He began his research in the field of Renaissance and Baroque musical idioms around 1979 together with violinist Enrico Gatti and harpsichordist Rinaldo Alessandrini. Studied then with Jordi Savall at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland
From 1982 until 1990 he has been a member of Jordi Savall's ensemble Hesperion XX and performed with them throughout the world, making hundreds of concerts and dozens of recordings, playing an extremely wide repertory going from early Renaissance to late baroque music from most european cultures (from Isaac to M. Flecha, from Gabrieli to Dowland, from Monteverdi to Marais and Bach, and so on).
1990 he started his solo career with the release of his first solo recording, the C.P.E.Bach Sonatas.In the same year he was appointed as the follower of Jordi Savall to the professorship at the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel.
After having recorded for various different labels, since 1997 all of his cds appear exclusively for the spanish/german label Glossamusic. He released a large number of cds, mainly concentrating on the soloistic viol repertoire (Marais, Forqueray, St.Colombe, T.Hume, C.F.Abel, J.S.Bach, De Machy, Couperin).His adaptation of J.S.Bach'sSix Solo Suites for the viol became immediately a “must” for any complete Bach discography
His interest in historical improvisation brought him to the release of "Improvisando": the Jazz of XVII Century, a completely improvised program based on Renaissance patterns.
He also dedicates himself to composition (cd "Travel Notes”:New music for the Viola da Gamba).
Most of his recordings have received awards by the most relevant musical magazines worldwide.His last releases for Glossa have been: Marais 1689: pieces for one and two viols (with Amélie Chemin) from the first book of M.Marais, including pieces for one viol and two viols, Kind of Satie: an original projectexploring the poetic world of Eric Satie, where he plays a prototype of semiacoustic viola da gamba, with his brother Andrea Pandolfo (trumpets) and Michelangelo Rinaldi (Accordeon, Grandpiano, Toy-Piano), G.P.Telemann Fantasias for viola da gamba alone, including the newly discovered 12 Fantasias for Viola da Gamba alone, “Regina Bastarda” a CD dedicated to the stunning virtuoso and deeply poetic and music by unknown Italian masters around 1600 (Diapason D’Or May 2019)
He is invited to give masterclasses worldwide.
Paolo Pandolfo constant effort is to build bridges between the Past and the Present, always bringing in his performances, together with rigorous philological interpretation, spontaneous and immediate life. He is convinced that the patrimony of ancient music combined with renewed improvisation skills can be of powerful inspiration for the future of the western musical tradition
“...one of the most brilliant and poetic of the instrument’s current exponents...”(Gramophone UK)
“..So virtuos wie Paganini” (..As great a virtuoso as Paganini..)(Basellandschaftliche Zeitung 2016
“The freedom and the expressive flexibility of his playing are wonderful his virtuosity we can take for granted..the depth and warmth of the viol sound itself is a major part of the enjoyment: this is a masterwork” (BBC Radio review of Telemann Fantasias, 2017)
“The freedom and the expressive flexibility of his playing are wonderful his virtuosity we can take for granted..the depth and warmth of the viol sound itself is a major part of the enjoyment: this is a masterwork” (BBC Radio review of Telemann Fantasias)
“..in a set of variations, Pandolfo himself showed his incomparable technique on the viol, with swirling and apparently effortless roulades above a steady ground bass—all without sacrificing his essential musicianship. Not the least of his skills is a variety in tone color, ranging from a rich intensity to the slightest of whispers, a focused sotto voce that draws the listener into the heart of the music. Fellow viol player Amélie Chemin matched and supported Pandolfo’s virtuosity, especially in a beautiful echo duet variation. Together, they made each variation seem utterly fresh, as if improvised on the spot.”San Francisco Classical Voice, March 2018
“.... this CD is a highpoint of expressive and poetic intensity... Diapason d’Or, May 2019 - Denis Morrier