Claudio Scimone is one of the international leaders of the chamber music and early music movements.
He studied with Dimitri Mitropolous and Franco Ferrara, and also studied early music and interpretation. In 1959 he formed the chamber orchestra "I Solisti Veneti" in Padua, and has remained associated with it ever since. It quickly achieved a reputation for excellence. In 1975 Scimone took the orchestra for its first appearance at the annual Salzburg Festival in Austria; it has been invited back every year since. He has also led the orchestra on several world tours, appearing in sixty countries. Although the orchestra specializes in early music, Scimone has also been instrumental in commissioning works by Cristobal Halffter, Franco Donatoni, Marius Constant, and Sylvanno Bussotti, among others.
Meanwhile, Scimone has carried on an additional career as one of the most respected of musicologists researching Italian music from the end of the Renaissance through Rossini. He prepared and edited the first modern editions of Tartini's then practically forgotten violin concertos and sonatas, and has prepared editions of many Vivaldi operas. One of his most sensational modern premieres was his recording of Vivaldi's "Orlando Furioso" in 1977, with Marilyn Horne and Victoria de Los Angeles and his live performance of it in 1979 at the Teatro Filharmonico in Verona. He has prepared a critical edition of Rossini's "Maometto II" and has played first recordings or premiere modern performances of several Rossini operas. He is the author of an acclaimed treatise on performing practice, Segno, Significato, Interpretazione.
He records for the Erato label, which has released over 250 performances under his baton.
In addition to concerts with I Solisti Veneti, he has conducted at Covent Garden, the Houston Grand Opera, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Verona Arena. At the last-named of those, in 1996 he performed the long-forgotten opera "Les Danaides" by Antonio Salieri.
He has also conducted such leading orchestras as the ORTF Philharmonic, Melbourne, Tokyo, Houston, Montreal, Ottawa, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia of London, Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic of London. He has received the Grand Prix du Disque, the Grammy Award, and the Montreux World Disc Prize. ~ Joseph Stevenson