The Duo Le Gentil Dame was born thanks to the fortuitous meeting of the two musicians in Palermo (Sicily, South Italy) in 2006, with the intent to study classical chamber music written specifically for mandolin and cello by European composers of the eighteenth Century (Leone, Gervasio, Boni, Riggieri, Hoffmann, Denis and many others). The Duo started soon a tour all around Italy for important institutions. Camilla Finardi graduated with honors in mandolin at Milan Conservatory; she is also PhD in Musicology. She won a lot of awards as best mandolin player at international mandolin competitions. She is soloist in numerous chamber music groups, also playing with ancient instruments. She recorded various compact discs. She is mandolin teacher in different music high schools in Northern Italy. Daniela Santamaura studied at Paris Conservatory. She graduated in chamber music at Palermo Conservatory. She attended a master in chamber music with Bruno Canino. She teaches cello in many schools and associations in Sicily and she also plays in several chamber music groups.
“From the second half of the 18th Century, the mandolin became a very popular musical instrument in France. The huge success obtained by the first performance of Pergolesi’ La Serva Padrona at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1752 gave rise to the Querelle des bouffons between the proponents of the traditional French opera, embodied by Jean Baptiste Lully, and the followers of the new Italian Opera buffa, like Jean Jacques Rousseau.” (Gabriele Zanetti)