Baroque Weekend

The Magic of the Mandolin with Avi Avital and Il Giardino Armonico

Il Giardino Armonico (photo: Lukasz Rajchert)

Avi Avital discovered the mandolin at the age of eight, and – with his amazing virtuosity – he’s been instrumental in reviving and expanding its appeal. Together with Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, he is presenting the final concert of our Baroque Weekend. Along with original mandolin concertos by Giovanni Paisiello, we’ll hear Avital’s ingenious arrangements of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. And another instrument from the Baroque era will also make a major appearance: the recorder, played by the brilliant Giovanni Antonini.

Il Giardino Armonico

Giovanni Antonini conductor, recorder

Avi Avital mandolin

Francesco Durante

Concerto in G minor

Emanuele Barbella

Concert for Mandolin, Strings and Continuo

Georg Philipp Telemann

Concerto in C major for Recorder, Strings and Continuo, TWV 51:C1

Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto, BWV 1060 (Version for recorder, mandolin, strings and continuo)

Giovanni Paisiello

Concerto for Mandolin, Strings and Harpsichord in E flat major

Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052 (Version for mandolin, strings and continuo)

Baroque Package

Put together your own package of three or five concerts from the programme of our Baroque Weekend and save 5 or 10% on the individual ticket price!

3 concerts / 5 % discount

5 concerts / 10 % discount

Dates and Tickets


Il Giardino Armonico

When Giovanni Antonini founded Il Giardino Armonico in Milan in 1985, he had a road map. "Having the same people around you all the time, musicians with whom you share the same musical language, is the only way to develop something original,” he explained. The result was an early music ensemble with cult status that has been delighting audiences and the press for almost 40 years; its recordings have been showered with awards. From the very beginning, the orchestra won acclaim for its energetic interpretations and its taste for exaggeration, as well as for its transparent readings, its extraordinary dynamic range and its broad pallette of colours. Since then, the ensemble and Giovanni Antonini have revived countless works of the 17th and 18th centuries, inspiring numerous other musicians. Il Giardino Armonico is part of the Joseph Haydn Foundation Basel's long-term project "Haydn 2032", which aims to record and perform all Haydn symphonies up to the 300th anniversary of the composer's birth. Toccata's verdict on one of the albums: "The interpretation is light and ebullient, lively and cheerful - and serious and gripping where it should be. It's tremendous fun to listen to these people. And it makes you want more, even more and hopefully, eventually, everything!"

Avi Avital

Avi Avital has contributed like no other to the revival and expansion of the mandolin repertoire in recent years; The New York Times recently acclaimed one of his "explosively charismatic” live performances as "electrifying". "The mandolin," says the Israeli-born musician, "is a wonderful instrument that is yet to be discovered by many. There's nothing I can't express with it." His performances of baroque works such as the Geigenwart have been met with enthusiasm worldwide - in London's Wigmore Hall, Vienna's Konzerthaus, New York's Carnegie Hall and at the major festivals in Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Verbier. "The exciting thing about being a classical mandolinist is the wide field of artistic freedom. When I commission a piece and combine it with different musical styles, it feels as if I'm bringing new, previously hidden traits of this unique instrument to light." More than 100 new pieces have now been composed for Avi Avital, including concertos for mandolin and orchestra by Anna Clyne, Jennifer Higdon, Avner Dorman, David Bruce and Giovanni Sollima. Avital, who began playing the mandolin at the age of eight and later studied at the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, was the first mandolinist to be nominated for a Grammy Award.


Baroque Weekend 2024