Paul McCreesh is the founder and Artistic Director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players which he established in 1982 and with whom he has toured world-wide and made many award-winning recordings. McCreesh is well-known for the energy and passion that he brings to his music-making, and is especially enthusiastic about working with young musicians and broadening access to classical music; he works regularly with youth orchestras and choirs and is active in building new educational initiatives whenever possible.
McCreesh has guest conducted many of the major orchestras and choirs across the globe, including most recently the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Verbier Festival orchestras, and Berlin Konzerthausorchester, whom he returns to this season to conduct Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts. McCreesh also enjoys regular and ongoing collaborations with Saint Paul and Basel Chamber Orchestras, conducting choral projects with both orchestras in 2016/17, the latter at Menuhin Festival Gstaad.
From 2013-2016 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon) with whom he conducted a wide range of music from the classical period through to the nineteenth and twentieth century, focusing in particular on symphonic repertoire, oratorio and opera in concert, working closely with the world-renowned Gulbenkian Choir. In 2016/17, McCreesh returns to the orchestra twice to conduct Elgar The Dream of Gerontius and a programme of Satie, Saint-Saëns and Beethoven featuring Gautier Capuçon.
McCreesh has established a strong reputation in the opera house and has conducted productions at the Teatro Real Madrid, Royal Danish Opera, Opera Comique, Vlaamse Opera and at the Verbier Festival. In 2015/16 he conducted Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bergen Opera, and returned to Vlaamse Opera for a production of Idomeneo.
In 2011 McCreesh launched his own record label, Winged Lion, in collaboration with the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Signum Classics and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival, where he was Artistic Director between 2006 and 2012. To date they have made seven recordings, most recently Handel L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, released in 2015. Other highlights include Britten War Requiem (BBC Music Magazine Award 2014), Mendelssohn Elijah (Diapason d’Or Award 2013), Berlioz’s gargantuan Grande Messe des Morts (BBC Award 2012), and a reworking of his earlier Gabrieli disc, A New Venetian Coronation 1595 (Gramophone Award 2013). The Winged Lion recordings build on his large catalogue of recordings with Deutsche Grammophon, which includes the Gramophone Award-winning Haydn Creation.
Bergen Opera / Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Flanders Opera / Mozart Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart Idomeneo
Opera Comique / Hérold Le Pré aux Clercs
Teatro Real, Madrid / Handel Tamerlano, with Placido Domingo
Royal Danish Opera / Mozart The Magic Flute
Welsh National Opera / Gluck Orphée et Eurydice
Komische Oper Berlin / Handel Alcina
Choral repertoire highlights
Britten War Requiem
Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts
Berlioz L’enfance du Christ
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
Haydn The Seasons
Haydn The Creation
Mozart Mass in C minor
Guest conducting highlights
Mozart Symphony No.29 in A major, K.201/186a
Britten Les Illuminations, Op.18
Mozart Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550 ‘Great’
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Wagner Siegfried Idyll, WWV.103
Britten Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10
Mozart Symphony No.39 in E-flat major, K.543
Verbier Festival Orchestra
Handel Concerto grosso in B-flat major, Op.3, No.2
R. Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor, Op.129
Brahms Serenade No.1 in D major, Op.11
Mozart Piano Concerto No.24 in C minor, K.491
Dvorák Symphony No.7 in D minor, Op.70, B.141
[T]his was one of the most vivid performances of Mendelssohn, or indeed of any piece from the choral repertoire, that had been heard in Leipzig in recent times… McCreesh balanced out the seething drama by lending his orchestra a classical spring to its step, and allowing it to breathe.
McCreesh conducted it quite wonderfully, with an almost innate sense of its ebb and flow, summoning impeccable, incisive playing and some glorious choral singing from his Gabrieli Consort and Players.
McCreesh was a joy to watch, coaxing a dancing quality from the music at every opportunity, floating in place on the first movement and turning the minuet into a foot-stomping mazurka… this Mozart performance bore the earmarks of the kind of fresh, enthusiastic perspective that evangelists for the early often bring to their interpretations.