Performance Thursday, February 20, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Fabio Biondi
Kenneth Weiss

Weill Recital Hall
When violinist Fabio Biondi and his period-instrument ensemble Europa Galante last appeared at Carnegie Hall, they were heralded by The New York Times for playing “with the precision and zestiness necessary to make the music of Vivaldi and his Italian contemporaries sizzle as it must have done in their day.” The early-music specialist returns, this time in a solo recital, for what will undoubtedly be a remarkable rethinking of Baroque music with harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss.

This concert is part of Salon Encores.


  • Fabio Biondi, Violin
  • Kenneth Weiss, Harpsichord


  • BACH Violin Sonata in G Major, BWV 1021
  • BACH Violin Sonata No. 6 in G Major, BWV 1019
  • BACH Violin Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, BWV 1017
  • BACH Italian Concerto, BWV 971
  • P.A. LOCATELLI Sonata in D Minor, Op. 6, No. 12

  • Encore:
  • BACH Cantabile, ma non poco Adagio from Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in G Major, BWV 1019a

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Fabio Biondi

    Born in Palermo, Fabio Biondi began his international career at age 12, performing his first solo concert with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra. At age 16, he was invited by the Musikverein of Vienna to perform Bach's violin concertos. Since then, he has performed with ensembles that include Cappella Real, Musica Antiqua Wien, Il Seminario Musicale, La Chapelle Royale, and Les Musiciens du Louvre, all of which specialize in the performance of Baroque music using original techniques and instruments.

    In 1990, Mr. Biondi founded Europa Galante. They have since been invited to perform at the most important festivals and concert halls around the world, from La Scala in Milan to the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall in London, the Musikverein in Vienna, Lincoln Center in New York, and the Sydney Opera House.

    The ensemble's first recording with Mr. Biondi, featuring Vivaldi's concertos, was awarded the Premio Cini of Venice and the Choc de la Musique, and was soon followed by many more honors, including five Diapason d'Or awards and one Diapason d'Or de l'Année, and record of the year nominations in many countries. In 2006, their recording of Vivaldi's opera Bajazet was nominated for a Grammy Award.

    Mr. Biondi's varied discography includes Vivaldi's Four Seasons; Corelli's concerti grossi; oratorios, serenatas, and operas by Scarlatti; Handel operas; and works by Veracini, Vivaldi, Locatelli, Tartini, as well as sonatas by Bach, Schubert, and Schumann. Mr. Biondi has collaborated as soloist and conductor with such orchestras as the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra, European Union Baroque Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Halle Opera, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de Montpellier, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra, among others. In addition, he has performed in duo recitals with piano, harpsichord, or fortepiano at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Cité de la musique in Paris, Hogi Hall in Tokyo, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, and Wigmore Hall in London. 

    Since 2005, Mr. Biondi has served as artistic director for Baroque music of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Since 2011, he has taught at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Mr. Biondi plays an Andrea Guarneri violin (Cremona, 1686) and a 1766 Carlo Ferdinando Gagliano violin, which is owned by his teacher, Salvatore Cicero, and kindly lent to him by the Salvatore Cicero Foundation in Palermo.

    More Info

  • Kenneth Weiss

    Kenneth Weiss was born in New York City, where he attended the High School of Performing Arts. After studying with Lisa Goode Crawford at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he continued with Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam.

    From 1990 to 1993, Mr. Weiss served as musical assistant to William Christie at Les Arts Florissants for numerous opera productions and recordings. Later, he conducted Les Arts Florissants and was co-director with Mr. Christie of the ensemble's Le Jardin de voix program.

    Mr. Weiss focuses on recitals, chamber music, teaching, and conducting. Recently, he has given recitals in Nuremberg, Montpellier, Barcelona, Dijon, Geneva, Antwerp, Paris, Madrid, La Roque-d'Anthéron, Santander, Lisbon, San Sebastián, Innsbruck, Santiago de Compostela, La Chaise-Dieu, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Bruges, and New York. He performs regularly in recital with violinists Fabio Biondi, Daniel Hope, Monica Huggett, and Lina Tur Bonet.

    In 2013, Mr. Weiss performed Bach's Goldberg Variations at Paris's Salle Cortot as part of the Orchestre de chamber de Paris season; The Well-Tempered Clavier in San Francisco and the festivals of Cordes-sur-Ciel, Villevieille, and Sinfonia en Périgord; and a program of extracts from his two recordings A Cleare Day and Heaven & Earth at the Boston Early Music Festival, Saint-Riquier Festival, and Antwerp's Laus Polyphoniae festival. He also performed as a soloist in Bach's "Brandenburg" Concertos with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra directed by Fabio Biondi. His 2014 appearances include recitals in Paris, Versailles, Madrid, Brussels, and the Netherlands, as well as performances with Fabio Biondi in Paris and in the US.

    In 2001, the Satirino label released Mr. Weiss's first solo harpsichord recording, featuring music by Bach, Scarlatti, and Rameau. In June 2013, his album Heaven & Earth was released, as well as a CD of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier.

    Mr. Weiss is on the faculties of the Conservatoire de Paris and The Juilliard School.

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Bach's Violin Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052R (Allegro)
Europa Galante | Fabio Biondi, Conductor and Violin
Virgin Veritas

At a Glance

Although the organ was Johann Sebastian Bach's principal instrument (he is said to have "played with so easy and small a motion of the fingers that it was hardly perceptible"), he was also an accomplished violinist and violist. In his later years, he was often to be seen at Zimmermann's Coffeehouse in Leipzig, conducting the orchestra of his resident collegium musicum from the concertmaster's stand. The four works by Bach on tonight's program, written at various times and under different circumstances, might well have been heard in these convivial surroundings. The three violin sonatas and the Italian Concerto for solo harpsichord illustrate Bach's contrapuntal mastery as well as his often underrated lyrical genius.

Pietro Antonio Locatelli was an Italian contemporary of Bach who lived most of his life in Amsterdam. A celebrated violinist, he expanded the boundaries of violin technique in ways that anticipated the dazzling pyrotechnics of Paganini and his peers in the 19th century.
Program Notes
This performance is part of Early Music in Weill Recital Hall.

Part of