Born in Milan, Giovanni Antonini studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica and at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva. He is a founding member of the Baroque ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, which he has led since 1989.
With this ensemble he has appeared as conductor and soloist on the recorder and Baroque transverse flute in Europe, United States, Canada, South America, Australia, Japan and Malaysia. He is artistic director of Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland and principal guest conductor of Mozarteum Orchester and Kammerorchester Basel.
Renowned for his refined and innovative interpretation of the Classical and Baroque repertoire, Antonini is also a regular guest with Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Tonhalle Orchester, Mozarteum Orchester, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, London Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
His opera productions have included Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Bellini’s Norma with Cecilia Bartoli at Salzburg Festival. In 2018, he conducted Orlando at Theater an der Wien and returned to Opernhaus Zurich for Idomeneo. In 2019, he conducted Guilio Cesare for La Scala, and returned there in 2021 for Così fan tutte. He also returned to Teater an der Wien in 2021 with Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo, In the 2022-23 season, he returns to Bamberg Symphony for Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin for Pugnani’s Werther, Czech Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Antonini is artistic director of the Haydn2032 project, created to realize a vision to record and perform with Il Giardino Armonico and Kammerorchester Basel the complete symphonies of Franz Joseph Haydn by the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The first 12 volumes have been released on the Alpha Classics label, with two volumes planned for release each year.