Massimo Santantonio
Born in Rome (Italy), 1957. Guitarist and composer. Self-taught. 
1976 to 1991: founder and member of the ensemble  Acustica Medievale. The group rearranged and performed Medieval and Renaissance music, blending original instruments (krumhorns, recorders, etc.) with a variety of stringed instruments and even synthesizers. Original compositions and old Celtic tunes were also part of the repertoire, and the band was very active in the national folk scene with hundreds of concerts across the whole country, taking part in several national TV and Radio shows and building a loyal following supported by exposure on music press.
The band was at home in the internationally famous Rome club “Folkstudio”, which in the late seventies and early eighties hosted and promoted concerts by the likes of John Renbourn, Stefan Grossman, Duck Baker, Preston Reed, the Chieftains, and Clannad, among others. “Folkstudio” also founded a record label under the same name, which published “Acustica Medievale”’s first LP. 
Parallel to that, Santantonio built a full repertoire of original compositions for solo guitar and/or small ensemble. One such pieces earned him a “Honorable Mention” in the 1989 “Readers Soundpage Competition” by the American “Guitar Player” magazine, and he started doing solo gigs, being invited several times to perform live at Italy’s national radio (RAI). 
In 1987 he composed the official anthem for the Athletics World Championships. 
In the early nineties times were ripe for a new musical adventure solely based on original compositions. The Massimo Santantonio Quartet, featuring guitar, double bass, percussion, and soprano sax/clarinet, was then formed. With this group, which became a quintet whenever virtuoso accordion/piano player Antonello Salis joined forces, Santantonio’s pieces acquire more of a “jazz” dressing, although not being “jazz” at all, composition-wise. The CD “Massimo Santantonio Quintet – featuring Antonello Salis” (1996) earned quite good, sometimes enthusiastic reviews, and enjoyed some substantial airplay. This triggered invitations to jazz festivals and live shows at the national radio. Music from this album was synchronized to news reports on the national TV, and was used as a soundtrack for a short movie by award-winning Italian film director Carlo Mazzacurati.  
Before that, Italy’s top music magazine “Chitarre” published an extensive profile and interview, while in 1995 the American magazine “Guitar Player” – again – awarded a tape with yet unpublished material as the “Demo of the Month” in the “Spotlight” new talent column. This award came with a profile and a photo, and was accompanied by quotes like “acoustic ace” … “his performance is immaculate yet warmly  human” …”great sensitivity…fine tone production”.  
Massimo Santantonio currently composes and performs for solo guitar, and for his “atypical” chamber ensemble featuring cello, double bass, clarinet/soprano sax, and bassoon. In either format, his music incorporates flavours ranging from medieval to chamber jazz, and can perhaps be described as some sort of “music for imaginary movies” , as some say.  
His recent efforts have been published on Germany’s world-famous label “Acoustic Music Records” (CD “Script”, 2001;, receiving very good reviews on European press and – again – enjoying airplay on Italy’s national classical music-oriented radio RAI3. 
“Acoustic ace…great sensitivity, breathy phrasing, fine tone production…his performance is immaculate yet warmly human” (Guitar Player) 
“Massimo has found today a fine instrumental voice, yet richly emotional… an album of rare musicality and guitaristic poetry…mature compositional vein” (Chitarre) 
“Music of quality and research” (Audio Review) 
“A nice surprise for tonal variety and integrity of the project…interesting textures…original compositions, far from afro-american jazz, well written…” (Musica Jazz) 
“Instrumental music with acoustic colours, which refuses to be labelled due to its strong originality…very much European in its atmospheres…his music is rooted into our sensibility…difficult to categorize, since sheer originality is one of its strengths” (Axe)
Musical landscapes rich of ethnic suggestions, in an emotional compositional vein…well played and interpreted” (Guitar Club)   
“Compositional masterpieces ... exceptional acoustic guitarist” (Folker - UK) 
“His individual style of playing acoustic guitar is unique. “Script” is a must for every guitar fan” (Rock News - Germania)
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Massimo Santantonio  (home: 06 3729525 — mobile: 348 5825907)