Born in Milan, Giovanni studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica and at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva. He is a founder member of the Baroque ensemble “il Giardino Armonico”, which he has led since 1989. With this ensemble 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, Isabel Faust, Viktoria Mullova, Giuliano Carmignola, Giovanni Sollima, Sol Gabetta, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Sumi Jo and Kristian Bezuidenhout. In addition Giovanni is also a regular guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, Tonhalle Orchester, Mozarteum Orchester, Orquesta Nacional de España and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester.
His opera productions have included Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”, Handel’s “Alcina” at Teatro alla Scala in Milano and Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” with Cecilia Bartoli. In 2013 he conducted Bellini’s “Norma” at Salzburg festival, which he will reprise in summer 2015. In the 2014/15 season conducting performances include the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Berner Symphonie Orchester and continues his close collaboration with the Kammerorchester Basel.
With il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini has recorded numerous CDs of instrumental works by Vivaldi (including The Four Seasons) as part of his wider recorded repertoire of 17th and 18th Century Italian composers, J.S. Bach (Brandenburg Concertos), Biber and Locke for Teldec. With Naïve he recorded Vivaldi’s opera “Ottone in Villa”, and in the last years he has been recording with il Giardino Armonico for Decca. With the Kammerorchester Basel he is recording the complete Beethoven Symphonies; the first six have already been published. In 2013 he conducted a recording of Bellini’s Norma for Decca in collaboration with Orchestra La Scintilla.
He has been Artistic Director of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland since September 2013.