Chiara - profile

Chiara Tonelli


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

What CDs would you want with you on a desert island? J. S. Bach’s B minor Mass. And a book for the desert island: Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers.

The first piece of music you fell in love with: W. A. Mozart’s Flute-Harp Concerto K. 299, the second movement – when I was six.

Can you tell us something about your instrument? I play a wooden flute made by Johannes Hammig.

When and where was your first concert with the MCO? Ferrara, April 1998, with Daniel Harding.


Chiara Tonelli has been the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s solo flutist since the group was founded, and is also a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

For ten years Chiara was the first solo flutist of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence (under principle conductor Zubin Mehta) and prior to that of the Teatro Regio in Turin. She has additionally performed with orchestras like the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Mozart Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Camerata Salzburg, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Musiciens du Louvre.

As a soloist she has appeared with numerous ensembles, including the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Haydn Orchestra, Orchestra dei Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, String Academy Bolzano, Orchestra della Toscana, Chamber Orchestra of Bergamo and Brescia, Salzburger Chamber Philharmonic, Bucharest Symphony Orchestra, and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra Ankara.

Chiara has performed on invitation at such chamber music festivals as the Festival Spannungen in Heimbach, Storioni Festival in Eindhoven and the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival in Virginia.

She has taught her own class at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence since 2005.

Following her graduation from the conservatory in her hometown of Bolzano, Chiara studied with Irena Grafenauer at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and appeared for four years with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra as solo flutist.

Along with her husband, Philipp von Steinaecker, Chiara founded the group Musica Saeculorum, and performs regularly with that orchestra on period instruments.