Joe Alessi, (Principal Trombone, New York Philharmonic): “I enjoyed working with Raffaele Ponti as his soloist for a recent program. His stick technique is excellent, and he showed consummate skill and wonderful musicianship in all the rehearsals and the performance. In addition, he is a wonderful human being. I highly recommend him!”

Jeffrey Multer, (Concertmaster, Florida Orchestra): “It was a great pleasure to make music with Raffaele. He is such an exciting musician and a wonderful collaborator. His energy and natural physical gifts on the podium allowed me and my fellow musicians to really play our very best. Looking forward to next time!” 

Timothy McAllister, (GRAMMY Award Winner, International Saxophone Soloist): “Raffaele Ponti is an innovative conductor who brings seasoned leadership and brilliance to the podium. In our work together, it was abundantly clear from the audience’s energy and reception that they love their orchestra and its Maestro. He is an artistic beacon for the communities he serves, and I am always eager to share the stage with him. Bravo, Raffaele!”

Julian Schwarz, (International Cello Soloist): “Working with Maestro Ponti was as inspiring as it was organic. He and the orchestra wrapped their arms around me and together gave a deeply heartfelt and passionate performance of the Elgar Concerto. It was an emotional experience sharing the stage with him – one I will not soon forget.”

Franklin Cohen, (Principal Clarinet, Cleveland Orchestra): "Raffaele Ponti is a conductor whose performances are filled with energy, passion, tenderness and understanding. He knows how to draw the best from his musicians in search of a collective mastery of the score."

Eugenia Zukerman, (Flute): “I’ve had the pleasure of performing as soloist under the baton of Raffaele Ponti on tour with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra and in Florida. Ponti’s conducting is superb, and exciting. It’s clear that his players respect and enjoy working with him and he has a rare ability to communicate with the audience. I enjoyed every minute of making music with this energetic, brilliant maestro. He is a gem!”

Terrence Wilson, (Concert Pianist): “Raffaele Ponti is a deeply sensitive, intuitively honest conductor. He inspires some of the most emotionally impactful music experiences I’ve ever had.” 

Ilya Kaler, (International Violin Soloist): “It was my enormous pleasure, honor, and privilege to perform recently under the direction of Maestro Raffaele Ponti, definitely one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. It is quite rare that one comes across a musician of such technical mastery and musical sensitivity. Not only is Maestro Ponti a singular charismatic presence on the podium but a wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic colleague. Playing under his baton was a real treat for me as well as a highly inspirational and memorable experience!”

David Kim, (Concertmaster, Philadelphia Orchestra & All-Star Orchestra): “Maestro Ponti is first and foremost, a wonderful and natural musician. His conducting technique is simple, clear, and uncluttered with mannerisms. He is extremely generous of spirit and is a sympathetic accompanist. I also find Maestro Ponti to be efficient in his use of rehearsal time.” 

Marvin Stamm, (Trumpet): “Ponti interprets the music beautifully. He brings the most modest of details out. He sees the picture he wants them to paint. They respond to the environment he creates. They are a beautifully rehearsed orchestra. It was a moving performance. So clear, so wonderful. One of the best I’ve seen so far. In less than five years, he (Ponti) will be sought by orchestras all over the country.”

Antonio Pompa-Baldi, (Concert Pianist): “I had the immense pleasure of performing two of the most beloved piano concertos of all time under the baton of Maestro Raffaele Ponti: Rachmaninoff Second, and Brahms Second. These two masterpieces are very different, but they share one thing: endless inspiration. Maestro Ponti made it possible for both these fantastic pieces to come to life in the fullest possible way, through his magisterial technique, his great sensitivity, his lyricism, passion, depth and intellectual rigor. I never felt more free to express myself, knowing that Maestro Ponti would always be right there with me, allowing me to lead when appropriate, and taking the leading role when needed. I cannot praise him enough!

Fabio Bidini, (Concert Pianist): It is my great pleasure and honor to spend a few words about Maestro Raffaele Ponti. I had the opportunity to work with him in several occasions. I believe he has the capability to fulfill the real message of the music without compromises and his sensitivity permits any soloist to feel always very free and comfortable under his baton. His very inspiring and exciting way to approach the music is always extremely tasteful and punctual, without ever forgetting details and the broader line. Very accurate on balance, quality of sound and pure ensemble. Very intelligent and easy going, both very important points to express his musicality with great personality. He possesses every quality also under the human aspect, capable of very sincere professional relationship with the heart in the right place. Maestro Ponti is the ideal music partner to share any stage of the most important concert halls in the world.

