Program 2021

CastelCello is one of the rare festivals worldwide dedicated exclusively to the cello and its music. Once a year outstanding international artists of this instrument perform programs that range from the classic to jazz and improvisation in castle Brunnenburg’s romantic courtyard.

The 8th edition of our CastelCello festival will take place from August 20th - 23th and is dedicated to the violoncello.

This year's festival will feature the virtuoso and eclectic cellist Alessio Pianelli, winner 2018 of the prestigious Borletti Buitoni Trust, the second evening will see an encounter of masters of their instruments, the gambist Liam Byrne and the famous avantgarde percussionists Robyn Schulkowsky and Joey Baron. Finally we will hear Paolo Bonomini, winner of the Leipzig Bach Competition, soloist, Chamber musician and enthusiastic pedagogue.

The festival will conclude on August 23 with a final concert by the participants in the Master Class.

20.08.2021 - 20:30: MUSICA : INSIEME
Allessio Pianelli - cello, Mirei Yamada - violin, Matteo Introna - viola, Francesco Dillon - cello, in collaboration with "Avos Music Project" present music by Arthur Honegger, Alfredo Piatti, Alessio Pianelli and Anton Arensky

21.08.2021 - 20:30: VIOLA DA GAMBA MEETS PERCUSSION: Unusual encounters with great virtuosi.
Liam Byrne - viola da gamba, Robyn Schulkowsky - percussion, Joey Baron - percussion

22.08.2021 - 20:30:  SOLO CELLO
Paolo Bonomini - cello, music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Luigi Dallapiccola, Peter Scultorphe

23.08.2021 - 20:30: FINAL CONCERT
Students of the Masterclass with Francesco Dillon - First performance
of the new piece by Emanuele Casale for violoncello solo (commissioned by CastelCello 2021)

Info & reservation


In order to comply with Covid19-security measures, there will be reduced seating. We therefore ask you to kindly make binding
reservations via email: or by phone beginning August 6th Monday through Friday from 2-5 PM

TEL: +39-0473-234141 or +39 335 8305941


30 € / 20 € reduced

Access and parking

From Merano to Tirolo/Dorf Tirol, parking in the village, 10 minutes walking distance to the castle


20.08.2021 Musica : Insieme

Allessio Pianelli - Cello
Mirei Yamada - Violin
Matteo Introna - Viola
Francesco Dillon - Cello

Arthur Honegger - Sonatina per vl. e vc.

Alfredo Piatti - Capriccio sulla “Niobe” per violoncello solo

Alessio Pianelli - da BACo a FaRFalLa

Anton Arensky - Quartetto n.2 op.35 in La minore

Allessio Pianelli

“Alessio Pianelli, with his exceptional talent, belongs to the best italian cellists of the new generation. With his phenomenal technique, fantasy, musical intelligence and full mastery of the stage and of his own art, he is able to bring a new fascinating emotion to his listeners.” (Thomas Demenga)

Recently awarded a Borletti Buitoni Trust fellowship, Sicilian cellist and composer Alessio Pianelli brings to the stage the distinctive characteristics of his homeland, where one can still live and breathe the diverse cultures of Sicily, a unique region that was dominated throughout the centuries by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Germanics, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Spanish.
Curiosity, research and a love for traveling, arts and culture, all came easily and were befitting to his character, naturally broadening his emotional personality and crystalline talent.

Prizewinner of several international competitions, such as Antonio Janigro International Cello
Competition, and, with his piece Tanzen Wir!, the first prize at the International Composition Competition In Clausura organized by Ravenna Festival and 100cellos in 2016, Alessio has regularly performed as a soloist with symphony and chamber orchestras such as, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Kazakh State Orchestra, Lviv Philarmonic Orchestra, Philarmonie Baden-Baden and Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI di Torino.

