Accademia Bizantina was founded in Ravenna in 1983 with the intention of “making music like a large quartet.” Then as now, the group is managed autonomously by its guardian members, guaranteeing that their approach to chamber music remains a distinctive aspect of their performances.
A number of prominent personalities in the musical world supported the orchestra’s development and growth, among them Jorg Demus, Carlo Chiarappa, Riccardo Muti, and Luciano Berio. Gradually the orchestra developed a distinguished voice by adopting its own interpretative style based on a common language and shared performance practice, reflecting the noblest tradition of Italian chamber music.
In 1989 Ottavio Dantone joined the group as harpsichordist and in 1996 he was appointed musical and artistic director, guaranteeing the prestige and artistic quality of the ensemble. Under his expert guidance, Accademia Bizantina has merged philological research and an aesthetic approach to the interpretation of music from the Baroque period. Dantone’s competence, imagination, and sophistication have united with the enthusiasm and artistic empathy of each member of the group, giving their interpretations the depth which makes them one of the most prestigious ensembles on the international musical scene today.
The ensemble performs in concerts halls and festivals worldwide. Their many recordings, most notably for Decca, Harmonia Mundi, and Naïve, have won numerous awards including the Diapason d’Or, Midem Award, and a Grammy nomination for their Purcell album, O Solitude, with Andreas Scholl. Of particular significance are their collaborations with violinists Viktoria Mullova and Giuliano Carmignola and with countertenor Andreas Scholl with whom they have had major international tours and recording projects (for Onyx, Harmonia Mundi, and Decca).
In September 2018, their CD Agitata, featuring with Delphine Galou, won the Gramophone Award for Best Recital of the Year.