Founder and conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini’s early music ensemble Concerto Italiano came into existence in 1984. Its birth coincides with that of the revival of early music in Italy and is, in no small part, responsible for it. Monteverdi, Bach and Vivaldi are the main composers which have inspired the group in honoring an appreciation of the language of Baroque music, making a new aesthetic and musical rhetoric available to a fresh audience.
Concerto Italiano made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2017 and has toured China, Japan, Australia, and many European cities, performing Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, L’Orfeo and L’incoronazione di Poppea. In 2016 the ensemble made its debut in Australia and New Zealand performing Monteverdi’s Vespers.
Over the course of its history, the ensemble has appeared at major festivals and in venues throughout the European continent: Utrecht (Oude Muziek Festival), Rotterdam (De Doelen, De Singel), Antwerpen e Leuven (Flandern Festival), London (Lufthansa Festival, Queen Elisabeth Hall), Edinburgh (Edinburgh Festival), Wien (Konzerthaus), Graz (Styriarte), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Bruxelles (Festival de Wallonie, Flandern Festival, Societè Philarmonique), Madrid (Liceo de Camara), Barcelona (Festival de Musica Antigua, Palau de la Musica), Oslo (Chamber Music Festival), Paris (Citè de la Musique, Theatre de la Ville, Theatre des Champs Elysèes), Montpellier (Festival de Radio France), Metz (Arsenal), Köln (Conservatorio e WDR), Roma (Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Accademia Filarmonica Romana), Milano (Musica e Poesia a San Maurizio), Spoleto (Festival dei Due Mondi), Palermo (Festival Scarlatti), Bologna (Bologna Festival), Napoli (Teatro San Carlo e Associazione Scarlatti), and Aldeburgh, Perugia, Lyon, Glasgow, Stuttgart, Darmstadt, Innsbruck, Valencia, Bilbao, Seville, San Sebastian, Salamanca, Santander, Ravenna, Ferrara, Torino, Warsaw, Krakow, Bergen, Vantaa and Turku (Finland), among others. International audiences have also been privileged to hear the ensemble, including those in Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires (Teatro Colon), Rio de Janeiro (Teatro São Paolo), New York (Metropolitan Museum, Lincoln Center), Washington DC (Library of Congress), and Tokyo.
Concerto Italiano has recently been involved in performing the complete Monteverdi opera cycle at La Scala (Milano) and Opera Garnier (Paris), in collaboration with stage director Bob Wilson. The group has also toured with RIAS Kammerchor in an ambitious program of Roman sacred music and Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorio Caino. It records regularly for the Naïve label. Recent releases include Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, a collection of sacred music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Monteverdi’s complete 8th Book of Madrigals, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers and “Selva Morale e Spirituale”. The impressive array of critical awards received for these recordings confirms the outstanding quality of their performances, now recognized as a unique force in the interpretation of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century music. After several decades the recordings of Concerto Italiano are still considered by critics and public alike to be the definitive standards of the Baroque revival and style.
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