Principal Contrabassoon Paolo Dutto

When did you join the RSNO?
I joined the RSNO in May 2019

Where are you from?
I am from Cuneo, a small and wonderful city in northern Italy, all surrounded by mountains.

Where did you study?
I studied first in the local Conservatoire with Professor Stefano Audisio and then I took private lessons with Professors Gabriele Screpis and Andrea Azzi.

What do you enjoy most about being in the RSNO?
Colleagues first of all: they are not only incredible musicians, but people with a warm, generous heart. When I play, even if I have to play something that scares me, I never feel alone: all around me I can feel the presence, the embrace and the support of truly friends.

Tell us your favourite RSNO story/memory so far.
Certainly the week when we were conducted by Neeme Järvi was wonderful: I was able to experience a new way of playing in a professional orchestra, not aimed at the preparation, albeit refined, of a concert, but at any time to enjoy the music that is created at that precise moment, with freedom and imagination to take to the extreme. We did not repeat anything twice in the same way and even in concert Järvi gave us new surprises. The concert itself was not an end, but a snapshot, a curious look as deep as possible, of what could be a version of music, which inevitably dissolves immediately. It was amazing, I had experienced a similar sensation so far only with the Spira Mirabilis.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not playing with the Orchestra?
I love living life, talking, sharing experiences with my wife (who is the beacon of my life) and playing with my daughter!

Do you have any hidden talents?
Despite not being a good cook, I like cooking a lot, especially with my daughter and apparently I am good at making ragù alla Bolognese, because when I prepare it everyone is always happy!

If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be, and why?
I have always been fascinated by the figure of Shostakovich: I always wondered how it was possible for people as intimately free as he, for a creative giant like him, not to go mad in the grip of a dictatorship.
I would like to ask him to share with me the real pain, what my lucky life has never reserved for me, but perhaps it would be enough to ask one of the many desperate African immigrants who arrive in Italy on crumbling boats forced to leave their families so as not to die. And at this point I am ashamed of myself because even though I meet these people every day in Italy in the street, I never really asked them.

You’re stranded on a desert island. You’re allowed 3 CDs and 1 book. What would they be, and why?
The posthumous impromptus by Schubert played by Arrau because I always felt like the sound of my soul.
She by Aznavour sung by Elvis Costello because it reminds me of my wife.
Bassoon concertos played by Sergio Azzolini… or an opera by Verdi… I can’t decide!
Regarding the books, l’Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto and Proust’s In search of Lost Time: two works that I adore in which the virtuosity of writing reaches monstrous levels.