Felix Ayo was born in Sestao, northern Spain, and is well known internationally as a soloist and chamber music player as well as for his many fine recordings. He received his diploma with honours at the age of 14 and perfected his studies in Paris, Siena and Rome. He was, at 18, a founding member of the famous ensemble I Musici and its acclaimed leader and soloist for 16 years. In 1970 he formed the Quartetto Beethoven of Rome considered one of the finest piano quartets today. Ayo has performed in all the famous concert halls of the world; (Carnegie Hall, Berliner Philharmoniker, La Scala, Musikverein, Teatro Reél, Festival Hall, Salle Pleyel, Concertgebouw, Sydney Opera House, Suntory Hall, Bunka Kaikan, etc.) giving hundreds of concerts as soloist, in recitals and with the Quartetto Beethoven of Rome.
Ayo’s recordings (Philips, Columbia, EMI, Dynamic) have gained world-wide popularity and won many awards. Among these are the "Grand Prix du Disque" for his legendary version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, (’best-seller’ of all times), the "Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik" three times, the "Edison" Award twice, the "Mar del Plata" prize and the Italian Critic’s Award for Beethoven’s piano quartets. His recording of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin is considered by the international press as one of the finest ever made of this work. A Paris critic writes: "We have often wondered if, after Sarasate, there would be beautiful that one cannot, in any moment, compare it with memories one has of other interpretations".
His latest CDs include works by Tartini, Viotti, Mendelssohn and Turina. A highly appreciated teacher, Ayo gives regular master classes at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome; he teaches at seminars in Canada, Australia, USA, Germany, Japan, Spain, Italy, Denmark, etc. and is often a member of the jury in international competitions. Recently he has been voted ’Accademico di S. Cecilia’, ’Professore Emerito’ and ’Ilustre de Vizcaya’; receiving also the "Premio Roma" and the "Premio San Michele" for a life dedicated to music.
Great soloists must possess: a fabulous technique, innate musicality, musical culture, personality, memory, a large and beautiful tone, nerves of steel and the will to entirely dedicate themselves to their instrument.