Chiara - profile

Chiara Santi



When and where was your first concert with the MCO? In 2001 in Ferrara.

What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO? Since playing in the MCO is not a fixed job and we come together for tours only, our lives are not monotonous or routined. This is what makes the MCO so special and what keeps us alive. We meet to play music. This is the most important thing for every person in this orchestra, though it may not be so evident outwardly!

If you could play another instrument what would it be? Cello.

What would you do if you weren’t a musician? I would be an archeologist.

What makes a “perfect” concert? Energy, inspiration… and a good reed!


Chiara Santi was born in 1976 in Cittadella (Padova, Italy). At the age of ten she began studying bassoon at the Conservatorio A. Steffani of Castelfranco Veneto with Stefano Canuti and received her diploma with honours. Immediately after finishing her studies in Italy, she went to Switzerland to study with Sergio Azzolini at the Musikakademie Basel. After two years, Chiara achieved the Solistendiplom with full marks.

Honored as one of Switzerland’s best students, she also participated in a project with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. After winning the audition for the Orchestra del Centenario, Chiara was chosen for the Orchestra Cherubini by Riccardo Muti, and subsequently joined the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, conducted by Lorin Maazel. In 2006 Chiara recorded Johann Baptist Wanha's concerto for two bassoons together with Stefano Canuti.

Chiara has performed with conductors Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Metha, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kurt Masur, Daniele Gatti, Georges Prêtre, Jeffrey Tate, Andris Nelsons, Daniel Harding, Riccardo Chailly, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Gustavo Dudamel.

She has coached the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra and the Jove Orchestra Nacional de Catalunya, as well as holding bassoon and reed-making masterclasses at the Züurcher Hochschule der Künste, at Muri Festival, at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, and at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Apart from that, she is a bassoon teacher at the Conservatorio dì musica Antonio Buzzolla in Adria.

Chiara Santi began to play with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in 2001 and in 2007 she became a member. Shortly thereafter, Claudio Abbado invited her to join the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. With these two orchestras, Chiara plays in the most important concert halls around the world.

She is a Moosmann Artist and plays the model 222 SC bassoon.