Pedro Memelsdorf brings all the right things to contemporary early music performance: excellent training; a good collaborative approach, spirit, and energy; and thorough research. Born in Buenos Aires in 1959, he emigrated to Europe in 1977, studying both at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. One of his first professional collaborations has also been one of his longest lived, working with Jordi Savall's ensemble Hesperion XX from 1980; Memelsdorf began a similarly productive duo collaboration with Andreas Staier in 1982. In 1987, he founded the ensemble Mala Punica (Pomegranites), with which he has released a series of highly acclaimed recordings. He has molded the ensemble into quite a personalized performance tool, crafting a vocal style based on a very careful use of microtonal singing, microdynamics, and subtle glissando effects. Memelsdorf applies these virtuoso effects to some of the most extraordinary and challenging repertories: painstakingly researched programs of music from the Italian courts of the fourteenth century, and the French music known as Ars subtilior. Similarly rich instrumental effects in his work with Mala Punica derive from his application of historical improvisatory techniques. His ensemble has toured throughout Europe, and Memelsdorf himself performs in Israel and South America.
Pedro Memelsdorf's performing life, as with the best of all early musicians, itself educates the world by presenting neglected repertories in splendid new life. But Memelsdorf also continues other aspects of his educational passion. He publishes regularly in the journal Recercare, and teaches at the Civica Scuola in Milan. In addition, his extensive educational circuit takes him to seminars in Ars Nova music at numerous international musical institutions, including the conservatories of Bremen, Copenhagen, Leuven, Maastricht, and Tilburg, and the universities of Buenos Aires, Oslo, and Royaumont.