Annalisa Pappano

Artistic Director, Viola da Gamba, Lirone & Pardessus de Viole

Her playing has been described by critics as “mercurial and enchanting” and with a sound that is lighter than air with the airy luster of gilding on the mirrors of a rococo drawing room.” (Columbus Dispatch)


Annalisa Pappano "reichert den asketischen Ton der Gambe mit gradliniger, ja keuscher Süße an - wie wilder Honig" (Rainer Janka, OVB)

Pappano has performed throughout Belgium, England, Ireland, Colombia, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the U.S. She has played at the Boston, Berkeley, Bloomington, and Vancouver Early Music Festivals, and the Ojai Music Festival. She is a member of Wildcat Viols, Trio Pardessus, and Atalante, and with Atalante won aDiapason d’Or and Gramophone Award. Annalisa has performed with numerous other ensembles including the Houston Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Cleveland Opera, Portland Opera, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Haymarket Opera, Le Nouvel Opéra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (Nicholas McGegan, dir.), Les Voix Baroques, Opera Atelier, Toronto Consort, Concord Ensemble, Cappella Artemisia (Bologna), Alchymy Viols, Asheville Baroque, Ensemble Sonoritas, Parthenia Viol Consort, Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Wiltener Sängerknaben, und Academia Jacobus Stainer. She has taught at Viola da Gamba Society of America national conclaves, the Viola da Gamba Society Pacic Northwest and Northeast chapters, the San Diego Early Music Workshop, ViolsWest, the Madison Early Music Workshop, and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities.

Pappano studied at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and now resides in the Inn Valley of Bavaria.


Pappano has extensive experience leading continuo teams in Italian Baroque opera (Cavalli, Monteverdi, etc.) and the chamber operas of Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Her musical interests include 17th-century Italian sacred and secular monody, 17th-century nuns’ music, and 18th-century pardessus music for women. She was awarded a fellowship by the German State Ministry for Culture and Media for research into the lira, the predecessor of the lirone. Pappano has a passion for nurturing young professional musicians (to streamline their career and prepare them for professional performing life), but also performing music for the elderly.

Annalisa Pappano is the founder and artistic director of the early music ensemble Catacoustic Consort, and led the group to win the grand prize in the Naxos/Early Music America Live Recording Competition. The ensemble has also recorded a program of Italian laments on the Naxos label, in addition to three other Catacoustic Consort recordings and many broadcasts on nationally-syndicated radio. Her wide range of instruments includes the viola da gamba (treble, tenor, bass), pardessus de viole, and lirone.


She was on faculty at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music—teaching viola da gamba and historically informed performance practice —until moving to Germany in 2019, where she continues to expand her performance career. Most recently she appeared on Austrian State Television ORF3 as featured soloist in the J.S. Bach St. Matthew Passion (Thomas Guggeis, conductor).