Fabio Biondi, together with Europa Galante and soloists Tina Gorina, Monika Ledzion-Porczynska and Matheus Pompeu, presents the world premiere recording on period instruments of Moniuszko's opera, Halka. Biondi recorded the 1857 Italian version of the opera in a concert performance which took place during the 14th International Music Festival 'Chopin and his Europe' in Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of Polish Radio, Warsaw, in August 2018. Fabio Biondi, who with his ensemble Europa Galante has become renowned for interpretations of Baroque music, has been shifting his interests for the last decade or so towards early Romantic opera. In Warsaw, at the 'Chopin and his Europe' festival, he has presented concert versions of operas by Bellini (Norma, I Capuleti e i Montecchi), the original version of Verdi's Macbeth and, in 2018, Halka, in its Italian version. Of course, he could not show the despairing girl's fiery torch or her salto mortale, but the music in his interpretation gained all the more force of expression. Biondi's recording of the Italian version of Halka situates it among the finest operatic works of European romanticism. He admits to having discovered an exceptional composer: "The passion that engulfed me for the music of the great Stanislaw Moniuszko was not by chance. In the Europe of the first half of the nineteenth century, filled with the operatic element, under the powerful sway of the phenomenon of Giuseppe Verdi, we are enchanted by the language which the great Polish master succeeded in personalising in such an exceptional, distinctive way. In his scores, we find wonderful lyricism and splendid instrumentation, referring with deference to the great German symphonists, and at the same time to Italian simplicity. Above all, however, we discover the wonderfully mined potential of popular Polish music of those times. This all means that Moniuszko is a composer to whom one cannot but refer with great enthusiasm, if one wishes to better understand the phenomenon of nineteenth-century European music." Fabio Biondi, October, 2018.
A leading figure in historically informed performance, Fabio Biondi's repertoire covers three centuries and contains both masterworks and less familiar or even forgotten output. At the start of his career, he worked with such ensembles as Cappella Real, Musica Antiqua Wien, Seminario Musicale, La Chapelle Royale and Les Musiciens du Louvre. In 1990, he founded Europa Galante, now one of the leading ensembles specialising in the performance of Baroque music, appearing at major festivals and concert halls around the world. Its recordings have won the Diapason d'Or (five times), Diapason d'Or de l'Annee and RTL Prize, as well as a Grammy nomination (Vivaldi's Bajazet, 2006). From 2005 to 2016, Biondi was artistic director responsible for Baroque repertoire of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and he has also worked with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the chamber orchestras of Zurich and Stuttgart. In 2015, he became music director of the orchestra of the Palacio de las Artes Reina Sofia in Valencia. As an esteemed chamber music interpreter, he readily turns to repertoire for violin with piano or harpsichord. Since 2011, he has taught at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In 2015, he received the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He plays on violins by Andrea Guarneri (1686) and Carlo Ferdinando Gagliano (1766), owned by his teacher Salvatore Cicero and kindly lent to him by the Salvatore Cicero Foundation in Palermo.