Listen to Richard Egarr hosting BBC Radio 3's Saturday Classics
Listen to keyboardist, conductor and early music expert Richard Egarr hosting BBC Radio 3’s Saturday Classics last weekend, Saturday 16 December. He played tracks from his musical heroes, who include David Munrow, Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein... and Cliff Richard!
The episode will be available online until mid-January.
Richard Egarr leads Mary Bevan, Thomas Hobbs & Christopher Purves in Handel Messiah at the Barbican Centre
Richard Egarr returns to the Barbican Centre this month alongside his Academy of Ancient Music for a performance of Handel Messiah on 20 December 2017. Egarr is joined for the concert by Intermusica's Mary Bevan, Thomas Hobbs and Christopher Purves, as well as countertenor Reginald Mobley.
Egarr is one of the UK's foremost baroque performers, and has received great critical acclaim for his performances of Handel over the years. Of a previous Messiah with the AAM, the Guardian wrote:
“The emotional trajectory was securely plotted, with the central depiction of the Passion and resurrection admirably taut, and the great outpouring of joy reserved for the final vision of how “the dead shall be raised incorruptible” on judgment day…. Vocally, much of it was remarkable."
Mary Bevan begins 2018 in Madrid where she sings Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene for Teatro Real. Later in the season she returns to the Barbican, this time with the Royal Opera, to sing the title role in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline.
Thomas Hobbs also performs in Canada this month, singing Bach cantatas with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie. He begins the new year singing Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Danish National Symphony and Marcus Creed and joins Collegium Vocale Gent on tour at the end of January.
Christopher Purves has just made his debut as Trinity Moses in Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for Opernhaus Zurich under Fabio Luisi and this month also sings Berlioz l’Enfance du Christ with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Robin Ticciati.
Richard Egarr conducts Thomas Hobbs & the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Schumann Requiem
Richard Egarr and Thomas Hobbs travel to Scotland this month to perform Schumann Requiem with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on 26 and 27 October 2017. Hobbs is joined by fellow soloists Rowan Pierce and Daniela Lehner. Egarr precedes the Requiem with Brahms Serenade No.2.
Elsewhere this month, Egarr conducts the Academy of Ancient Music in a performance of Purcell King Arthur at the Barbican Centre in London and leads the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme of Purcell The Fairy Queen, Mozart Piano Concerto No.12 and Schumann Symphony No.2.
Hobbs recently sang Haydn Creation with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and also sang the Monteverdi Vespers with the RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin. Further ahead travels to Australia for performances of Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Choir of London and Australian Chamber Orchestra. In December he returns to Canada to sing Bach cantatas with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy, before joining the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican for their annual Messiah.
Richard Egarr leads the Academy of Ancient Music in Purcell’s King Arthur at the Barbican
Richard Egarr and his Academy of Ancient Music return to London's Barbican Centre on 3 October 2017 for the next instalment of their Purcell cycle, a semi-staged presentation of Purcell’s Restoration opera King Arthur.
The cast for the performance includes Louise Alder (soprano), Mhairi Lawson (soprano), Reggie Mobley (countertenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Ivan Ludlow (baritone) and Ashley Riches (bass), with actor Ray Fearon of the Royal Shakespeare Company narrating.
The Academy’s previous performance in the cycle was was critically acclaimed rendition of the Fairy Queen:
"the evening was a delightful succession of phantasmagoric tableaux. The first of three Purcell semi-operas programmed over the next three years at the Barbican, this performance argues strongly for making a point to catch the next one."
Intermusica's summer in reviews
2017 marked another highly successful summer for Intermusica's artists, who gave critically acclaimed performances at festivals all over Europe. Read a small selection of reviews below.
Brett Dean's Hamlet received its world premiere at Glyndebourne in June and was greeted with universal acclaim. The Sunday Times called it "the operatic event of the year", while in a five star review the Times wrote that “Dean’s skill at creating a supercharged orchestral subtext to each scene is matched by his immense theatricality. Quite apart from his unerring pacing of the story, he also creates at least a dozen moments where sheer sonority alone sends shivers up the spine… The overall impression is of a richly imaginative composer at the top of his game.”
