Paul Cortese graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with the famed violist Joseph de Pasquale. Previously, under the tutelage of Stanley Nosal, Guillermo Perich, John Garvey, and Burton Fine, he pursued his studies at the University of Illinois and the New England Conservatory in Boston. While completing his studies, Paul performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston Symphony, and was offered the Principal Viola position in the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. In 1986 he became the leader of the viola section of the Gothenburg Symphony orchestra under their music director Neeme Järvi. He made his debut with orchestra in Alice Tully Hall in New York in 1991. Although he has been guest principal viola in over twenty European orchestras, Cortese dedicates an increasing amount of time to solo and chamber music playing; he has performed extensively in the US, Canada, and the European Union, collaborating with numerous chamber music groups such as the Kandinsky Trio, the Trio Arbós, Quatuor Diotima, and various string quartets, participating in international music festivals such as Tanglewood, Evian, Banff, Musicades of Lyon, Granada, Grand Teton, and many others. He has performed on numerous occasions with Context, a flexible chamber group of historically informed interpretation in the US. In Spain, he has been a member of the Beethoven Klavierquartett for two decades, and regularly performs with the Arts Quartet in Barcelona since the year 2005. Paul has recorded works by many composers, most notably the complete works of Paul Hindemith, in honor of his centenary, with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London on the ASV label, the only recording of its kind. Paul currently lives in Barcelona, Spain, where he is professor of viola and chamber music at the conservatory of the Liceo. Paul performs on several instruments, by Igino Sderci of Florence, 1972, Agustín Clemente, Madrid, 2006, Guillem Gecubi, 2005, of Barcelona, and Daniel Hoffman, USA, 2010. Paul has been a Larsen Strings Performing Artist since September 2019.