La Serenissima has firmly established itself as one of the leading exponents of the music of Antonio Vivaldi and his Italian contemporaries.
Founded in 1994 by violinist Adrian Chandler, La Serenissima is now recognised as the UK’s leading exponent of the music of eighteenth century Venice and connected composers. Uniquely, we present world-class musical performances in concert and recording where all the research and editorial work is our own. Described by Gramophone as having "a glorious and all-too-rare ability to make one’s pulse race afresh with every new project" we have been praised for our "fresh approach" (BBC Music Magazine), "dazzling inventiveness" (The Strad) and singled out for our "difference in attack" from other orchestras (The Independent).
We delight in bringing great baroque music to the widest possible audience through our trademark mix of ‘blockbuster’ musical works and unknown gems; through live performances, talks and workshops; and through our recordings which are available to all. We’ve championed a plethora of neglected works by composers ranging from Dall’Abaco to Composer X and have also brought to life Vivaldi’s operas Catone in Utica, Giustino, La Fida Ninfa, L’Olimpiade, Ottone in villa and Tito Manlio.
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, Ryedale, South Bank, Warwick and York Early Music, and at venues including Bridgewater Hall, St George’s Bristol, Snape Maltings, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall. We have given concerts for Music in the Round and leading cultural tours operator Martin Randall Travel; we have also received support from Arts Council England for UK touring projects Vivaldi: The Red Priest and The Four Seasons. We have performed abroad in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mexico and Spain to great acclaim.
Since we started making records (in 2003), La Serenissima has been universally applauded by publications including American Record Guide, BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, Falstaff Magazine, Fanfare Magazine, Gaudisc, Goldberg Magazine, Gramophone, La Stampa, The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Independent, The Irish Times, The Strad and The Sunday Times for our performances on the Avie Label. We won the Gramophone Award in the ‘Baroque Instrumental’ category in 2010 for Vivaldi: The French Connection, an album that was later included in an elite Forbes List (2013). Our recordings have regularly made the Top 10 of the UK Specialist Classical Chart, received frequent award nominations, been featured as ‘Disc of the Month’ and ‘Concerto Choice’ (BBC Music Magazine), ‘Editor’s Choice’ (Gramophone), ‘Drive Discovery’ (Classic FM) and on BBC Radio 3 programmes ‘Record Review’ and ‘Building a Library’. Part of the follow-up album to our first ever record Per Monsieur Pisendel has been used on the soundtrack to hit American TV series The Originals.
We celebrated our 21st birthday by recording a new edition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Manchester version) alongside works for violin 'in tromba marina', a reconstruction collaboration between violinist Adrian Chandler, luthier David Rattray and the musicologist Michael Talbot which was a ‘first’ in modern times. The record entered the UK Specialist Classical Chart at number 8, received numerous accolades in the press (including Irish Times ‘Classical Album of the Year’) and was ranked among the Top 3 choices in Radio 3’s ‘Building a Library’ on The Four Seasons (which covered a discography beginning in the 1940s). Our latest release The Italian Job brings alive instrumental music for 4 trumpets, timpani, wind and strings; the disc was showcased on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Record Review’ and Classic FM’s ‘Drive Discovery’, it was ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone (May 2017) and went on to secure the group’s second Gramophone Award in September 2017.