Lise Davidsen made a critically acclaimed UK operatic debut in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in June. Described as possessing "one of the greatest voices I have ever head" by the Observer, Davidsen's debut was described as "one of those 'I was there' moments" by the Times.
Joshua Weilerstein made an "auspicious" debut at the Proms on 19 July, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and his sister Alisa Weilerstein in a programme of Rebel, Berlioz and Pascal Dusapin. Classical Source praised his "admirably prepared and presented" Symphonie fantastique.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra returned to the Proms to perform another symphony from memory on 22 July. This time, they performed Beethoven Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’, preceded by Strauss Metamorphosen. The Times called it “gripping stuff… an astonishing feat of concentration. With Nicholas Collon favouring speeds ranging from zippy to hair-raising, there was virtuosity all around the band too…an impassioned account of Strauss’s desolate but gorgeous Metamorphosen.”
The Pavel Haas Quartet made a stellar return to the Verbier Festival on 22 July, with Bachtrack praising the quartet for their "old-fashioned virtues of watchfulness, aural alertness and intense concentration... From the micro-perfection of its opening chord to an ethereally feathered final note, this was an Allegro con brio of unfolding joys."
Michel van der Aa was the Composer in Residence at this year's Lucerne Festival, with his works performed throughout the festival. The Luzerner Zeitung praised his "easy handling of current technological possiblities", while the Neue Zurcher Zeitung wrote that his "music theatre of beguiling opulence... might offer a view of the future of opera".
Mark Wigglesworth was joined by pianist Stephen Hough and the BBC Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall on 29 July to perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1, David Sawyer The Greatest Happiness on Earth and Haydn Symphony No.99. The Sunday Times claimed that Wigglesworth demonstrated "the most authoritative conducting, instantly masterly, I’ve witnessed so far at these Proms, Bernard Haitink’s appearance apart. And Wigglesworth seems close to Haitink’s level... One knew all would be right about this account because Wigglesworth’s intensity was unanswerable.”
Sir John Eliot Gardiner had a busy summer, performing twice at the Proms as well as continuing the Monteverdi Trilogy tour at the Salzburg, Edinburgh and Berlin festivals. His Proms performance of Berlioz La damnation de Faust with the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique was described as "thrilling" by the Observer in a five star review, while the Salzburger Nachrichten praised the Monteverdi Trilogy performances at the Salzburg Festival: "The harmony and the symbiotic relationship of the performers and their conductor has reached a degree of perfection, which shows style, form awareness and playful freedom."
John Wilson gave two performances at the BBC Proms this year, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and his John Wilson Orchestra. This year, Wilson led the JWO in two critically acclaimed performances of Rogers & Hammerstein Oklahoma! on 11 August: "no conductor appreciates the importance of an orchestration’s inner voices like Wilson, or is more adept at caressing a countermelody without letting it get in the way." (Spectator)
Andreas Haefliger returned to the Edinburgh International Festival this year, giving an "inspiringly commanding" solo recital in August: "Haefliger the thinker is also the pianist who held this audience enthralled until they leapt to their feet at the end, cheering." (Herald Scotland)
Also in Edinburgh, Richard Egarr led Iestyn Davies and the Academy of Ancient Music in two performances of Bach and Telemann. The Scotsman praised the performances, which were "delivered with a style and panache that lifted the notes clean off the page with their precisely pointed rhythms."
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score® was presented at the Proms on 23 August in “an excellent evening of innovation” (Bachtrack), with a a multi-media exploration of the symphony directed by Beyond the Score founder Gerard McBurney presented alongside a performance of Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’ from the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder.
