With the orchestra since: 1999
Education: doctorate in bassoon performance from Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, Rome; master's degree in music performance (bassoon) from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; bachelor's degree in geology from Benedetto Croce (Institute of High Science of Rome); bachelor's degree in Italian literature from Centro Litterario del Lazio (Lazio Literary Center, Rome)
Age I started studying my instrument: 14
Favorite date-night place to eat out (in Tampa Bay): La Casa della Pasta (5273 Ehrlich Road, Tampa)
Rays, Bucs or Lightning? Lightning
I'm an expert at: cooking
But I'm really lousy at: ballet
Dream vacation: six months all-expenses-paid vacation for me and my wife to Rome.
Career path if I hadn't chosen music: professional soccer player
Hobbies and interests: horseback riding, building wood models of 16th and 17th century battle ships, walking my five greyhounds, beating FIFA 2009 on Xbox, remastering Claire de Lune on the piano.
Funniest concert moment: In a solo recital I gave in Rome, I accidentally hit my pianist in the head with the bell of my bassoon when I turned to leave the stage. I almost knocked her out.