An avid chamber musician, Alessio is frequently invited to international festivals such as Marlboro Festival, Piatigorsky Festival, Davos Festival, bringing his music into prominent halls in Europe, Asia and North America (Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Hajuko Hall Tokyo and Tonhalle Zurich among others).

Since 2014 Alessio has been realising several albums issued by Almendra Music, a Palermo-based think tank, record label and art collective specializing in instigating collaborations among musicians and artists from different backgrounds, which Alessio has contributed to found and grow to stir up the creative environment of his birthland.
His piece for two cellos “Sulla Quarta” eventually became also the title track of the second volume of an ongoing series of albums, in which Alessio turns his exploration of the six solo cello Suites by J.S.Bach into a voyage of discovery and self-discovery, coupling them with less-explored works composed in 20th and 21st century and with his own compositional reactions to the emotional and intellectual challenges which Bach’s writing poses to musicians and listeners alike.

Some of his compositions are published by Casa Musicale Sonzogno and Mueller&Schade.
In 2017 he was invited by Marianne Piketty as a composer in residence at Musique aux 4
Horizons in Ronchamp, France, where he performed in venues surrounded by the architecture of Le Corbusier, Jean Prouvè and Renzo Piano.Born in 1989 into a family of musicians, Alessio Pianelli studied in Palermo with Giovanni Sollima and in Basel with Thomas Demenga. His training and development have also been influenced by renowned artists such as M. Brunello and W. Boettcher.
Alessio plays a 1921 Evasio Emilio Guerra cello.

Matteo Introna

Matteo Introna was born in Naples in the year 2000.

He enrolled in the first level academic viola course at the Naples Conservartory San Pietro a Majella, where he studied with maestro Andrea Maini and maestro Alessandro Santucci.

There followed an advanced course taught by maestro Riccardo Savinelli and various masterclasses with Luca Ranieri and Danusha Wakievicz at the International Music School Avos Project in Rome.

He then took a two year refinement course in chamber music at the Avos Project with teachers of national and international renown such as Mario Montore, Mirei Yamada, David Romano, Diego Romano, Alessio Pianelli, Andrea Obisio and chamber ensembles such as the Quartetto Prometeo and the Quartetto Werther.

He participated in various editions of the Villa Pennisi in Musica Festival in Arcireale (CT) following the high refinement course taught by maestro Raffaele Mallozzi and in the Livorno Music Festival, where he followed the advanced course with maestro Anna Serova.

He was first viola of the Scarlatti Joung Orchestra , before that first viola of the Scarlatti Junior Orchestra under the artistic direction of maestro Gaetano Russo, in 2020 he was first viola of the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana.

In these orchestras he continued to perfect himself under famous directors such as Daniele Moles, Beatrice Venezi, Federico Odlig, Kolja Blacher, Gianna Fratta, Roberto Abbado, Daniele Gatti.

Since autumn 2018 he performs as viola player with the Nuova Orchestra Scarlatti in various concert seasons and during the two editions of the UniMusic Festival , organized in partnership with the University Federico II in Naples, where famous musicians such as Salvatore Quaranta, Daniela Cammarano and Nello Salza appeared on stage.

Mirei Yamada

Mirei Yamada was born in Tottori (Japan) and began studying the violin at age 3 with her father and then continued with Takeaki Sumi. She proceeded with violin studies and Chamber Music studies in Italy, and has followed some of the most renowned musicians including M. Pradella , P. N. Masi, G. Guglielmo, F. Ayo, R. Bonucci, D. Nordio, R. Filippini, A. Ghedin, M. Jones and the Trio di

Trieste. She graduated in Violin at the “Toho- Gakuen University of Music” in Tokyo. She also graduated in Violin and Chamber Music at the “Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia” in Rome. She continued the studies at the “International Chamber Music School of the Trio di Trieste” (Duino) and the “Hochschule für Musik und Tanz” of Cologne (Germany) with the “Alban Berg Quartet. In 2010, the Chigiana Academy of Siena gave her two prizes: the "Premio Monte Dei Paschi" and the prestigious "Diploma of Honor".