Leonidas Kavakos reunited with Riccardo Chailly on 25 August, as Intermusica brought the conductor and his Filarmonica della Scala to the Proms to perform Brahms and Respighi. Kavakos performed the Brahms Violin Concerto, a performance which was praised for the "the way he made the music breathe and sing in lyrical, expansive paragraphs while remaining continuously alert both to subtleties of meaning and absolute directness of expression." (Guardian)
Kirill Gerstein continued his partnership with Semyon Bychkov on 31 August, joining the conductor and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.1:
"[Gerstein] delivered the slow movement with improvisatory freedom and dazzled with crystalline virtuosity in the finale." (Daily Telegraph)
Richard Egarr returns to the Edinburgh International Festival
Richard Egarr returns to the Edinburgh International Festival this month to perform a solo recital of Byrd and Purcell harpsichord works at St Cecilia Hall on 17 August 2017.
Egarr then leads the Academy of Ancient Music and Iestyn Davies in two concerts at the Queen's Hall on 22 and 24 August. Egarr directs a programme of works by Telemann and Bach Cantatas for solo countertenor. The concert on 22 August will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 – click here for more information.
This contrasts with his last visit to the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016, when he followed a solo Bach harpsichord recital with Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, conducting Scottish Opera in the Usher Hall:
"Top marks go to conductor Richard Egarr, however, in repertoire that is far from his home territory, but which he clearly loves. Every bar of the score came over with affection and clarity, and was as light as the wind whipping through the rigging. He worked wonders with the orchestra, who sounded utterly rejuvenated, and the brass and winds were so clean and precise as to sound like Rossini. The chorus, too, were excellent"
Seen and Heard International, August 2015
The concert was recorded live and subsqently released on Linn Records.
Last month’s residency at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart Festival also generated much positive press:
“The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is showing plenty of sparkle under guest conductor Richard Egarr and most of the music-making, even of over-familiar works, has been engaging, momentarily spell-binding… Egarr's direction proved strong on line-shaping and dynamic bite, bringing a light-filled perspective to these treasures”
Andreas Haefliger & Richard Egarr: solo recitals at Edinburgh International Festival
Andreas Haefliger and Richard Egarr return to the Edinburgh International Festival to perform solo recitals on 15 and 17 August 2017.
Haefliger's, on 15 August, will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 from The Queen's Hall. The programme features works by Berg, Liszt and Beethoven and concludes with Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. Haefliger is a celebrated Beethoven interpreter, receiving considerable acclaim for his unique renditions of the Sonatas over the years:
"A grandly rhetorical performance (of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata), which threw caution to the winds…a great artist like Haefliger “contains multitudes,” and will show different aspects of himself at different times…the immense slow movement was beautifully shaped, and this success filled Haefliger’s sails, carrying him in triumph through the huge and hugely difficult final fugue…"
On 17 August, Egarr performs a recital of solo works for harpsichord by Byrd and Purcell at St Cecilia Hall. This is his first performance at the 2017 festival: the following week, he directs a programme of Telemann and Bach Cantatas for solo countertenor with the Academy of Ancient Music and Iestyn Davies.
A regular at the EIF, Egarr has performed and conducted contrasting repertoire at the festival. Last year, he followed a solo Bach harpsichord recital with an acclaimed performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore with Scottish Opera:
"Every bar of the score came over with affection and clarity, and was as light as the wind whipping through the rigging. He worked wonders with the orchestra, who sounded utterly rejuvenated"
Seen and Heard International
Richard Egarr conducts Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Mozart Festival
Richard Egarr travels to Australia this month to conduct the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in a series of three concerts for the Mozart Festival from 14 July 2017. Each concert focuses on a successive compositional period of Mozart’s life, beginning with a concert of early works including Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
The second concert on 15 July centres on Mozart’s works composed between the ages of 25 to 32, including Chaconne from Idomeneo, Piano Concerto No.23 with pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, Masonic Funeral Music and Symphony No.40. Finally on 21 July, three of Mozart’s late compositions are performed: the overture to La Clemenza di Tito, the Clarinet Concerto in A major, and Requiem in D minor.
The concerts mark Egarr’s first return to Australia following his celebrated concert and recital tour of 2015:
"Egarr's fortepiano playing was a model of well-defined clarity, fluid melodic style and musical spontaneity."
Sydney Morning Herald
"Egarr's virtuosity coupled with the joy of sharing wonderful music and engaging directly with the audience was a continuous delight... the quality of the music, the excellence of the playing and Egarr's charm made this a thoroughly enjoyable concert."
