Claudio Scimone was one of the international leaders of the chamber music and early music movements. He studied with Dimitri Mitropoulos and Franco Ferrara, and also studied early music and interpretation. In 1959 he formed the chamber orchestra I Solisti Veneti in Padua and remained associated with it for decades. It quickly achieved a reputation for excellence, and in 1975, Scimone took the orchestra for its first appearance at the annual Salzburg Festival in Austria, only to be invited back every year. He also led the orchestra on several world tours, appearing in 60 countries. Although the orchestra specializes in early music, Scimone was also instrumental in commissioning works by Cristobal Halffter, Franco Donatoni, Marius Constant, and Sylvanno Bussotti, among others.
Meanwhile, Scimone carried on an additional career as one of the most respected 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 prepared a critical edition of Rossini's Maometto II and made first recordings or premiere modern performances of several Rossini operas. He was the author of an acclaimed treatise on performing practice, Segno, Significato, Interpretazione. He recorded for the Erato label, among others, and has more than 250 performances recorded under his baton.