Genre: Choral Music
Diego Fasolis is among the more important conductors associated with Baroque music and early music performance in general. He is primarily a choral conductor and is especially known for his interpretations of cantatas and other sacred works by J.S. Bach. His repertory also includes large chunks of the sacred outputs of Handel, Palestrina, Vivaldi, Buxtehude, and many other Baroque composers. But Fasolis has also led performances and recordings of sacred music by Cherubini and Liszt and even the folk song arrangements of Beethoven. He is a multifaceted musician: as an organist he has been active and quite prolific in Europe in a range of repertory that includes the complete outputs of Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Franck. In addition, the busy Fasolis has also composed film scores and works for organ and for voices with orchestra. He has made over 50 recordings that have appeared on a variety of labels, including EMI, Naxos, Chandos, Claves, Arts Music, Amadeus, Divox, and several others.
Born in Switzerland, Fasolis studied music at the Zurich Conservatory and the Zurich Musikhochschule. His most important teachers at these schools included Jurg Vintschger (piano), Erich Vollenwyder (organ), Carol Smith (voice), and Klaus Knall (conducting). Fasolis later studied organ in Paris with Gaston Litaize and had further instruction in Cremona with Michael Radulescu, who schooled him in early music performance.
Fasolis' first important post came in 1986 when he began a long relationship with the Radiotelevisione Svizzera di Lingua Italiana (RTSI) as a musician and (part-time) conductor. In 1993 he was appointed permanent conductor there, a post that included oversight and conducting of several vocal and instrumental ensembles serving under the RTSI, among which was the Coro della Radio Svizzera.
In 1995 Fasolis founded Ensemble Vanitas in Lugano, a historic-instrument group largely devoted to Baroque repertory. He has remained the ensemble's principal conductor over the years. In 1998 Fasolis accepted the appointment of principal conductor of another historic-instrument ensemble committed to Baroque music, I Barocchisti.
In the new century Fasolis has remained active not only with I Barocchisti, but as a freelance conductor with several European ensembles, including the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, the Berlin RIAS-Chamber Choir, and other groups in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. Among Fasolis' more recent recordings are a pair of 2007 releases on the Arts Music label containing the Bach Brandenburg Concertos and the Tripelkonzert, BWV 1044.
- Robert Cummings (All Music Guide)