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Paolo Ribaldini

23.9.1986 Mantova, Italy

BA student 2013 - (pop/jazz music), Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
PhD student 2012 - (musicology), University of Helsinki
MA, 2011, music (violin), Mantova Conservatory
MA, 2010, philosophy, Verona University
BA, 2008, philosophy, Verona University

Main lecturer and coordinator, “Heavy Metal music in contemporary history and society” –course, Helsinki Summer School 2015

Research interests: Heavy metal, popular music, music philosophy, music history, music analysis


Black Sabbath and the creation of musical meaning in the Devil’s topos. Proceedings of the international Conference for Music Semiotics, University of Edinburgh, October 2012.
A conference report from the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group 3rd Annual Conference, King’s College (London). Musiikin suunta, 4, 2013.
Classic Heavy Metal and World War I. New Sound, May 2015, ed. prof. Dario Martinelli. University of Belgrade
Heavy Metal vocals. A terminology compendium. Modern Heavy Metal: Markets, Practices and Cultures, ed. Toni-Matti Karjalainen & Kimi Kärki. 2015.

CIMO Finnish Scholarship Government Pool –grant 2013

Photo: Rita Miklán
Written by Paolo Ribaldini (Tiia Niemelä, ed.)

Anything but a rockstar

Unlike the majority of the musicians I personally know, I approached music studies rather late since I began practicing violin at the age of 11. I honestly confess that for about five or six years playing the violin was not exactly the cornerstone of my life. Of course I’ve always loved music, but I wasn’t ready for the deep commitment its study requires. Only later, when I was about 18, I realized how important playing was for me and since then I really tackled the thing with a different attitude. I never became as good as someone like David Oistrakh, of course, but when I graduated from the conservatory I was humbly happy with the results I had achieved.

On stage I’ve always felt more comfortable as a singer than as a violinist. In fact, nowadays I suffer from little or no stage fright at all. Being a singer and a frontman seems to suit me very well, although I’m pretty shy and try to shun the spotlight off-stage. Furthermore, I like going to bed early, I neither drink nor smoke, I work out many times a week, so my friends often make fun of my healthy lifestyle.

Live at On The Rocks, Helsinki.


I like to have an eye on many elements of a gig or a recording. I’m nothing less than a perfectionist and I do my best to polish every little detail of a show: the music itself of course comes first, but I strongly believe stage attitude, a good choreography, lighting, effects, wise timing and even speeches between the songs should be carefully planned and rehearsed. A concert is not only about music being played, it’s a show as a whole and, literally, a complete aesthetic experience.

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