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 been leading since 1989. With his group 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 has performed with many prestigious artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Isabelle Faust, Viktoria Mullova, Giuliano Carmignola, Giovanni Sollima, Sol Gabetta, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Kristian Bezuidenhout.
Appreciated for his refined and innovative reading of the Classic and Baroque repertoire, Antonini is regularly invited as a guest conductor by the most prestigious orchestras as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam, Tonhalle Orchester in Zurich, Mozarteum Orchester in Salzburg, Orquesta Nacional de España, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Kammerorchester Basel. Furthermore he has been invited at Teatro alla Scala in Milan where he conducted Alcina (2009) and at the Salzburg Festspiele for Giulio Cesare in Egitto (2012) and Norma (2013, 2015). At the Opernhaus Zürich conducted Alcina (2014, 2016), Le Nozze di Figaro (2016) and will conduct Idomeneo, re di Creta (2018).
Giovanni Antonini released many volumes with Il Giardino Armonico, recording the instrumental works by Vivaldi (including The Four Seasons), J.S. Bach (Brandenburg Concertos), Biber, Locke and other 17th and 18th century Italian composers on Teldec. On Naïve Vivaldi’s opera Ottone in Villa, and in the last years he is recording with Il Giardino Armonico on Decca Classics, Harmonia Mundi, and Alpha Classics (Outhere Music Group), often with the participation of acclaimed soloists.
He recorded Bellini Norma (Decca Classics, 2013). With the Kammerorchester Basel the complete Beethoven Symphonies (Sony BMG): the first eight have already been released.
Since September 2013 he is the artistic director of the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans in Wroclaw (Poland), where he received the Wroclaw Music Award - classical music category - for the impressive artistic creations presented in 2014.
Giovanni Antonini is the artistic and musical director of the prestigious project Haydn2032, whose aim is to record all of the Haydn Symphonies, with both Il Giardino Armonico and Kammerorchester Basel. The first four volumes have been recorded with Il Giardino Armonico: La Passione (Nov 2014), Il Filosofo (May 2015), Solo e Pensoso (Aug 2016), Il Distratto (Mar 2017). The fifth L’Homme de Génie, the first wilth Kammerorchester Basel, will be published in 2017. All on Alpha Classics.