Antonio Padula is a classically trained pianist and vocal instructor. After 15 years touring with several prestigious symphonies, he settled down in 2008 to establish a musical community in Kirkland, Quebec. Antonio “Tony” Padula is widely recognized as a compassionate teacher who has launched students in opera, orchestral, and choral careers all around North America. In his free time, he enjoys woodworking.
What or who inspired you to become a musician?
All the classical prodigies like Mozart & Beethoven. As a child, I wanted to be excellent at something but didn’t find my niche in school. It wasn’t until I heard Mozart’s childhood pieces that I was in awe at what someone my age was capable of. Ever since then, I knew I had just as much potential as any child, I just had to practice like Mozart.
Why did you choose to pursue classical music?
It was the genre that inspired me. Out of all the genre’s, classical music takes the most hand-eye coordination to achieve, meaning talent isn’t enough. When I perform a classical number, it’s a far more satisfying accomplishment because it wasn’t pure talent that made it great, but the countless hours I spent practicing and stressing have all paid off.
What made you stop performing?
Touring for 15 years was an incredible adventure. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to live what felt like a rock star dream. But after so long, you start to crave more familiarity and permanence in your life. I wanted to feel comfortable again instead of rushed. And I was ready for a family. I hit the peak of my musical career, and it was time to reach the height of my personal life by having a family.
What do you do when you’re not playing music?
In my free time, I enjoy carpentry and woodworking in my garage turned workshop. Two of my close friends are luthiers, which is a really useful skill when you’re a musician and own a music studio. DIY supplies! I’ve already started working on my first guitar and hope to make more. However, my favorite craft is to make beautiful furniture and cabinetry for my home in Kirkland. It makes the space more personal for my wife and daughter.
What was touring like at such a young age in your early 20s?
I started touring at 22 years old. I was still quite immature and inexperienced. I spent the first year learning lessons about international travel and balancing that with odd performance times. But eventually, you find what works best for your sleep schedule and needs to perform your best. After that, your office becomes the whole world.
What made you decide to start your own instruction & studio?
I realized that what made such an incredible musician was being an even better learner. Once you have the skills to learn, then truly no skill is really that intimidating—even playing in a symphony. I want to spread that potential to everyone, especially those with minimal access to the classical world.