Roberto Gini studied violoncello performance with Attilia Ranzata at the G. Verdi Conservatory in Milan, his city of birth. Afterwards, he began to specialize in the technique of playing historical musical instruments. He studied viola da gamba in Basilea with Jordi Savalla (graduating in 1980) and attended courses in chamber performance in Salzburg taught by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Violinist, cellist, harpsichordist and organist Roberto Gini’s career began with intensive cultivation of concert activity. He has been recorded as a soloist, in duos Laura Alvini, Wieland Kuijken, Anner Bijlsma, and as a member of various ensembles (including Hesperion, with whom he collaborated for ten years). In 1985 he founded the group Concerto, which since its debut has won itself a place on the world stage, and, mostly owing to its many fine productions of Monteverdi’s music, has created a remarkable concert and discographic record. Its first recordings from 1988-91 are still considered by international critics to be among the most significant of their type.
He debuted as a conductor in 1991 when he led the orchestra and choir for the occasion of the afternoon concerts in the Verdi Hall of the Milan Conservatory. He regularly appears as a guest conductor in many different musical ensembles. His discography as a conductor includes works by C. Ph. E. Bach, Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert. He is now recording all of the symphonies (altogether 68) by Giovanni Battista Sammartini, which is as an absolute first in musical recording history, with the company Dynamic.
With his Concerto he has brought forth many productions that have generated significant public interest in part owing to Gini‘s musicological research. Of these many works we will mention at least the first full recordings of Madrigals of Book Seven and Selva Morale & Spirituale by Claudio Monteverdi (Gini dedicates particular attention to this composer); the discovery and first recording of the collection Affetti Musici by Giulio Cesar Monteverdi; Bononcini‘s Magdalene at he Feet of Christ (this recording garnered the International Prize of G. Cini in Venice in 1999), and more recently the recording of all of Monteverdi’s sacral works that did not appear in three printed volumes in 1610, 1640, and 1651, being issued for the first time on two CDs (Dynamic), in which two hitherto unpublished compositions stand out. These compositions will be presented to the public in the premiere. In the years between 1993 and 1996 he was the artistic director of the Festival in Cremona for the occasion of the Monteverdi Celebrations, and also served as artistic director of the celebrations of the Modena Capitale (Capital City Modena) for the 1998-1999 season.
In cooperation with Cristina Miatello, he led the Perfection course for interpreting Monteverdi’s works for a three-year period during 1992-1994. This course has been acclaimed by the Italian society As.Li.Co. (Italian Opera and Concert Association), and from it have emerged young singers who became permanent members of Concerto.
His pedagocial activities are also very significant. At the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève he is the director of the viola da gamba division and the father of the entirely new research studio and workshop which works on historical ornaments. Since 1979 he has been the director of viola da gamba and Baroque violoncella at the former Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano, where he founded the Laboratory for Research on Italian Music of the 17th Century (which is the only space dedicated to specific perfection of technique for singers and instrumentalists in Europe). He is currently engaged at the Accademia Musicale Franchino Gaffurio in Lodi. At the Conservatory of A. Boit in Parma he has also been the director of the viola da gamba department since 2002. On the basis of his experience in research and musical interpretation, Gini is often invited to lead courses and lectur in many schools and seminars.
As an instrumentalist, the leader of musical groups and a conductor, he has recoreded more than 50 albums for recording houses, including Tactus, Astrée-Auvidis, Accord, Stradivarius, Nuova Era, Glossa, and others. He is currently recording with Dynamic and O-livemusic.
He is still a masterful soloist playing on the viola da gamba. In choosing compositions for this instrument he prefers Italian literature for the viola bastarda, which he specializes in. He took off on a tour in 2002 on the viola da gamba along with actress Valentina Cortese, on which he played his quartet Il Concerto delle Viole.
Roberto Gini was entrusted with the honor of conducting at the staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Mantova on February 24, 2007. This was the anniversary of Orfeo‘s debut which took place on the same day in the year 1607 at the Duke’s Court in Mantova.
Update: April 2007