Il Giardino Armonico (= IGA) is a pioneering Italian early music ensemble founded in Milan in 1985 by Luca Pianca, Giovanni Antonini and Paolo Beschi. The ensemble brings together a number of graduates from some of Europe’s leading colleges of music, all of whom have specialised in playing on period instruments. The ensemble’s repertoire is concentrated in the main on the 17th and 18th centuries. Depending on the demands of each programme, the group will consist of anything from 3 to 30 musicians.
Il Giardino Armonico is generally considered one of the most creative and best Baroque ensembles. The ensemble is regularly invited to many festivals all over the world as Musica e Poesia a San Maurizio in Milan, Styriarte Festival in Graz, Salzburger Pfingsten Festival, Osterklang in Vienna, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Festival, Internationale Musikfestwochen in Luzern, Festival de Musique de Montreux-Vevey and has performed in the most important concert halls. Among them are Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Tonhalle in Zürich, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, Glinka Hall and Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Konserthus in Oslo, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Oji Hall in Tokyo, Library of Congress in Washington, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Sydney Opera House.
Il Giardino Armonico has been under exclusive contract to Teldec Classics for a number of years. Its various recordings of works by Antonio Vivaldi - among which the Four Seasons - and other 18th-century composers have met with widespread acclaim on the part of audiences and critics alike and have received several major awards (Award “Fondazione Cini” of Venice, Caecilia Award in Belgium, Diapason d’Or, Choc de la Musique, Grand Prix des Discophiles). Released under the title Il Proteo, their recording of several of A. Vivaldi’s double and triple concertos for cello and orchestra, with Christophe Coin as guest soloist, received a Gramophone Award in October 1996 and the Diapason d’Or. The J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (BWV 1046-1051) were awarded with the Echo-Preis 1998 and the CD dedicated to works by M. Locke and H.I.F. Biber won the Diapason d’Or 1999. In 1999 appeared the acclaimed A. Vivaldi Album with Cecilia Bartoli for Decca, which won the Grammy Award. In autumn 2000 has been published Viaggio Musicale (10 de Répertoire) with Italian music of the 17th century. The CD entitled Musica Barocca has been released in autumn 2001 and has won the French prize “10 de Répertoire”. In December 2002 Teldec has published an Artist Portrait of the ensemble.
Il Giardino Armonico plays regularly with many acclaimed soloists such as mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, the duo pianists Katia & Marielle Labèque, cellist Christophe Coin, Eva Mei, Sumi Jo, Sara Mingardo, Lynne Dawson, Bernarda Fink, Christoph Prégardien, Véronique Gens, Viktoria Mullova and Giuliano Carmignola both in concerts as in opera stage productions such as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, George Frideric Handel’s Agrippina, Il Trionfo del Tempo del Disinganno and La Resurrezione, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Johann Adolf Hasse’s Oratorio I Pellegrini al Sepolcro di Nostro Signore.