Nicholas Collon & Richard Egarr: new titles at Residentie Orkest
Nicholas Collon steps up from Principal Conductor to be Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of Residentie Orkest The Hague, effective September 2018 and rising to eight weeks a season.
Richard Egarr returns as Principal Guest Conductor, increasing his presence to three weeks a season from 2019/20.
The orchestra’s last three Chief Conductors were Yevgeny Svetlanov, Jaap van Zweden and Neeme Järvi. Based in the political heart of the Netherlands and with strong links to the international community, the Residentie Orkest has latterly reinvented itself as a flexible and innovative orchestra of the 21st Century.
Collon - Founder of the Aurora Orchestra and newly appointed Principal Guest of the Guerzenich Orchester in Cologne - and Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music Richard Egarr together make an exciting team for the Residentie Orkest ahead of the opening of the orchestra's new concert hall in 2020.
Click here to listen to Collon conducting the Residentie Orkest in Stravinsky's Firebird (broadcast live on Omroep Max on 23 April 2017 at Concertzaal, Tilburg)
"Collon’s Firebird with the Residentie Orkest was amazing – performed with exciting clarity, as well as refinement and intimacy"
Trouw, April 2017
Richard Egarr returns to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra
Richard Egarr returns to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra this month for two concerts in Antwerp on 12 and 13 May 2017. Egarr conducts the orchestra in a programme of Beethoven Corolian Overture, Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 'Italian', Bach Contrapunctus and Schumann Symphony No.2 in C major. The first concert takes place in the De Roma, and the second in the Koningin Elizabethzaal.
Egarr’s performance of Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 with the Handel and Haydn Society late last year garnered great critical praise, leading the Boston Globe to state “his Mendelssohn was transparent but not hard-edged or driven; the sculpted dynamics and alert phrasing turned the music into an engaging conversation… the sweeping lines were irresistible.”
Richard Egarr directs the Academy of Ancient Music in Cambridge & London
Egarr joins the Academy of Ancient Music for two concerts this month, performing at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge and London's Milton Court on 4 and 5 May 2017.
Egarr leads the ensemble in a programme of Beethoven Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus, Haydn Symphony No.101 'The Clock' in D major, and directs from the fortepiano in Mozart Piano Concerto No.24 in C minor and Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
The 2016-17 season marks Richard Egarr’s 10th anniversary as Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music. Over the decade Egarr and the ensemble have toured all around the world and built up an extensive discography, including Bach St John and Matthew Passions on the Academy’s own label.
Richard Egarr makes St Paul Chamber Orchestra debut
Richard Egarr travels to Minnesota to direct the St Paul Chamber Orchestra for the first time on 2 March 2017, with further concerts following on 3 and 4 March. He leads them in a programme of works by Purcell, Lawes, Bach, Mozart and Haydn.
Egarr then continues his US trip with a second debut of the month, this time with the Utah Symphony. Directing from the keyboard, Egarr conducts JS Bach suites and Brandenburg concerti at Salt Lake City's Abravanel Hall on 24 and 25 March.
This is Egarr's second US period of the season, following his regular returns to the Seattle Symphony and the Handel & Haydn Society and a critically-acclaimed solo recital tour, which visited venues including Carnegie Hall and the Library of Congress:
"Showing a cleanliness, refinement and style all too rare among harpsichordists, but never at the cost of bountiful fantasy"
New York Times
Richard Egarr makes his CBSO debut conducting Handel Semele with Tim Mead
Richard Egarr makes his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra this month when he conducts the orchestra in a performance of Handel Semele on 25 January 2017. Egarr is a noted performer of Handel's music, with award-winning Harmonia Mundi recordings of the solo keyboard suites and the organ sonatas to his name (with the Academy of Ancient Music), as well as many critically-acclaimed performances of the Messiah and other oratorios.
