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IL GIARDINO ARMONICO, founded in Milan in 1985, brings together a number of graduates from some of Europe's leading colleges of music, all of whom have specialized in playing period instruments. The ensemble's repertory is concentrated in the main on the 17th and 18th centuries. Depending on the demands of each program, the group will consist of anything from 3 to 30 musicians. Since 1989 Il Giardino Armonico has been conducted by Giovanni Antonini.
Il Giardino Armonico is regularly invited to many festivals all over the world and has performed in the most important concert halls. Among them are the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Tonhalle in Zurich, Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, Glinka Hall and Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Konserthus in Oslo, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Oji Hall in Tokyo, the Library of Congress in Washington, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Il Giardino Armonico has been under exclusive contract to Teldec Classics for a number of years. Its various recordings of works by Vivaldi - including the Four Seasons - and other 18th-century composers have met with widespread acclaim on the part of audiences and critics alike and have received several major awards (Award "Fondazione Cini" of Venice, Caecilia Award in Belgium, Diapason d'Or, Choc de la Musique, Grand Prix des Discophiles). Released under the title Il Proteo, their recording of several of Vivaldi's double and triple concertos for cello and orchestra, with Christophe Coin as guest soloist, received a Gramophone Award in October 1996 and the Diapason d'Or. The Brandenburg Concertos were awarded the Echo-Preis 1998 and the CD dedicated to works by Locke and Biber won the Diapason d'Or 1999. Their acclaimed Vivaldi Album, with Cecilia Bartoli for Decca, won a Grammy. In 2000 the CD Viaggio Musicale with Italian music of the 17th century was released. The CD entitled Musica Barocca was released in 2001 and won the French prize "10 de Répertoire." In December 2002 Teldec dedicated a CD of the series Artist Portrait to the ensemble. In 2005 two CDs were released: La Casa del Diavolo (with works by Boccherini, Locatelli, Gluck, C.P.E. and W.F. Bach) on the French label Naïve, and Violin Concertos by Vivaldi with Viktoria Mullova, winner of the Diapason d'Or, on the English label Onyx.
Il Giardino Armonico plays regularly with many acclaimed soloists such as Cecilia Bartoli, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Sara Mingardo, Bernarda Fink, Lynne Dawson, Christoph Prégardien, Magdalena Koz?ená, Viktoria Mullova, Christophe Coin, and Giuliano Carmignola both in concerts and in opera productions.
Il Giardino Armonico
Giovanni Antonini, director and recorders
Enrico Onofri, Marco Bianchi, violins
Stefano Barneschi, violin and viola
Paolo Beschi, violoncello
Giancarlo De Frenza, contrabass
Luca Pianca, lute
Riccardo Doni, harpsichord