Il Giardino Armonico & Giovanni Antonini
Biography Il Giardino Armonico & Giovanni Antonini
Born in Milan, Giovanni Antonini studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica and at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva. He is a founder member of the Baroque ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, which he has led since 1989. With this ensemble he has appeared as conductor and soloist on the recorder and Baroque transverse flute in Europe, United States, Canada, South America, Australia, Japan and Malaysia. He is Artistic Director of Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of Mozarteum Orchester and Kammerorchester Basel.
He has performed with many prestigious artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Giuliano Carmignola, Isabelle Faust, Sol Gabetta, Sumi Jo, Viktoria Mullova, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Emmanuel Pahud and Giovanni Sollima. Renowned for his refined and innovative interpretation of the classical and baroque repertoire, Antonini is also a regular guest with Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, Tonhalle Orchester, Mozarteum Orchester, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, London Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
His opera productions have included Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Handel’s Alcina at Teatro alla Scala in Milano and Opernhaus Zurich, Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Bellini’s Norma with Cecilia Bartoli at Salzburg Festival. In 2018 he conducted Orlando at Theater an der Wien and returned to Opernhaus Zurich for Idomeneo. During the 2019-20 season, Antonini conducts Giulio Cesare in Egitto at La Scala and returns to Mozarteum Orchester, Tonhalle Orchester, Czech Philhamonic and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischer Rundfunk.
With Il Giardino Armonico Antonini has recorded numerous CDs of instrumental works by Vivaldi, J.S. Bach (Brandenburg Concertos), Biber and Locke for Teldec. With Naïve he recorded Vivaldi’s opera Ottone in Villa, and for Decca he has recorded 2 volumes with Julia Lezhneva. Later with Alpha Classics (Outhere Music Group) he released various albums: among all La Morte della Ragione, collections of sixteenth and seventeenth century instrumental music. With Kammerorchester Basel he has recorded the complete Beethoven Symphonies for Sony Classical and a disc of flute concertos with Emmanuel Pahud entitled Revolution for Warner Classics. In 2013 he conducted a recording of Bellini’s Norma for Decca in collaboration with Orchestra La Scintilla.
Antonini is Artistic Director of the Haydn2032 project, created to realise a vision to record and perform with Il Giardino Armonico and Kammerorchester Basel the complete symphonies of Joseph Haydn by the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The first 8 volumes have been released on the Alpha Classics label with two further volumes planned for release every year.
Il Giardino Armonico
Founded in 1985 and conducted by Giovanni Antonini, Il Giardino Armonico has established itself as one of the world’s leading period instrument ensembles, bringing together musicians from Europe’s relevant music institutions. The ensemble’s repertoire mainly focuses on the 17th and 18th century. Depending on the demands of each program, the group consists of six up to thirty musicians.
Il Giardino Armonico is regularly invited to festivals all over the world performing in the most important concert halls and receiving high acclaim for both concerts and opera productions, such as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Vivaldi’s Ottone in Villa, Handel’s Agrippina, Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, La Resurrezione and Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Cecilia Bartoli during the 2012 edition of the Salzburg Whitsun and Summer Festival.
Besides, Il Giardino Armonico sustains an intense recording activity. After many years as an exclusive ensemble of Teldec achieving several major awards for the recordings of works by Vivaldi and the other 18th century composers, the orchestra had an exclusive agreement with Decca/L’Oiseau-Lyre recording Handel’s Concerti Grossi op. VI and the cantata Il Pianto di Maria with Bernarda Fink. Il Giardino Armonico also released on Naïve La Casa del Diavolo, Vivaldi’s Cello Concertos with Christophe Coin, as well as the opera Ottone in Villa, that won the Diapason d’Or in 2011. Furthermore, for the label Onyx it recorded Vivaldi’s Violin Concertos with Viktoria Mullova.
After the universal success and the Grammy Award received for The Vivaldi Album with Cecilia Bartoli (Decca, 2000), a new cooperation with her in 2009 led to the project Sacrificium (Decca), a Platinum Album in France and Belgium and a further Grammy Award. The most recent project with Cecilia Bartoli brought about the release of the album Farinelli (Decca, 2019).
On Decca Il Giardino Armonico also published Alleluia (2013) and Händel in Italy (2015) with Julia Lezhneva, volumes acclaimed by the public and critics.
In co-production with National Forum of Music in Wroclaw (Poland), Il Giardino Armonico published Serpent & Fire with Anna Prohaska (Alpha Classics – Outhere Music Group, 2016) winning the ICMA “Baroque Vocal” in 2017. The ensemble recorded the Telemann CD and LP (Alpha Classics, 2016), that won the Diapason d’Or de l’Année and the Echo Klassik Award in 2017.
The recording of five Mozart Violin Concertos with Isabelle Faust (Harmonia Mundi, 2016) stands as the result of the prestigious cooperation with the great violinist, winning the Gramophone Award and Le Choc de l’année in 2017.
A new Vivaldi Album Concerti per flauto has been published (Alpha Classics, March 2020), winning the Diapason d’Or: a generous bouquet of this repertoire with Giovanni Antonini as soloist, recorded between 2011 and 2017.
Il Giardino Armonico is part of the project Haydn2032, for which the Haydn Stiftung Basel was created to support both the recording project of the complete Haydn Symphonies (label: Alpha Classics) and a series of concerts in various European cities with thematic programs focused on this repertoire. In November 2014 the first album titled La Passione was released and won the Echo Klassik Award (2015). Il Filosofo, issued in 2015, has been awarded with the “Choc of the Year” by Classica. The third album Solo e Pensoso was released in August 2016; the fourth Il Distratto in March 2017, winning the Gramophone Award in the same year. The eighth volume La Roxolana has been published in Jan 2020, and the ninth one L’Addio in Jan 2021, winning the “Choc of the Year” by Classica.
Now the series is enriched by another monument by the Austrian composer: Die Schöpfung (The Creation) has been published in October 2020 with the Bavarian Radio Chorus.
The ensemble worked also with such acclaimed soloists as Giuliano Carmignola, Sol Gabetta, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Viktoria Mullova and Giovanni Sollima.
In 2018 Il Giardino Armonico continued the collaboration with the young and gifted violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja with a new program of fertile tension between past and future, bringing together philological accuracy and contemporary music: the volume What’s next Vivaldi? has been published in October 2020 on Alpha Classics.
The most recent projects include the recording of La morte della Ragione (co-produced with National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, published by Alpha Classics and awarded with the Diapason d’Or in 2019), a program focused on the raise of Baroque sensibility through Europe and the search for a renewed listening experience of early music.