Egarr is joined for the concert by fellow Intermusica artist Tim Mead, who sings the role of Athamas. He has regularly performed Handel to critical acclaim, including two Messiahs in December 2015 with both the Gabrieli Consort and Players and the New York Philharmonic:
The alluring countertenor Tim Mead was consistently excellent, especially his somber account of the aching aria 'He Was Despised.'"
New York Times, December 2015
In addition to the CBSO, the concert features the CBSO Chorus, who will be prepared for the performance by Simon Halsey.
Richard Egarr embarks on major solo recital tour of Europe & North America
Richard Egarr begins the year with a major solo harpsichord recital tour from 9 January 2017, visiting major venues in the UK, Europe and North America including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Palais des Beaux Arts.
Egarr offers a programme of 17th century English composers featuring works by Byrd, Blow, J.P Sweelinck and Morley, culminating with two of Henry Purcell’s virtuosic harpsichord suites. Speaking about Purcell's suites, Egarr commented:
"These works are great, of huge scope and of real importance in the history of English keyboard music. I have loved them dearly for a long time. I hope that they will warm you, and maybe eventually even kindle a mortal fever in your heart."
Full tour dates can be seen below:
9 January: Wigmore Hall, London
11 January: Salle Bourgie, Musée des Beaux Arts, Montreal
12 January: Carnegie Hall, New York
13 January: Library of Congress, Washington DC
14 January: Synod Hall, Pittsburgh
2 February: Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
Full tour dates are Wigmore Hall - London (9th Jan), Salle Bourgie - Montreal (11th Jan), Carnegie Hall - New York (12th Jan), Library of Congress – Washington (13th Jan), and Synod Hall – Pittsburgh (14th Jan), and Palais des Beaux-Art – Brussels (2nd Feb)
Richard Egarr conducts the Academy of Ancient Music in London, Germany & the Netherlands
Richard Egarr conducts a series of concerts across Europe with the Academy of Ancient Music this month, beginning with a concert at London's Milton Court on 7 December 2016. They perform a selection of Monteverdi motets and Venetian instrumental pieces by Dario Castello with soloists Rowan Pierce & Carolyn Sampson.
Egarr is well versed in the works of Castello, having recorded several of the composer’s works with the AAM earlier this year – released last month to critical acclaim:
"Richard Egarr and instrumentalists from the Academy of Ancient Music show [Castello] to be a flagrant pusher of baroque boundaries, his music frenetic and uncompromising but sumptuous… Egarr is on harpsichord and chamber organ and his sense of drama is never shy."
Guardian, October 2016
Following the concert in London, Egarr and the AAM travel to Germany and the Netherlands for performances of Handel Messiah at St Martinkirche in Braunschweig (16 December), De Oosterpoort en Stadsschouwburg Groningen (17 December) and the Muziekgebouw, Eindhoven (18 December).
Richard Egarr conducts Handel Organ Concerti with the Seattle Symphony
Richard Egarr returns to the United States in October 2016 for a series of performances on both the West and East coasts. On 21 and 22 October Egarr returns to the Seattle Symphony to lead the orchestra in a programme including Handel Organ Concerti and Purcell Fairy Queen Suite at Benaroya Hall. Egarr then travels to Boston to conduct Mendelssohn Symphony No.4 'Italian' and Beethoven Symphony No.3 'Eroica' with the Handel and Haydn Society at Symphony Hall.
Egarr’s last visit to the Handel and Haydn Society was in October 2015 with a programme of works by Baroque masters. Critics praised not only the performance but also Egarr’s personable presentation of his expert musical knowledge.
“‘Baroque Masters’ could have been a historical and academic exercise. It was not. Egarr offered witty commentary…and the performances were as masterful as the compositions"
Richard Egarr & Acadamy of Ancient Music begin Purcell opera cycle at the Barbican Centre
Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music open their season on 10 October 2016 with a semi-staged performance of The Fairy Queen at the Barbican. Along with Egarr on harpsichord and the Choir of the Academy, the cast includes Rowan Pierce (soprano), Mhairi Lawson (soprano), Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Gwilym Bowen (tenor) and Ashley Riches (bass).
