Violinist and composer, born in Turin. In Milan he was a choirboy in the cathedral; later he studied music in Turin, and during the early 1730s began playing violin in theater orchestras, first in Rome, then in Naples. At the Teatro S. Carlo, where he was deputy violinist, the composer Jommelli is reported to have slapped him for embellishing excessively the violin lines of his operas. During the 1750s Giardini toured Europe as a violinist, scoring successes in Paris, Berlin, and England. In London he played at the Bach-Abel concerts and at the Three Choirs Festival, and he served as music master for the Duke of Gloucester. After attempting to start an opera troupe in Italy, he went to Russia in 1796, where he fell ill and died. He composed operas (Enea e Lavinia, 1764), parts of an oratorio, Ruth (1763-68); catches and glees; chamber and solo instrumental works; tutorial works for clavier, violin, and cello.