She is the winner of numerous national and international competitions. With the “Quartetto Avos” (now Avos Piano Quartet) she won the two most important chamber music competitions in Italy: the Premio Vittorio Gui in Florence and the International Competition Premio Trio di Trieste, where she also received two other prizes: the Amedeo Baldovino Prize for her interpretation of J.Brahms (Quartet op. 25) and the Public Prize given by the Italian newspaper "Il Piccolo di Trieste".

She has performed in the most important theatres in Italy and abroad: Parco della Musica (Rome), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Teatro Coccia (Novara), Teatro Verdi (Trieste), Sala Gaveau (Paris), Flagey (Brüssel), Nationales Auditorium (Madrid), Grand Theatre (Shanghai), Poly Theatre (Peking), Phoenix Hall (Osaka), Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo Opera City).

She performs with famous artists such as Felix Ayo, Guy Braunstein, Natalia Gutman, Eliso Virsaladze, Enrico Dindo, I solisti di Pavia, Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, Ebène Quartet, Belcea Quartet and Alban Berg Quartet.

Since 1998, she collaborates with the Opera Project of “Seiji Ozawa Ongaku - juku Orchestra” conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

Since 2012 she is second violin in the Hulencourt Soloists Chamber Orchestra (Belgium) conducted by M° Guy Braunstein, former first Violin at the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Francesco Dillon


Francesco Dillon (b.Turin, 1973) already has a brilliant international career to his credit, characterised by the originality and variety of the repertoire that he has embraced. As a soloist he has performed on such prestigious concert stages as the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Herkulessaal of Munich, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Jordan Hall in Boston and the Colon Theatre of Buenos Aires, with such orchestras as Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Italian National Radio Orchestra (RAI), the SWR Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, the Oulu Sinfonia Finland, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and the Tuscany Regional Orchestra (ORT). Most recently he made an acclaimed debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, conducted by Susanna Mallki.
Having graduated in Florence under the guidance of Andrea Nannoni, he continued his studies with Anner Bijlsma, Mario Brunello, David Geringas and Mstislav Rostropovich, thereafter studying composition with Salvatore Sciarrino.
In 1993 he was one of the founders of the Quartetto Prometeo, a chamber group of international acclaim and winner of numerous prizes (Prague Spring, ARD Munich, Bordeaux) and recently honoured with the Leone d’Argento award of the Biennale Musica of Venice. Dillon is also a stable member of the Alter Ego ensemble which is regularly invited to the major contemporary music festivals around the world. Dillon's performances have been transmitted by such important broadcasters as the BBC, RAI, ARD, Radio France, ORF, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and WDR.
He has recorded for the ECM label, as well as Sony, Kairos, Ricordi, Stradivarius, Die Schachtel, Mode and Touch. He recently recorded for the first time, Variations by Salvatore Sciarrino which received the Diapason d’Or prize, and Ballata by Giacinto Scelsi, both with the Italian National Radio Orchestra (RAI). As a duo with the pianist Emanuele Torquati, he has brought out three CDs of rare music of Schumann and the complete works for cello by Franz Liszt for Brilliant Classics.
Along with his concert activity there have been teaching experiences in institutions such as the Royal College of London, the Scuola di musica di Fiesole, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow, the Pacific University in California, Untref-Buenos Aires, Manchester University.
From 2010 he has been artistic director of the season of contemporary music Music@villaromana in Florence and from 2019 artistic director of CastelCello in Brunnenburg

Liam Byrne - viola da gamba
Schulkowsky - percussion
Joey Baron - percussion


Liam took his BMus and Performer’s Diploma in viola da gamba with Wendy Gillespie at Indiana University and holds an MPhil in Musicology and Performance from Magdalen College Oxford, where he studied viol with Laurence Dreyfus and counterpoint and early notation with Margaret Bent. Liam is professor of viola da gamba at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he also teaches Medieval and Renaissance Performance Practice.

