Giuliana De Donno, born in Matera, Italy, graduated in classic harp from the Saint Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, under the guidance of J. Jugo de Grodnicka. She went on to post-graduate studies in classic harp with E. Zaniboni and C. Antonelli, Paraguayan harp with A.R. Ortiz and L. Almada, and Celtic harp with D. Bouchaud and A. O’Farrell. Her repertoire embraces various musical genres, from classical to popular, thanks to the versatility provided by her studies of and research on instruments from different traditions. She is also the only harpist in the world to play and possess an original Viggianese harp which she recently had restored.
In the classical field, De Donno has carved out an extremely busy concert career both as a soloist and in chamber groups at important events such as the Estate Fiesolana ’86, Roma Europa Festival ’95 and Telethon France ’99, and with international bodies like the Accademia Filarmonica Romana and Roma Opera Theathre. She has also collaborated with various orchestras, including Romensable, Musica Oggi and Kiev State Orchestra, and has taken part in numerous concerts and collaborations in the fields of jazz, light and popular music with S. Cristicchi, Radiodervish, G.L. Ferretti, C. Nunez, and many more. She has also been harpist with the “Notte della Taranta” Popular Orchestra in 2005 e 2006 and is presently harpist with the “Parco della Musica” Italian Popular Orchestra of Rome Auditorium. She regularly plays in a trio with Massimo Cusato and Raffaello Simeoni and in duos with Gabriella Aiello and Massimo Carrano. De Donno has also played at many shows and festivals, such as Taormina Arte, Ravenna Festival and Roma incontra il mondo, and in 1994, she won the “Premio Recanati canzone d’autore” with the group Paideja with whom she also took part in the 44th edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, in the Newcomers section.
Her activities also extend to theatre and cinema, both as onscreen and soundtrack performer and providing live music for dance shows. In 2006, The Union of Municipalities of Grecia Salentina granted her Honorary Citizenship for her praiseworthy work in developing and popularizing Griko and Salentine musical traditions as a member of the “La Notte della Taranta” Popular Orchestra. In 2008, she founded and launched the first school in Italy for the Italian popular harp based in Viggiano. Currently, other than her extensive concert activities, she dedicates her time to teaching.