Giovanni Antonini, virtuoso flautist and orchestral conductor, is the founder of the Italian ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, which burst on the baroque musical scene in 1985; together they have amassed an impressive discography.
Born in Milan, Giovanni Antonini studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica there and at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva. He is one of the founders of the ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, which he has conducted since 1989 and with which he has given concerts all over the world. Among the artists with whom he collaborates are Cecilia Bartoli, Giuliano Carmignola, Isabelle Faust, Sol Gabetta, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Viktoria Mullova and Giovanni Sollima.
He appears as a guest conductor with such orchestras as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and at opera houses such as La Scala, Milan and the Opernhaus Zürich. He is principal guest conductor of the Kammerorchester Basel and the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg. He has recorded for Teldec, Decca, Sony BMG, Naïve, Harmonia Mundi and Alpha. Antonini is artistic director of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wrocław (www. wratislaviacantans.pl).
Together with Alpha Classics, Antonini is directing a series dedicated to recording all 107 symphonies by Joseph Haydn, in anticipation of the 300th anniversary of his birth in 2032. The Haydn 2032 project celebrates one of the most important, prolific and ingenious composers in the whole of musical history. Antonini, who regards Haydn’s music as ‘a kaleidoscope of the human emotions’, has decided not to approach the symphonies chronologically, but rather to group them as themes (e.g. ‘La passione’, ‘Il filosofo’, ‘Il distratto’ etc.)
So far, this highly acclaimed series has earned the Gramophone Award, Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Diapasons d’Or and Choc Classica de l’Année.
In 2020 Antonini will also be celebrating a composer with whose music he made his name: Antonio VivaIdi. His recordings of the Four Seasons and Cecilia Bartoli’s famous first recital have become permanent benchmarks in the Red Priest’s discography.