Graduated from the Venice Conservatory studying under Adriano Vendramelli and continued his training under Antonio Janigro. In 1986 he won the VIII International Tchaikovsky Competition, and this victory propelled him to an international career. He plays a Maggini cello from the 1600s and performs with the world's finest orchestras as both soloist and conductor. In 1994 he formed the Orchestra d'Archi Italiani. He teaches at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.