Violist Paul Cortese, an active protagonist of his instrument, has performed and recorded various works for solo viola. Cortese graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with the famed violist Joseph dePasquale. Previously, under the tutelage of Stanley Nosal, Guillermo Perich, John Garvey and Burton Fine, he pursued musical studies at the University of Illinois and the New England Conservatory in Boston. While still a student, Cortese performed with the Philadelphia Orchestras and the Boston Symphony and was offered the principal viola positions in the Teatro alla Scala and Gothenburg Symphony of Sweden, deciding for the latter orchestra because of its music director Neeme Järvi. Although he has been guest principal violist in over a dozen European orchestras, Cortese has given up orchestral responsibility to dedicate more time to solo and chamber music performance. He made his debut with orchestra in Alice Tully Hall in 1991. Mr Cortese has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Canada and throughout Europe. Having collaborated on numerous occasions with the Kandinsky Trio and various string quartets, he has participated in international music festivals such as Tanglewood, Evian, Banff and Musicades of Lyon, Granada and many others. Cortese has recorded extensively including the complete works for solo viola by Paul Hindemith, and Milhaud's Sonatas for viola for ASV. Born in the United States to Italian parents, Paul lives in Barcelona, Spain, where he is professor of viola and chamber music at the conservatories of Badalona, Cervera, and the School of Music Juan Pedro Carrero in Barcelona. Mr Cortese plays an 18th century French viola and a new viola made by David Bagué I Soler of Barcelona, 1997. In 1995 Paul recorded the complete works for viola and orchestra of Paul Hindemith (in honour of the composer's centenary) with the Philharmonia Orchestra for ASV.