 1988. She then perfected her art with Bob van Asperen and Gustav Leonhardt. In 1992, she won the international Musica Antiqua competition in Bruges, and was
also awarded both the audience prize and the special prize by Radio Télévision Belge. Blandine Rannou now has a career as a soloist, performing all around the world, and also teaches basso continuo at the CNSMD in Paris, and harpsichord at the CRR (regional conservatory for music) in Versailles.

Chiara Banchini, baroque violin


Born in Lugano, Switzerland in 1946, Chiara Banchini obtained a ‘Virtuoso’ prize in violin from the Geneva Music Conservatory, where she studied with Corrado Romano and then refined her skills with Sandor Wegh. An encounter with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Sigiswald Kuijken sparked her passion for historically informed music, inciting her to obtain a diploma in baroque violin from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. She then played in ensembles such as La Petite Bande, Hesperion XX and La Chapelle Royale, as well as embarking on an international career as a concert violinist. In 1981, Chiara founded her own chamber orchestra, L’Ensemble 415, which came to be regarded as one of Europe’s most respected chamber music ensembles for the repertory of the 17th and 18th centuries. As well as playing music, she has also taught, giving musical interpretation courses throughout Europe as well as in the United States, Australia, South Africa and Syria. On 8 January 2011, Chiara Banchini gave her final concert with L’Ensemble 415 at the Schola Cantorum in Paris and today devotes herself to new projects.

Paolo Pandolfo, viola da gamba


Paolo Pandolfo is an Italian gambist who trained at the Santa Cecilia Music Conservatory in Rome, before joining the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he studied the viola under Jordi Savall. Between 1982 and 1990, he was a core member of Savall’s Hespèrion XXI ensemble, playing in many major concert halls and recording a large
number of albums. In 1990, after the success of his first solo CD (Sonatas for Viola da Gamba by C.P.E. Bach), he was appointed teacher of viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, taking over from Jordi Savall. Since then, Paolo Pandolfo has combined his teaching of the viola in Switzerland with touring the world.