I Solisti Veneti – Claudio Scimone

Claudio Scimone was born in Padua and attended the course for orchestral conducting under Dimitri Mitropoulos and Franco Ferrara. He attained a worldwide reputation on the pulpit as a symphonic and operatic conductor working at Covent Garden in London, at the “Arena” Theatre in Verona, at “La Fenice” Theatre in Venezia, for the Opera House of Rome at the Thermae of Caracalla, at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro and at the Opera Houses of Zurich, New York, Paris, Macerata (“Sferisterio”), Houston, Melbourne, Aspen, etc. He also conducted for both concerts and recordings, the Philarmonia and the Royal Philharmonic of London, the Orchestras of the French Radio in Paris, the New York Mostly Mozart Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic of Tokyo, the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra and the Bamberger Symphoniker, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, the Salzburger Mozarteum Orchestra and many others, from Toulouse to Strasburg, and from Montreal to Ottawa, Houston and Dallas, etc. He is honorary conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon. He has the merit of having executed the first modern unabridged performances (and the relevant CD or DVD recordings) of many works of Rossini, such as “Mosè in Egitto”, “Maometto II”(both Neapolitan and Venetian versions, this latter for the occasion of the opening celebrations of the newly restored Theatre La Fenice), “Edipo a Colono” (for the “Rossini Opera Festival” of Pesaro) “Zelmira”, “Armida”, “Ermione”, the Opera “L’Italiana in Algeri” (this performance with I Solisti Veneti, Marylin Horne, Sam Ramey and Kathleen Battle won the Los Angeles Grammy Award in 1980), as well as many others including “Le jugement dernier” by Salieri, “Il Nascimento dell’Aurora” and “Pimpinone” by Albinoni, “La caduta di Adamo” by Galuppi, etc. The important premières” of “Orlando Furioso” by Vivaldi (Verona, Teatro Filarmonico” and Paris, Chàtelet, with I Solisti Veneti, Marylin Horne, and Victoria de Los Angeles, under the direction of Pierluigi Pizzi) allowed the world to see the greatness of the theatrical production of Antonio Vivaldi. In 1959 in Padua he established the group I Solisti Veneti, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009 and rapidly became the most famous chamber orchestra in the world, performing more than 5,500 concerts in more than 80 countries and at the main International Music Festivals (altogether they held more than 30 concerts at Salzburg Festival), they recorded more than 350 works in CD, LP, DVD and produced a very wide range of work alongside their cultural, educational and promotional activities. Alongside Scimone, I Solisti Veneti have been habitual guests of major Italian and foreign broadcasts, but they also participated in some of the most important films and TV programmes about music, such as “Vivaldi, the music painter” by Francois Reichenbach and “The Last Seven Words of Christ” with the music of F. J. Haydn, directed by Ermanno Olmi in the Chapel of Scrovegni by Giotto. The discography of Scimone is very broad and includes more than 350 titles for the major record companies world-wide (Erato – WEA, Philips, BMG – RCA, etc.) produced together with the various Orchestras mentioned above, not to mention, of course, I Solisti Veneti. With I Solisti Veneti he recorded the unabridged edition of the works of Vivaldi and Albinoni published during their lifetimes, the Symphonies of Mozart, and he brought international success to some masterpieces by important but forgotten compositors such as Giannella, Mercadante, Rolla, and others. Recently, a DVD collection was produced by I Solisti Veneti including “Le Stagioni di Vivaldi nelle Ville Venete” (Arthaus), “Il Gloria e la musica sacra di Antonio Vivaldi in San Marco a Venezia e nella Cappella di Giotto a Padova” (Dynamic) and, in 2008, “Concerti per flauto e orchestra di Vivaldi nel Palazzo Ducale di Venezia” with James and Jeanne Galway (Hardy Classic). Together with I Solisti Veneti, over more than 40 years, Scimone worked hard in order to increase awareness of classical music among young people and involve a wider audience: I Solisti Veneti were the first orchestra in Italy to execute concerts in school premises. This activity had enormous acknowledgement already in 1970 thanks to the victory in the Festivalbar music contest which obtained more than 350,000 votes from a young public. Filling a gap in Italian music publishing, I Solisti Veneti, under the direction of Scimone, published a fundamental range of thematic catalogues and “facsimiles” of the works of the main Venetian composers (Albinoni, Bonporti, Tartini, Galuppi, Platti, Torelli, Dall’Abaco, M. Lombardini). Scimone cooperated with the Foundation Rossini of Pesaro in order to edit the opera omnia of Rossini and devoted himself with passion to the training of young musicians. He was teacher of Orchestral Training at the Conservatory of Venice and, for 27 years, he was the Director of the Conservatory of Padua. Among the great number of awards he received, there are the Los Angeles Grammy Award, the Grand Prix du Disque of the Paris Academie Charles Cros (several times), the Award of the Acadèmie du Disque Lyrique and about thirty other awards. Fromm the Italian President of the Republic, Scimone received the honour of “Cavaliere di Gran Croce” and a golden medal for scholastic, artistic and cultural merits. For the moment he is the only artist who has received the award of “Leone Veneto” with unanimous vote from the Regional Council of Veneto Region. Claudio Scimone and I Solisti Veneti were assigned in 2008 at La Fenice Theatre in Venice the “A Life in music” Prize by the Arthur Rubinstein Foundation which was assigned in the past to Rubinstein, Rostropovitch, Bernstein and, recently, to Pizzi, Raimondi, Mehta and Brendel. Many composers dedicated works to Claudio Scimone and to I Solisti Veneti, starting in this way a new genre meant for 12 or more solo strings: among them there are Bussotti, Chailly, Constant, Corghi, De Pablo, De Pirro, Donatoni, Guaccero, Malipiero, Manzoni, Morricone, Scelsi and many others.

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