La Serenissima

Established in 1994 by violinist Adrian Chandler, La Serenissima is recognised as the UK’s leading exponent of the music of eighteenth century Venice and connected composers. Nearly its entire repertoire is edited from manuscript or contemporary sources: a feat rendering it unique amongst its peers. Hailed by The Guardian as presenting an avant-garde approach that would have awed Hendrix, La Serenissima has become synonymous with virtuosity, dynamism and accessibility, uncovering a plethora of new repertoire and making it available to all through live performance and high calibre recording work.

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

La Serenissima have a glorious and all-too-rare ability to make one’s pulse race afresh with every new project…’ Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

Their eighth release – Vivaldi: The French Connection – was awarded the Gramophone Award in the ‘Baroque Instrumental’ category 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 and Concerto Choice, BBC Music Magazine, 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).

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 have been featured too such as Albinoni’s Il nascimento dell’Aurora and Caldara’s Cantata per la Notte del Natale which received its modern day premiere at St John’s Smith Square in Christmas 2016. 

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 venues including Bridgewater Hall, 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. 

Highlights in 2015/16 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; during 2016/17 the group took on its first ever residency at St John’s Smith Square, London entitled The Grand Tour and released 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. Since its February release, The Italian Job has been showcased on Radio 3’s ‘Record Review’ and as Classic FM’s ‘Drive Discovery’; the recording is also ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone Magazine.