Founded in October 1966, in forty years of activity Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto (= OPV) has established itself as one of the principal Italian chamber orchestras with an optimum reputation both at home and abroad.
The composition of the Orchestra is based on the complement of the “classic” symphony orchestra. The eminent Mozartian Peter Maag was principal conductor of the Orchestra from 1983 to 2001. Artistic Directors have been, in succession, Claudio Scimone (1966-1983), Bruno Giuranna (1983-1992), Guido Turchi (1992-1993) and, as Music Director, Mario Brunello (2002-2003). Filippo Juvarra is currently Artistic Director of the Orchestra and since 1984 has been contributing to the continuity of the artistic and musical profile finalized (after 1983) by Bruno Giuranna and Peter Maag; for his professional dedication Juvarra was awarded the “Franco Abbiati” Italian Music Critics Prize in 2002.
During its long artistic existence the Orchestra has collaborated with celebrated international concert artists, including: Accardo, Piotr Anderszewski, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Barbirolli, Marina Bartoli, Yuri, Bashmet, Marcel Beekman, Elena Biscuola, Julian Bream, Rudolf Buchbinder, Campanella, Giuliano Carmignola, Riccardo Chailly, Desderi, Gavazzeni, Reinhard Goebel, Natalia Gutman, Hamar, Angela Hewitt, Christopher Hogwood, Leonidas Kavakos, Ton Koopman, Lonquich, Lupu, Mischa Maisky, Melles, Charlotte Müller-Perrier, Viktoria Mullova, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Nanut, Murray Perahia, Itzhak Perlman, Christoph Poppen, Quarta, Rampal, Sviatoslav Richter, Rostropovich, Santi, Howard Shelley, Starker, Philipp von Steinaecker, Richard Stoltzman, Szeryng, Ughi, Vegh, Christine Wolff, Thomas Zehetmair, Krystian Zimerman.
The Orchestra has greatly stimulated the musical life of Padua and the Veneto through its concerts and for this was acknowledged by the State Government to be the sole I.C.O.-Istituzione Concertistico-Orchestrale (Concert-Orchestral Institution).
The Orchestra gives around 120 concerts every year, with a season in Padua and concerts in the Veneto Region as well as for leading Concert Societies and Festivals in Italy and during tours abroad. Among recent engagements, special mention should be made of the concerts conducted by the Chinese composer Tan Dun for the International “Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli” Piano Festival at Bergamo’s Teatro Donizetti and Brescia’s Teatro Grande featuring his own compositions, of the concert at the “In terra di Siena” Festival conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy and of the performances in Venice at “La Biennale” (International Festivals of Contemporary Music and Dance), performances which received the unanimous acclaim of the critics.
Since 1987 the Orchestra has embarked on a large-scale recording activity with over fifty recordings for various major labels: J.S. Bach’s Concertos BWV 1054 and BWV 1058, W.A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto K503, with Sviatoslav Richter and Bashmet (Teldec); Boccherinì’s Concertos for cello, with David Geringas and Giuranna (Claves-Grand Prix du Disque 1989); La Betulia liberata by W.A. Mozart, with Maag (Denon); W.A. Mozart’s Violin Concertos and Sinfonia Concertante, with Gulli and Giuranna (Claves); the complete Symphonies of L.v. Beethovenn, with Maag (Arts); W.A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto K466, with Martha Argerich and Rabinovitch (Teldec), Haydn’s L’Isola disabitata and La fedeltà premiata, with Golub (Arabesque); Haydn’s Violin Concertos, with Tchakerian (Arts); W.A. Mozart’s Piano Concertos K595 and K271 and Hob.XVIII:11 of Haydn, with Luisada and Meyer (BMG-France); Concerto for violin and strings and Concerto for violin, piano and strings of Felix Mendelssohn, with Nordio, Prosseda and Orizio (Amadeus); Leonard Bernstein’s Serenata and Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, with Tchakerian and Hamar (for the magazine Amadeus); Concertos K622 for clarinet and K314 for flute of W.A. Mozart, with Lucchetta, Folena and Hamar (Audiophile Sound No. 69); a CD dedicated to Wolf-Ferrari with Dini Ciacci (oboe and cor anglais), Carlini (bassoon) and Hamar (CPO). A more recent release has been the oratorio of Johann Gottlieb Naumann, The Passion of Jesus Christ, conducted by Balestracci (cpo), a CD (Sony) dedicated to the music of Giuseppe Cambini, with Dini Ciacci (oboe and conductor) and Carlini (bassoon), while a future release is a CD (CPO) of Ferdinando Paër’s The Passion of Jesus Christ (first world recording) conducted by Balestracci.