Salvatore Accardo made his debut in 1954 at 13, with Paganini Capricci. In 1956, Accardo won the Geneva Competition and in 1958 became the first winner of the Paganini Competition in Genoa.
Salvatore Accardo graduated from the music conservatory San Pietro a Majella in Naples. His repertoire ranges from pre-Bach to post-Berg; composers like Sciarrino, Donatoni, Piston, Piazzolla and Xenakis have written for him. Accardo plays regularly with leading orchestras and conductors, performs successful recitals and is particularly devoted to chamber music (in 1992 he founded the Accardo Quartet). From 1972 to 1977 he led the Italian chamber orchestra I Musici. In 1986 he instituted the Academy Walter Stauffer together with Giuranna, Filippini and Petracchi in Cremona, where they regularly give master-classes. In 1971 he founded the Settimane Musicali Internazionali in Naples and the Cremona String Festival. He also founded in 1986 the Chamber Orchestra of Italy. In 1987 he made his debuts as a conductor in the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. Accardo has an extensive discography on Philips, DGG, EMI, Sony Classical, Foné, Dynamic, Warner-Fonit and in 1999 he re-recorded the six Paganini Concertos with the Orchestra da Camera Italiana for EMI Classics. Recently Foné re-masterised the complete Mozart works for violin in 13 CDs, using high quality valve technology. Accardo was awarded the Premio Abbiati by the Italian critics, and Italy's highest honour, the Cavaliere di Gran Croce, was bestowed upon him by the President of Italy in 1982. In 1996 the Peking Conservatoire named him "most honourable Professor". In 1999 he was granted the order of "Commandeur dans l'ordre du mérite culturel", the highest honour of the principality of Monaco and in 2001 he received the prestigious "Una Vita per la Musica" Award. Accardo is the owner of two Stradivarius violins: the Hart ex Francescatti 1727 and the Firebird ex Saint-Exupéry 1718.