About La Serenissima
La Serenissima was formed in 1994 for a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s La Sena festeggiante and has now firmly established itself as one of the leading exponents of the music of eighteenth century Venice and connected composers.
Since its first CD release in 2003, La Serenissima has been universally applauded by publications including Gramophone Magazine, The Sunday Times, BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, The Independent, The Strad, Falstaff Magazine, La Stampa, Gaudisc, Goldberg Magazine and The Evening Standard for its performances on the Avie Label. Their eighth release – Vivaldi: The French Connection – was awarded the Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Instrumental CD in October 2010 (following nominations in 2008 and 2009 for previous releases). This album was included in an elite Forbes List (2013). Its follow-up – Vivaldi: The French Connection 2 – was released in 2011 and was described by critics as ‘an eye-opening, ear-flattering delight from start to finish.’ This disc was nominated for a Gramophone Award in 2012. Their next recording – Venice by Night – made the Top 10 of the UK Classical Charts in 2012. Vivaldi: A Tale of Two Seasons was released in 2013, spending two weeks in the Top 10 of the Classical Charts and becoming BBC Music Magazine ‘Disc of the Month’. During 2014, the ensemble produced the follow-up album to their first ever record Per Monsieur Pisendel which met with critical acclaim; part of this disc was used on the soundtrack for hit American TV series The Originals. La Serenissima celebrated its 21st birthday by recording Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Manchester version) alongside works for violino in tromba marina, a reconstruction project undertaken by violinist Adrian Chandler, luthier David Rattray and the musicologist Michael Talbot which was a first in modern times. Released in September 2015, the record entered the UK Specialist Classical Chart at number 8, was featured as Editor’s Choice, Gramophone Magazine (October 2015) and Concerto Choice, BBC Music Magazine (Christmas 2015).
The ensemble also prides itself on bringing seldom-heard works to the concert platform, including Vivaldi’s operas Ottone in villa, Giustino, Tito Manlio, La Fida Ninfa, Catone in Utica and L’Olimpiade as well as a host of instrumental rarities, many of which have been committed to disc. Works by other composers feature too such as Albinoni’s Il nascimento dell’Aurora and sacred vocal works by Caldara.
Photo: Eric Richmond www.ericrichmond.net
La Serenissima has appeared at many of the UK’s leading festivals including the Bath Bach, Bath International, Beverley, Buxton, Cambridge Summer, Chelsea, Cheltenham, Lichfield, South Bank, Warwick and York Early Music Festivals, and venues including St George’s Bristol, Snape Maltings, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall. The group has also appeared in Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mexico and Spain to great acclaim.
Nearly the entire repertoire of La Serenissima is edited by Director Adrian Chandler from manuscript or contemporary printed sources, a testament to its commitment and passion for rare and exciting Italian music; a feat which makes it unique amongst other ensembles.
Highlights in 2015 included a tour of Per Monsieur Pisendel 2 for Music in the Round and a UK tour of The Four Seasons supported by Arts Council England; 2016 heralds the opening of a new residency at St John’s Smith Square, London entitled The Grand Tour as well as their new recording and touring project The Italian Job – a feast of Italian baroque music with instrumental scoring for 4 trumpets, timpani, wind and strings.