Antonello & Arnstein

Violinist Michael Antonello and pianist/composer Peter Arnstein have performed together for nearly twenty years. Their six CDs together under the MJA label have all produced enthusiastic reviews from Fanfare magazine. All are available for purchase at They have made three appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, twice as a duo and once as part of Trio di Vita with cellist Scott Adelman, which included world premieres of two works by Arnstein: Scottish Fantasy and Trio Jazzico Nostalgico. . These programs have been recorded on a double CD. Arnstein has also appeared there several times as both solo pianist and harpsichordist. In May, 2006, they make their Italian debut performing four concerts in northern Italy. In the fall of 2007 they are scheduling concerts in Italy, the Czech Republic, and Rumania, as well as a London debut.

Michael Antonello trained at Curtis in Philadelphia and in Bloomington, Indiana with distinguished violinist Franco Gulli. Antonello was concertmaster of the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan and the Rochester Symphony in Minnesota, and has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra. “…a violinist who can…elicit tears, laughter, and a standing ovation.” Grand Rapids Press, April 1994. He has become a specialist in the works of Fritz Kreisler, and is well on his way to recording Kreisler’s complete works.

Antonello had been looking for a prime Stradivarius for many years, and when the Ex-Rochester became available, he snatched it up sight unseen on the recommendation of a violin dealer in Chicago. The violin was made in 1720, when Stradivari was seventy-six years old and at his peak. The first 100 years of its history are unknown, but since 1820, in Rochester, England, every owner can be traced down to Antonello.

In recent years Antonello has re-committed himself to his solo violin career, and expanding the talent he developed in his youth. Antonello is chairman of Wealth Management Advisors, which does life insurance and estate planning. His success there has enabled him to re-energize his career as a recording and performing artist.

Originally from Chicago, Peter Arnstein has won prizes in various national and international piano competitions, including the American Music Scholarship Association, when he performed with the Cincinnati Symphony. In 1984 he was a finalist for the Artistic Ambassador Awards sponsored by the U.S. State department, and performed a piano recital at the Library of Congress. In 1992 he won Gold Medal in all categories at the Roodepoort International Composition Competition for his c Orchestral Variations on a Theme by Mozart.

Dr. Arnstein teaches piano and composition at the St. Paul Conservatory. Arnstein’s compositions include hundreds of chamber music works and pedagogical piano pieces, as well as music for orchestra and chorus. His music has been published by Manduca Publications in the United States and Phylloscopus Publications in England.

Reviews of the Antonello & Arnstein duo

“Antonello is a poetic player”

      Fanfare  September/October 1992

“…a violinist who can…elicit tears, laughter, and a standing ovation.”

      Grand Rapids Press,  April 1994  

“…not only is Antonello a joy to listen to, but also to watch, especially when he rises on tiptoes to reach the top notes.”

      The Scotsman, (Edinburgh)  August 30, 1995

“Antonello is accompanied by an excellent pianist…who has improvised here a marvelous accompaniment to the Leclair sonata…I was enchanted by Arnstein’s ornate new accompaniment.”

      Fanfare,  September/October 1992

“As a violinist myself, to sit less than three feet away from the most amazing performer I have ever seen was a rare privilege.  Michael Antonello plays with an intense energy and passion that has filled me with inspiration.  His rendition of Fritz Kreisler’s music blew me away with its technical brilliance and assurity.  Pianist Peter Arnstein’s performances were marked by a mixture of sensitivity and extreme emotion which was most apparent in his own composition, the quirky ‘Trio Jazzico Nostalgico’.”

      ThreeWeeks Music Reviews 2003 A-d  The Edinburgh Festival Online 

“The extraordinary physical composure of the Minneapolis-based Peter Arnstein on Friday night was in its way only matched by his formidable technical assurance, his sensitivity, his adroit choice of programme, and his versatility….If Dr. Arnstein’s fingers were nimble, his perceptions were crisper still, as he subsequently demonstrated in his harpsichord arrangement of a Vivaldi guitar concerto in D…which accumulated an astonishing emotional intensity.  Its release came in the pyro-technical brilliance of the concluding Allegro, with its firecracker vivacity and its whizzing scales.”

      The Scotsman, (Edinburgh) August 20, 1985