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Early life and education
He studied harmonica with Cham-ber Huang and was coached for 12 years by Andrew Lolya, the first flute of the New York City Ballet, during which time he studied the major works for harmonica and orchestra. Bonfiglio studied composition with Charles Wuorinen and Aaron Copland.
Bonfiglio sang vocals and played the guitar for the band Wanderlust in the mid-1990s.
Bonfiglio has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Gewandhaus, Teatro Colón, Teatro Massimo, Teatro Amazonas, Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall and Lincoln Center. Bonfiglio has appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning,” “CBS Morning Show,” “Live with Regis and Kathy Lee,” “Larry King,” "The Jim Bohannon Show" and Garrison Keillor’s “American Radio Show.” He has had feature stories and reviews in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.
With his wife Carnie Wilson, Bonfiglio appeared on Season 1, Episode 1 of Celebrity Wife Swap in January 2012. Bonfiglio produced his wife's Wilson Phillips album "Dedicated" for Sony/Masterworks in 2012 which debuted at No. 29 on the Billboard Albums chart with 16,283 copies sold in its first week of release. He also appeared on the reality television show Celebrity House Hunting in 2012, and on Carnie Wilson: Unstapled on the Game Show Network in 2010.
Bonfiglio performed the World Premiere of the Henry Cowell Harmonica Concerto with the Brooklyn Philharmonic under the great Lucas Foss and the West Coast premiere with David Alan Miller and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has also premiered works by Rodrigo, Arnold Black, Richard Einhorn, Eric Knight and Sir George Martin.
Bonfiglio has appeared as a soloist with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, John Williams and the Boston Pops on PBS, John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, with Fabio Luisi and the MDR Orchestra at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Theo Alcantara and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the Teatro Colón.
At City Center he performed Vilem Tausky's "Concertino" for Harmonica and Chamber Orchestra while ballet dancers Cynthia Gregory and Fernando Bujones danced the pas de deux choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett.
Bonfiglio has been a concerto soloist with leading orchestras around the world including the Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Orchestra of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Luxembourg Philharmonic, the Leipzig M D R-Radio Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Madrid Radio Television Española Orchestra, Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, the Estonia National Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, the Mexico City Philharmonic, as well as the Milwaukee Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Utah Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony at Kennedy Center, the Louisville Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
His first RCA recording, with Gerard Schwarz and the New York Chamber Orchestra, featuring the Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concerto, was released to critical acclaim; he has performed this Concerto over 350 times with major orchestras worldwide. Bonfiglio has recorded on the RCA, Arista, CBS, Sina Qua Non, High Harmony, and QVC Labels. He performed on the Grammy winning recording, "Ragtime."
- Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concerto, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5: Aria, with the New York Chamber Symphony, RCA Victor, 1989
- Romances, with the RCA Studio Orchestra, Ferden, RCA Victor/BMG 1991
- Through The Raindrops, High Harmony Records, 1992
- Live at the Grand Canyon, High Harmony Records, 1994
- All is Calm, High Harmony Records, 1996
- Noel, High Harmony Records, 1996
- Always On My Mind, Time-Life Music, 1996
- Every Breathe I Take, High Harmony Records, 2006
- Love Me Tender, High Harmony Records, 2006
- Harmonica America with Phoebe Snow, High Harmony Records,2007
- Harmonica Classics, SQN, 2008
- Live, at the Gewandhaus, MDR with Fabio Luisi, 2010
Bonfiglio married Carnie Wilson, daughter of pop icon Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, in 2000. They have two daughters, Lola (born 2005) and Luciana (born 2009) and live in Tarzana, Los Angeles, California.
- Field, Kim (2000-04-25). Harmonicas, harps, and heavy breathers: the evolution of the people's instrument. Cooper Square Press. pp. 305â. ISBN 978-0-8154-1020-1. Retrieved 25 April 2011.