Founded in 1997 by Baroque scholar and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, the Venice Baroque Orchestra is recognized as one of the very finest period instrument ensembles. The Orchestra receives wide critical acclaim for its concert and opera performances throughout North America, Europe, South America, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. The Orchestra has appeared in many more cities across the United States than any other Baroque orchestra in history.
Committed to the rediscovery of 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces, under Mr. Marcon’s leadership VBO has given the modern-day premieres of Francesco Cavalli’s L’Orione, Vivaldi’s Atenaide, Andromeda liberata, Benedetto Marcello’s La morte d’Adone and Il trionfo della poesia e della musica, and Boccherini’s La Clementina. With Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Orchestra has staged Cimarosa’s L’Olimpiade, Handel’s Siroe, and Galuppi’s L’Olimpiade, and reprised Siroe at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York in its first full staging in the United States.
Highlights of these past two seasons have included concerts with mandolinist Avi Avital in Italy, Croatia, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, and a twelve-concert tour of the United States and Canada; performances with contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux in Paris, with contralto Sonia Prina in Moscow and St. Petersburg; a first collaboration with violinist Nicola Benedetti in Baden-Baden, performance in the Frauenkirche with soprano Karina Gauvin for the Dresden Music Festival, with countertenor Franco Fagioli in Essen and Paris, a tour of Japan and Korea with violinist Giuliano Carmignola, and a US tour featuring the orchestra’s ever popular and changing offering of Baroque concertos with member soloists.
The Orchestra has been seen worldwide through several television specials, including films by the BBC, ARTE, NTR (Netherlands), and NHK. They are the subject of three recent video recordings, and their performances were also featured on Swiss TV in the documentary film by Richard Dindo, Vivaldi in Venice.
The 2013-14 season featured extensive tours of Europe, the United States and Asia with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky; concerts with Ms. Lemieux in France and Belgium, performances with cellist Gautier Capuçon including Vienna’s Musikverein and with cellist Mario Brunello in the US; with recorder player Maurice Steger in Germany and Switzerland, and with Mr. Carmignola in Austria, Germany, and Hungary. Highlights of 2011 to 2013 included a United States tour of the Orchestra’s Baroque concertos program featuring internal soloists; Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater and Gloria at the Bruge Concertgebouw; concerts in Lisbon and France with soprano Patricia Petibon; performances of Metastasio’s L’Olimpiade in London, Dijon, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Siena; performances with Mr. Carmignola at the Enescu, Gstaad and Dubrovnik festivals; with recorder player Anna Fusek in the Czech Republic, in Italy and Russia with mezzo-soprano Romina Basso, and a tour with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená including the Istanbul Festival and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
Highly unusual for a Baroque ensemble, the VBO premiered a major contemporary work in the US, Philip Glass’s violin concerto The American Four Seasons. With violinist Robert McDuffie the Orchestra appeared in 28 cities across the continent in 2010. Additional highlights of past seasons included several tours of Japan and Korea with Mr. Carmignola; Vivaldi’s La senna festeggiante at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at Théâtre des Champs Elysées with soprano Veronica Cangemi and contralto Sara Mingardo; Monteverdi’s Vespers in Leipzig, and a festivals tour in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland with Ms. Kožená.
The Orchestra’s latest recording, of Vivaldi concertos with Avi Avital, was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2015. Their previous release, featuring Philippe Jaroussky in Porpora arias on the Erato label, received a Grammy nomination. Their 2012 release on Naïve, a pasticcio of Metastasio’s L’Olimpiade featuring the recording premieres of many 18th-century opera arias, was awarded Choc du Monde de la Musique. The VBO has an extensive discography with Sony and Deutsche Grammophon. Their world-premiere recording of Andromeda liberata for DG was followed by violin concertos with Mr. Carmignola; Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos for strings; Vivaldi motets and arias with soprano Simone Kermes, two discs with Ms. Kožená—Handel arias and Vivaldi arias; Vivaldi violin concertos with Viktoria Mullova and Mr. Carmignola, and Italian arias with Ms. Petibon. The Orchestra’s earlier discography on Sony with Mr. Carmignola includes The Four Seasons, previously unrecorded Vivaldi concertos, and a collection of Bach arias featuring Angelika Kirchschlager. The Orchestra has also been honored with the Diapason d’Or, Echo Award, and the Edison Award.
The Venice Baroque Orchestra is supported by Fondazione Cassamarca in Treviso.
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