Liam Byrne spends most of his time playing either very old or very new music on the viola da gamba. An obsession with the instrument’s most obscure 16th and 17th century repertoire is a recurring theme in his work, whether in devising baroque performance installations for the Victoria & Albert museum, or in collaboration with the Appalachian fiddler Cleek Schrey, or creating new electronic works with Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson.

Over the years, Liam has worked closely with a wide variety of musicians, from Damon Albarn to Emma Kirkby, and is a frequent guest of new music ensembles Stargaze, the London Contemporary Orchestra, and Crash Ensemble. With a background in Historical Performance and degrees from Indiana and Oxford Universities, Liam has played and recorded with many of Europe’s leading Early Music ensembles, including the Huelgas Ensemble, Dunedin Consort, The Sixteen, i Fagiolini, and the viol consorts Phantasm, Concordia, and most notably Fretwork, with whom he toured and recorded extensively for several years.


Robyn Schulkowsky moved to Germany during a heyday of experimental and adventurous classical composition. As a soloist, she has premiered and recorded some of the most important percussion works of the 20th and 21st centuries Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel, Walter Zimmermann, Rebecca Saunders, Sofia Gubaidulina and Wolfgang Rihm, among others`.

Since 1998, as founder of Rhythm Lab, Schulkowsky has taken rhythm workshops to countless cities, incorporating indigenous drumming music from around the globe, and involving students, professionals and aficionados alike in workshops, study, and concerts.In 2005 Space And Frequency Rhythm Lab premiered for 10 days in the Vanderbilt Hall of New York City’s Grand Central Station.
Robyn Schulkowsky has also made a name in improvisation, and has realised multimedia projects with such diverse artists as Günther Uecker, Sasha Waltz and Ghanaian percussionist Kofi Ghanaba. Robyn Schulkowsky has written her own compositions for theatre productions and films as well as concert works for solo drums and percussion ensemble. In 1998 she founded Rhythm Lab, a mobile percussion studio offering drumming workshops around the world to amateurs and professionals alike.

In 2009, working with 100 students of mixed social backgrounds, she created a new music theatre project based on the story of Antigone.

Last year she took her “rhythmlab” to Greece and England, and directed new interpretations of “Life Pulse Prelude” based on sketches by the composer Charles Ives in Berlin and Bonn.

New World Records released her own composition for percussion trio, Armadillo (with Joey Baron and Fredy Studer). She also released the cd 8 Duos-music by Christian Wolff. Most of these duos were written for her and her duo partners over the past years. Wolff’s latest work for solo percussion and string orchestra, Encouragement, commissioned by the Münchener Kammerorchester was premiered in Munich in October.


