According to Greek mythology, Zephyr was the tender and kind God of the Western Wind.
In 1989, the oboists Alfredo Bernardini and Paolo Grazzi, and the bassoonist Alberto Grazzi, members of the most outstanding baroque orchestras, founded “Zefiro”, a versatile music group specialising in the eighteenth-century repertoire that gives particular prominence to wind instruments.
Since then, Zefiro has performed at many major European festivals, including those of Amsterdam, Aranjuez, Barcelona, Bonn, Geneva, Graz, Helsinki, Innsbruck, London, Liege, Lyons, London, Malmö, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Potsdam, Prague, Ravenna, Regensburg, Rome, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Stresa, Utrecht and Vienna. They have also played in Israel, Egypt, Japan, Korea, USA, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil and have always received enthusiastic responses from both audiences and the press.
In 1999 Zefiro has realized a documentary-film on Antonio Vivaldi for the Belgian broadcasting company RTBF. Zefiro’s recordings include the six Sonatas for two oboes and bassoon by Jan Dismas Zelenka, the complete works for wind ensemble of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and their own arrangements for 12 winds and a double bass of excerpts from the three Mozart operas to librettos by Lorenzo da Ponte, Concertos for oboe, bassoon and strings and Concerti per vari strumenti by Antonio Vivaldi as part of the project by Opus/Naïve for the complete recording of Music by this composer from the University Library of Turin.
The ensemble has also rehabilitated two remarkable composers of the late eighteenth century, Georg Druschetzky and Luigi Gatti, and its recording of Handel’s Water Music and Telemann’s Wassermusik has established Zefiro’s reputation also as a Baroque orchestra. More recent recordings include wind music by L.v.Beethoven, the Divertimenti for winds and strings by W.A.Mozart, “The Musick for the Royal Fireworks” by G.F.Handel and “Concerti & Ouverture” by J.F.Fasch all published to the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony Music label.
All these CDs have received several international awards, including the coveted Grand Prix du Disque, the “Premio Nazionale Classic Voice”, the Editor’s Choice by Gramophone, the “Choc du Monde de la Musique de l’année 2007” and the “Diapason d’Or de l’année 2009”; ZEFIRO is now a reference worldwide, famed for its virtuoso performances of the wind repertoire on period instruments.
ZEFIRO’s activity is divided into three formations: chamber ensemble, wind group (“Harmonie”) and baroque orchestra to cover a vast part of the baroque repertoire from vivaldi Concertos to Handel Operas, from Bach Cantatas and Haydn Masses to wind music by Mozart, Rossini and Beethoven.