His 2016 recording of Corrette’s “Les délices de la solitude” (Opera Prima) was praised by Fanfare Magazine as “spirited, elegant, and warm”.  With the early music group Il Suonar Parlante, his recording “Full of Color” won such prestigious awards as the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

With the Quartetto Italiano di Viole da Gamba, Il Suonar Parlante, and as a soloist, he aims to cultivate a repertoire that embraces ancient as well as modern viol consort music. He has performed works by contemporary composers and jazz artists such as Kenny Wheeler, Uri Caine, Don Byron, Ernst Reijseger, Vanni Moretto, Markus Stockhausen, Francesco Hoch, Henry Bartholomée, and Lucio Garau, and performed in the Italian premiere of George Benjamin’s “Written on Skin” with the Orchestra Haydn of Bolzano.  In February 2016, Mr Contadin was invited to play for the funeral ceremony of Umberto Eco in Milan.

In addition to his activities as a performer, Mr. Contadin wrote the Italian translation of “The Early History of the Viol” by Ian Woodfield, published by EDT – Turin.


Cristiano Contadin is an Italian viola da gamba player and the founder of the Opera Prima Ensemble, a chamber music group of internationally-acclaimed soloists devoted to the baroque repertoire.

As a gamba soloist and continuo player, he collaborates with ensembles in Italy and abroad, including I Barocchisti, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Accademia Bizantina, Odechaton, La Venexiana, Orchestra Sinfonica “G. Verdi” (Milan), Cantar Lontano, Boston Early Music Festival, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala (Milan), and Il Suonar Parlante.

Mr. Contadin has recorded for Sony, EMI Classical, Universal (Deutsche Grammophon), Arte, Brilliant, Hyperion, Stradivarius, Winter & Winter, CPO and Naxos, among others.  In 2015, he released a recording of the complete Telemann Trio Sonatas and Concertos with his Opera Prima Ensemble to widespread acclaim. For this disc, proclaimed by Classic Voice as “CD of the Month”, Musica Magazine confirmed him as “a first-rate artist for the sweetness of the sound, the stylistic relevance and the absolute mastery of the instrument”.

He is also the coordinator of the viola da gamba catalogue “La Voce Dell’Ambasciatore” for the Italian publishing house Musedita.

Mr. Contadin teaches Viola da Gamba and chamber music at the Conservatory “B. Marcello” in Venice, and has also held teaching positions at the Academy of Music in Esbjerg, Denmark, the Conservatory “S.Giacomantonio” in Cosenza, and the “V. Bellini” Conservatory in Palermo, Sicily. He is the summer director of “L’Instituto Laboratorio di Musica Antica” (ILMA) in San Vito al Tagliamento.

Since 2019, Cristiano Contadin has been nominated a “Consigliere” of the Board of the new “Teatro San Cassiano” project, led by Mr P. Atkin.  Future CD releases include Dowland’s “Lachrimae” (Brilliant), and Graun’s cantatas for viola da gamba and soprano (CPO).

Mr. Contadin plays an anonymous Venetian bass viol from the 18th century.