il pomo d’oro is an orchestra founded in the year 2012 with a special focus on opera, but equally committed to instrumental performance in various formations. The musicians united in this group are among the best to be found worldwide for authentic and vivid interpretation on period instruments. Together with the young chief conductor Maxim Emelyanychev they form an ensemble of outstanding quality, combining stylistic knowledge, the highest technical skills, and artistic enthusiasm. The collaboration with violinist and conductor Riccardo Minasi led to an award winning first recording (Vivaldi, Per l’Imperatore). The second recording, Vivaldi’s violin concerts Per Pisendel with Dmitry Sinkovsky as soloist and conductor, received a Diapason d’Or. In 2012, il pomo d’oro also recorded 3 solo CDs with three countertenors – Max Emanuel Cencic (Venezia), Xavier Sabata (Bad Guys) and Franco Fagioli (Arias for Caffarelli), under Riccardo Minasi’s direction. The album Arias for Caffarelli was awarded the Choc de l’annee 2013 by the French magazine ‘Classica’. A further contribution to the Naive-Vivaldi-Edition was a recording of the Concerti per due violini, played and directed by Riccardo Minasi and Dmitry Sinkovsky, released in October 2013. In conjunction with a book project about the Venetian Gondola by American writer Donna Leon, il pomo d’oro recorded a collection of ancient Venetian Barcarole, sung by Vincenzo Capezzuto. A recital of various Agrippina Arias – most of them world premieres on CD – with the Swedish mezzosoprano Ann Hallenberg, directed by Riccardo Minasi, was released in 2015. Agrippina won the International Classic Music Award and the International Opera Award. A second album with Max Emanuel Cencic, Arie Napoletane (directed by Maxim Emelyanychev, was released in November 2015. It includes many world premiere recordings of the still to be rediscovered Neapolitan repertoire. In 2016, il pomo d’oro recorded its first recital with the American mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato, In War & Peace, released in November 2016, followed by a concert tour in Europe and the US, conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev. A second recital with Ann Hallenberg was recorded in the fall 2016, presenting Greatest Hits from the Venetian Carnevale 1729 – il pomo d’oro’s first recording under the direction of Stefano Montanari. The recording season 2016 closed with a first collaboration with Enrico Onofri and the young Italian soprano Francesca Aspromonte. In March 2017, il pomo d’oro, led by Zefira Valova, recorded a new recital of Handel-Arias with countertenor Franco Fagioli.
il pomo d’oro so far recorded four complete operas: Handel’s Tamerlano, Catone in Utica by Leonardo Vinci, – awarded with an Echo Klassik 2016 – Handel’s Partenope (all directed by Riccardo Minasi), and Handel’s Ottone (directed by George Petrou). Among the singers are to be heard Franco Fagioli, Max Emanuel Cencic, Xavier Sabata and Karina Gauvin.
Further instrumental recordings include Haydn’s concerts for harpsichord and violin, co-directed by Maxim Emelanychev as harpsichord-soloist and Riccardo Minasi as violin-soloist (to be released in early 2016), and a violoncello recital with Edgar Moreau with works by Haydn, Boccherini, Platti, Graziani, Vivaldi, which was released in November 2015. Both recordings won the Echo Klassik Award 2016. A new recording with violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky explores the repertoire of the Virtuosissimi of the baroque violin, such as Locatelli, Tartini, Leclair, Pisendel, and others.
Il pomo d’oro is a frequent guest in the most important concert venues in Europe and the United States, such as Théatre des Champs Elysées, Theater an der Wien, Barbican Center, Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall (2017), Philharmonie Berlin (2017), Herkulessaal München, and many more.
In 2016 il pomo d’oro became ambassador of EL SISTEMA GREECE, a humanitarian project to fight the loss of home and identity by offering musical education and encourage own musical activity, to bring concerts, to create cultural transfer by exchanging musical traditions and to help integration by combining musical and language education. Il pomo d’oro plays concerts and offers workshops and music lessons according to the El Sistema method on a frequent regular basis in various refugee camps in Greece.
The name of the orchestra refers to the title of an opera by Antonio Cesti, composed for the wedding of Emperor Leopold I of Austria with Margarita Teresa of Spain in Vienna in 1666. The opera was the final part of an imperial celebration of incredible multimedial splendour, starting with fireworks of 73.000 rockets and a horse-ballet of 300 horses. With its twenty-four different stage sets and stunning special effects like collapsing towers, flying gods and sinking ships, „Il Pomo d’Oro“ was probably the most excessive and expensive operatic production in the then young history of the genre. It provided roles for fifty singers, and it lasted ten hours – ten hours of magnificent spectacle and beautiful music.