Gary Levinson, (Senior Principal Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony): Working with Maestro Raffaele Ponti, is a musical celebration. From the vantage point of a soloist, it is both a gratifying experience and a liberating one. In rehearsal, Maestro Ponti is a meticulous craftsman, who has mastered the balance between attention to detail and overall concept of a work. It is also important to note that the orchestra obviously loves playing for Maestro Ponti. Their body language, questions and overall demeanor belay a generosity of spirit and deep respect for him. Having observed his interacting with staff, board and educational aspects of the organization, it is clear that Maestro Ponti has successfully cultivated a culture of common goals and achieving a vibrant musical community in his orchestras. While this has been talked about in many corners of the industry, achieving said goal is a very different matter. 

Michael Ludwig, (International Violin Soloist): “Raffaele brings extraordinary artistry and incredible excitement and passion to the podium, a musician of great sensitivity and high artistry. Raffaele had a wonderful rapport with the orchestra. He has tremendous skill in communicating his musical thoughts and expressions, and is extremely efficient in his rehearsing method. Most importantly, Raffaele approaches the music with a great artistic sensibility. His interpretations are passionate, exciting, and well thought out. I have enjoyed immensely the opportunity to work as a soloist with him. He is an extraordinarily sensitive collaborator. And I have equally enjoyed listening to his performances of symphonic repertoire from the audience. He brings great excitement and enthusiasm that is palpable to the concert goers, as well as the orchestra.”

Robert Bonfiglio, (International Harmonica Soloist): "I just performed the Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concerto with Maestro Raffaele Ponti and I was stunned by what an unbelievable conductor he is; wonderful, dazzling, exciting, I don't know what to say other than "very musical." 

Giorgio Leardini, (Conductor): “As a musician, he displays a great deal of excellence and sensitivity to his music. His conducting technique shows elegance and confidence. He has all the qualifications to achieve a brilliant career.”

Eugene Gratovich, (Associate Concertmaster, Austin Symphony): “Maestro Raffaele Ponti is an outstanding musician and conductor. His gestures are always clear and expressive. He has the highest professional standards. He has had repeated engagements with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. He is a conductor with whom musicians wish to make music.”

Henry Fogel, (Executive Director): “Ponti’s conducting is expressive, clear, and emotionally communicative - frankly all the things I look for in conductors, very impressive.”

Manuela Corsi, (Executive Director): “Maestro Ponti is a man of extremely high intelligence and capabilities. The Orchestra, Sofia Symphony Orchestra, which has made many professional recordings of different Operas since 1988 all over Western Europe, took to Maestro Ponti immediately. His gestures are very precise and clear. The Concerts of Italian Opera Highlights and performances of Tosca that he conducted were all highly successful and greatly applauded by the Italian public who knows these works so well.”

Stefano Algieri, (International Tenor): “I find Maestro Ponti to be an outstanding conductor in both the operatic and symphonic repertoire, displaying an excellent technique, overall command of the orchestra and sensitive understanding in working with the singers.” 

Karl Kraber, (Principal Flute, Austin Symphony): “His manner with the orchestra was thoroughly professional, but also friendly: He got our respect and our good will. His rehearsal technique was most efficient. His enthusiasm was palpable. He always communicated the emotional content of each phrase and section very well; he was very clear in his gestures and manner, showing just what kind of response, tempo, and inflection he wanted from the orchestra.”

What's the Buzz

David Kim: “Maestro Ponti is first and foremost, a wonderful and natural musician." 

Antonio Pompa-Baldi: "Maestro Ponti is a first-rate musician..."

Michael Ludwig: “ Raffaele brings extraordinary artistry and incredible excitement and passion to the podium..."

Ilya Kaler: "Definitely one of the most gifted conductors of his generation."

Henry Fogel: “Ponti’s conducting is expressive, clear, and emotionally communicative - frankly all the things I look for in conductors….very impressive.”

Robert Bonfiglio: "I was stunned by what an unbelievable conductor he is; wonderful, dazzling, exciting."

Jeffrey Biegel: "His work is fresh, well prepared, inspiring, and sensitive."

Giorgio Leardini: "His conducting technique shows elegance and confidence. He has all the qualifications to achieve a brilliant career."

Eugene Gratovich: "Maestro Raffaele Ponti is an outstanding musician and conductor. He has the highest professional standards. He is a conductor with whom musicians wish to make music."