Antonio Pontarelli Wins 'Best Song' in International Competition

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"The Rock Violinist," 14 year old Singer/Songwriter, Antonio Pontarelli, wins prestigious songwriting competition and is gracing the cover of the March edition of SongwriterUniverse.

Antonio Pontarelli, a highly gifted, singer/songwriter & rock violinist who is only 14, has won the prestigious SongwriterUniverse “Best Song” Contest in March, for his song “Things Fall Apart". Pontarelli, who is a resident of Temecula, CA, is including “Things Fall Apart” on his new, EP CD. He not only wrote the piece, but he sang the vocals, played electric and acoustic violin, piano and co-produced it.

The song “Things Fall Apart” was reviewed by industry heavyweight, Dale Kawashima who called it "a powerful, soaring rock cut which has a soulful bluesy edge to it". The lyrics in the song are about fighting back and recovering from major setbacks in life and about having faith and believing in yourself. It was written at a time when Pontarelli was inspired by the strength of those who went through Katrina and the empowerment they found through making their challenges a thrusting block for growth. Kawashima called the production of the song "outstanding." "It features strong soulful lead vocals by Pontarelli, with a 6-string electric violin solo (played by Pontarelli) which resembles the fiery intensity of a Jimi Hendrix-like guitar solo. The piece also features solid keyboards (played by Pontarelli) and guitar, and bass tracks by co-producer Dan Monti (who has been working with Pontarelli’ and is also a member of experimental rock artist Buckethead’s band)."

Pontarelli started playing violin when he was four. When he was six he won a classical violin competition and started getting serious about his music. It was at the age of 10 when he got his electric “Viper” violin, which has 6 strings, that he realized that he could play anything that a lead guitarist could. “I became very motivated and started writing and performing rock music and also got serious with my vocal training.” Although he gives his early relationships with the legendary Isaac Stern, Grammy winner Mark O’Connor and Mark Wood credit for inspiring him, he currently is influenced by rock guitarists.

Pontarelli has received numerous honors both musically and for his academics. Earlier this year he won “Best Instrumentalist “at the Southern California Music Awards as well as the Inland Empire Music Awards. In February he was featured on the Jay Leno Show and Entertainment Tonight where he played and did interviews “Live from the Grammy Red Carpet”. Last summer he was one of 10 singer/songwriters selected internationally by the Grammy Foundation to participate in its Grammy Camp, where he worked with industry pros such as David Foster and Lamont Dozier. Despite a busy schedule with his music Pontarelli manages to be a straight A student and a John Hopkins University Scholar, which allows him to take special college classes at John Hopkins University online.

Pontarelli received extensive publicity in 2005, when he was featured on the NBC's PAX TV's America’s Most Talented Kids” and was named the Grand Champion. As a result of this national exposure Pontarelli has made many music industry contacts including playing violin with Jethro Tull. “I am entertaining label deals, and putting together a good (music business) team. I love performing and my goal is to make a difference in this world with music.”

Pontarelli’s next local performance will be at the Orange County Music Awards on April 8th at 8PM at the Grove in Anaheim. Pontarelli will be opening the show with a bang with his own laser light show. Tickets can be purchased at Ticket Master. Information about Pontarelli can be found by visiting

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Diana Baylor
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