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 has received wide critical acclaim for its concert and opera performances throughout North America, Europe, South America, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China, and 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. 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.
2016-17 season highlights include celebrating the 300th anniversary of Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans premiere in Venice with performances at London’s Barbican Centre, NYC’s Carnegie Hall, and the Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts; performances with violinist Viktoria Mullova at Vienna’s Musikverein and in Budapest; an 18-city tour of the US featuring violinist Nicola Benedetti; and a tour of Japan with mandolinist Avi Avital.
Performance highlights include extensive tours of Europe, the United States and Asia with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky; concerts with contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux in France and Belgium; concerts with mandolinist Avi Avital in Italy, Croatia, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, and a twelve-concert tour of the United States and Canada; performance in the Frauenkirche with soprano Karina Gauvin for the Dresden Music Festival; 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 Philip Glass’s violin concerto The American Four Seasons. With violinist Robert McDuffie, the orchestra appeared in 28 cities across the continent in 2010.
The orchestra’s latest recording, of Vivaldi concertos with Avi Avital, was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2015. The previous release, featuring Philippe Jaroussky in Porpora arias on the Erato label, received a Grammy nomination. The 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 Giuliano 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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