Europa Galante was founded in 1990 by violinist Fabio Biondi, who was wanting to form an Italian period instrument ensemble to perform both Baroque and Classical era repertoire.
The ensemble has a varying structure and often performs chamber music such as the string sonatas of Italian composers of the 17th century, 18th century operas by Handel, Vivaldi and others, operas, serenatas and oratorios by Alessandro Scarlatti as well as giving considerable attention to the instrumental music of Antonio Vivaldi. Europa Galante collaborates regularly with the Fondazione Santa Cecilia in Rome in rediscovering and restoring 18th century Italian operas.
Europa Galante has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and theatres including La Scala in Milan, Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Musikverein in Vienna, Lincoln Center in New York and the Sydney Opera House. The ensemble has toured throughout Australia, Japan, Europe, Canada, Israel, the USA and South America.
In addition to the ensemble’s extensive series of recordings for labels such as Opus 111 and Virgin Classics, which have gained many awards from critics (including two Grammy nominations), Europa Galante has now started making recordings for Glossa; Il Diario di Chiara, with 18th century string music from La Pietà in Venice, is the first of an exciting series of projects agreed with the label.
Europa Galante is the resident orchestra of the Fondazione Teatro Due in Parma.
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Born in Palermo, Fabio Biondi began his international career at the age of twelve, performing his first solo concert with the RAI Symphony Orchestra. Spurred on from an early age by an inexhaustible cultural curiosity, Fabio Biondi was introduced to many of the pioneers of the new approach to Baroque music, an opportunity that was to expand his musical vision and change the direction of his career. When he was sixteen, he was invited by the Musikverein of Vienna to perform Bach’s violin concertos. Since then, he performed with many of the most prestigious Baroque ensembles before founding Europa Galante in 1990. In just a few years, this ensemble became the most internationally renowned and awarded Italian performers of Baroque music.
Fabio Biondi embodies the perpetual pursuit of style free from dogmatism and he remains intent in his quest for the original language. As well as performing mainstream repertoire, he has exhumed numerous works by lesser known composers, covering three centuries of music, from the 17th century, via the great instrumental works of the 18th century, the concerti and concerti grossi of Vivaldi, Corelli, Locatelli or Geminiani, to the oratorios, serenatas and operas of Alessandro Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Veracini or Bellini, as well as performing the sonatas of Bach, Schubert and Schumann.
Fabio Biondi also collaborates as soloist and conductor with a wide range of orchestras including the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, The English Concert, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Oper Halle, the Zürcher Kammer Orchester, Det Norkse Kammerorkester, the Orchestre National Montpellier and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, to name but a few. Since March 2005 Fabio Biondi has taken on the role of artistic director for Baroque music at the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 he was elevated to the position of Academician of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and in 2013 received the Keys to the Polish city of Kraków.
As a chamber musician Fabio Biondi performs in duo with piano, harpsichord or forte-piano in prestigious venues around the world including the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Hogi Hall in Tokyo, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid and the Wigmore Hall in London.
Fabio Biondi plays on a violin by Andrea Guarneri (Cremona, 1686), as well as a 1766 Carlo Ferdinando Gagliano, formerly owned by his teacher Maestro Salvatore Cicero and kindly lent to him by the Salvatore Cicero Foundation in Palermo.
For many years Fabio Biondi has been investing Italian scores with his own form of imaginative and deeply-considered musicality, and it is no real surprise to find him extending his reach past the Baroque and Classical eras and into the early Romanticism with this Glossa release of Vincenzo Bellini’s opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi. [read more...]