Drummer Joey Baron was born into a Jewish working class family in Richmond, Virginia.
He is largely self-taught by means of watching others play and listening to recordings, radio and television. His early influences ran the gamut from Ed Sullivan show guests, to "The Wild Wild West" television show theme to records by Art Blakey, Ray Charles, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, James Brown, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
Besides being a member of the Bill Frisell Band for ten years until 1995, he has performed and recorded with an impressive list of musicians - including Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Hampton Hawes, Chet Baker, Laurie Anderson, Art Pepper, Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Vinicus Cantuaria, Jay McShann, David Bowie, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Big Joe Turner, Philip Glass, John Abercrombie, Mel Lewis, Pat Martino, Harry Sweets Edison, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, Jim Hall, Randy Brecker, Marian McPartland, John Scofield, Marc Johnson and The Lounge Lizards.
Joey has lead his own trios one with John Medeski and Marc Ribot; and "Barondown" which featured Ellery Eskelin (saxophone) and Josh Roseman (trombone). "Barondown" recorded three albums - Crackshot (Avant), RAIsed Pleasure Dot (New World) and Tongue in Groove (JMT).
He also co-lead the group "Miniature" (with Tim Berne and Hank Roberts) and was a member of "Naked City" (with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith and Wayne Horvitz) and of Zorn's group Masada (Dave Douglas and Greg Cohen).
Joey's first release on the Songline / Tone Field series on Intuition was Down Home. The project featuresBaron's southern r&b-flavored original songs played by an all star band of Ron Carter, Arthur Blythe and Bill Frisell. "The most intriguing ensemble of the season," (New Yorker) "is not only all star, but fascinatingly so."(-Village Voice.) We'll Soon Find Out, the band's second album was released the summer of 2000. Both albums are produced by Lee Townsend.
Baron's main performing band is "Killer Joey", featuring guitarists Steve Cardenas and Brad Shepik as well as Tony Scherr on bass. They have a self-produced CD entitled Killer Joey with Shepik's predecessor, Adam Levy.
Occasionally, Joey still performs with "The Down Home Band" in a solo setting, with Bill Frisell, Lee Konitz, Vinicius Cantuaria, John Abercrombie and in a trio with pianist John Taylor and Marc Johnson on bass. 

22.08.2021 SOLO CELLO - Paolo Bonomini

Paolo Bonomini presents pieces by :

Johann Sebastian Bach - Suite n.4

Luigi Dallapiccola - Ciaccona Intermezzo e Adagio

Peter Scultorphe - Requiem


Paolo Bonomini’s debut with orchestra was at the age of 15 performing Camille Saint-Sæns’ cello concerto. Numerous engagements as soloist followed in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Ukraine, Brazil, Greece and Australia.

He has played as a soloist with numerous orchestras including: Orchestra del Festival Pianistico di Brescia e Bergamo, Virtuosi di Praga, Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico di Vicenza, Odessa Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonie Orchester Biel, Camerata Bern, Pauliner Kammerorchester.

He has worked in the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and was invited as guest principal cello in the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Camerata Bern and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

These and other orchestral collaborations led him to play under the baton of Claudio Abbado, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Harding, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Roger Norrington and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Being part of the project “Tenebrae, il principe dei Musici”, Paolo has toured some of the most important Italian theatres alongside Giovanni Sollima. They include A. Ponchielli in Cremona, Teatro Olimpico di Vicenza, San Carlo in Napoli and numerous other venues.

He has played in chamber music ensembles alongside Sonig Tchakerian, Mario Brunello, Salvatore Accardo, Bruno Giuranna, Franco Petracchi.

Paolo is also the founder of the Boccherini Trio, that had its debut concert in the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London in 2016. The trio, formed by violinist Suyeon Kang and violist Vicki Powell, regularly performs in Italy and Europe. The trio is coached by Rainer Schmidt from Hagen Quartet and Hatto Beyerle, founder of the Alban Berg Quartet.

Paolo has performed many times live on Italy’s Radio RAI 3, both as soloist as in chamber music ensembles. Together with cellist Amedeo Cicchese, he forms the Duo Janigro.

In 2016, following the first prize at the XX International J.S. Bach Competition in Leipzig, he was invited to produce the recording project Violoncello Italiano with the label Genuin Classics.


23.08.2021 FINAL CONCERT - students of the Masterclass with Francesco Dillon 

First performance

of the new piece by Emanuele Casale for violoncello solo (commissioned by of CastelCello 2021)

The closing concert will be the traditional appointment with students of Francesco Dillon’s Cello Masterclass, which will offer the opportunity to discover and enjoy young Italian and international talents performing in various combinations, from solo to ensemble.

MasterclassjpgMasterclass 1jpg

Info & reservation


In order to comply with Covid19-security measures, there will be reduced seating. We therefore ask you to kindly make binding reservations via email: or by phone beginning August 6th Monday through Friday from 2-5 PM

TEL: +39-0473-234141


30 € / 20 € reduced