The English Concert

Chamber Music and Orchestras

Biography

The English Concert

The English Concert is among the finest chamber orchestras in the world, with an unsurpassed reputation for inspiring performances of Baroque and Classical music in the concert hall and on CD.  Based in London, the orchestra presents an annual season there, in addition to extensive touring. In 2007 Harry Bicket became the orchestra’s Artistic Director, following in the steps of Andrew Manze and their founder, Trevor Pinnock. Recent and future solo collaborators with the orchestra include singers David Daniels, Ian Bostridge, and Alice Coote, and instrumentalists Fabio Biondi, Kristian Bezuidenhout, and Maurice Steger. The ensemble also works with guest director-harpsichordists, including Laurence Cummings, Kenneth Weiss and Mahan Esfahani.  Future plans feature Handel operas-in-concert in the United States and Europe, and operas by Gluck with the Theater and der Wien in Vienna. The English Concert’s many recordings include many prize-winners, most recently As steals the Morn, a CD of Handel arias with tenor Mark Padmore that received a 2008 BBC Music Magazine Award. Recent releases include acclaimed recital discs with Ian Bostridge and Elizabeth Watts, whose recording of Bach Cantatas with Harry Bicket was chosen as ‘CD of the Month’ by Gramophone Magazine. Future releases include recordings with Danielle de Niese and Lucy Crowe.

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Reviews

“[Harry Bicket’s] performances with his period band English Concert here Sunday were beautiful… wonderfully in tune with the fire, fantasy and dancing lightness of the music…”

Chicago Tribune

“Early-music groups can have varied ambitions. Some emphasize the past’s mysterious distance; some make the past prophetically up to date. Some evoke rusticity; some conjure lavish architecture. But in their Sunday performance at Jordan Hall, jointly presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston and the Boston Early Music Festival, the English Concert revealed themselves as a kind of museum of musical industry, displaying expressive manufactures of the Baroque; the more ingenious the wares, the more flair with which they offered them.”

The Boston Globe

More Reviews

“The English Concert performs with the confidence that comes of solid preparation. Although Bicket’s onstage conducting was modest, as fits the demands, his leadership was evident in the group’s cohesive music-making.”

Boston Classical Reveiw 

“Even while playing the harpsichord, Bicket exhibited great control over the ensemble, sometimes fully conducting, sometimes with only one hand, and often only with eye contact and body language. The ensemble played expressively and attentively. The players could be seen cuing each other with their eyes and bodies throughout the concert; the result was an impeccably unified sound on both a rhythmic and dynamic level.”

The Arts Fuse