Following his Matura and subsequent BA from Lugano Conservatory, and with the support of foundations such as the Migros-Patrons and Pierino Ambrosoli Foundation Zurich, the Tessinian cellist continued his musical studies in the soloist's class of Harvey Shapiro at the renowned Juilliard School in New York. Mattia Zappa received his soloist's diploma from Basel Academy of Music after studies under the tutelage of Thomas Demenga. There followed a Master for Sonata Repertoire at the Accademia Pianistica Di Imola (Bologna) under the direction of Pier Narciso Masi. One year previously he was awarded a European music fellowship for "artistic talent and outstanding accomplishment" with his interpretation of Tchaikowsky's Rococo Variations. As a soloist Mattia Zappa has been engaged by the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Strings (where he also worked from 2000 until 2002 as solo cellist), the Akademischen Orchester Zürich, Swiss Chamber Philharmonic, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mattia Zappa has been a member under special contract of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra since 2000 and employed on a temporary basis by the Berlin Philharmonic since 2007. He performs numerous duo recitals together with the Italian pianist Massimiliano Mainolfi, together with whom he gave his Carnegie Hall debut in March 2001. This was followed by his debut at the chamber music hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. The duo Zappa.Mainolfi have performed at important European centers in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Scandinavia, France, South Africa, Switzerland and Italy. Zappa is the winner of various international chamber music competitions including the Premio Vittorio Gui (Florence), the G.B. Viotti (Vercelli), the Concorso Città di Pinerolo (Turin) and the Concorso Trio di Trieste. He has also recorded for radio (including Swiss Radio and DeutschlandRadioBerlin) and on CD for the Ducale and Lyra Classica labels. Mattia Zappa plays a wonderful Gabbrielli-Cello from the year 1758. 2007 will see him tour with the complete cycle of Johann Sebastian Bach's Six Suites for Violoncello Solo.