The Fairy Queen also marks the beginning of a three-year Purcell Opera Cycle for the AAM at the Barbican. It follows the orchestra’s highly acclaimed cycle of Monteverdi works that came to a close last season, with the final performance (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria) receiving critical acclaim:
"Il ritorno d'Ulisse does not readily yield its secrets... but as this imaginatively semi-staged performance by the Academy of Ancient Music under Richard Egarr revealed, it's all about the way those recitatives are delivered... Egarr paced the performance flawlessly."
Evening Standard, September 2015
"Directing from the harpsichord, Richard Egarr kept the pace measured but always energised, encouraging a wonderfully free-form reading of the score (such as it is), which always placed expressive impact and emotional authenticity over absolute fidelity"
Arts Desk, September 2015
Richard Egarr & Academy of Ancient Music return to the BBC Proms
Richard Egarr opens his 2016/17 season with a return to the BBC Proms, conducting the Academy of Ancient Music on 8 September 2016 at the Royal Albert Hall. Egarr leads the baroque ensemble in a programme including Handel Coronation Anthems and Stokowski’s arrangements of Bach Orchestral Suite No.3 and Purcell Dido’s Lament.
Egarr is widely recognised for his outstanding Handel interpretations, and is a self-proclaimed Stokowski enthusiast:
“I’m a great Stokowski fan. I remember 25 years ago, I was listening to the radio in the car. The London Symphony Orchestra was playing Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave as an encore from Stokowski’s 90th birthday concert. I had to stop, I was absolutely blown away.”
Read more about the concert, which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, here.
Richard Egarr’s HMS Pinafore is BBC Music Magazine’s August Opera Choice
Richard Egarr's recording of Gilbert & Sullivan HMS Pinafore, released by Linn Records, has been selected by BBC Music Magazine as their August Opera Choice recording. Recorded live at a sold-out performance with Scottish Opera at the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival, the cast included tenor John Mark Ainsley, soprano Elizabeth Watts and comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor as the narrator.
The recording has already garnered great critical praise since its Spring 2016 release:
“Here the Baroque specialist Richard Egarr wields the baton, providing himself a natural for this repertoire: the whole thing bounces and sparkles and smiles, with Scottish Opera's orchestra playing with the insouciant grace that is such a crucial element of operetta style.”
Telegraph, June 2016
The original festival performance was also well received:
“Top marks go to conductor Richard Egarr, however, in repertoire that is far from his home territory, but which he clearly loves. Every bar of the score came over with affection and clarity, and was as light as the wind whipping through the rigging. He worked wonders with the orchestra, who sounded utterly rejuvenated, and the brass and winds were so clean and precise as to sound like Rossini.”
Seen and Heard International, August 2015
On tour in Asia with the Academy of Ancient Music
Following the success of their Nature's Voice & Verse Asia tour in 2013, the Academy of Ancient Music and Music Director Richard Egarr returned to the region in May 2016 to mark the 275th anniversary of Vivaldi's death in 1741.
Egarr and the AAM were joined for the tour by mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux to present a fresh take on Vivaldi's works, performing a programme of familiar works and rarely-performed pieces at the NCPA, Beijing, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and also at Prince Mahidol Hall in Bangkok, in the process becoming the first British baroque ensemble to perform in the Thai capital.
Richard Egarr and Academy of Ancient Music return to Milton Court for Handel’s Acis and Galatea
Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music return to Milton Court on 21 May 2016 for a concert performance of Handel Acis and Galatea. Egarr directs the original Cannons version of the opera, with Andrew Tortise and Rowan Pierce singing the title roles.
Egarr is well known for his interpretations of Handel, with his recordings receiving great acclaim:
“Where Handel boldly leads, Egarr heroically follows. But he never nurtures virtuosity for its own sake. Indeed many of his tempos sound initially almost cautious, but that’s to facilitate Egarr’s ace: his ability to embellish with unstoppable panache… Egarr is the versatile man for all Handelian moods. Daring and full of insight, this invigorating release goes straight to the top of the class.”
BBC Music Magazine, February 2014
Intermusica brings Academy of Ancient Music to Thailand for Bangkok debut
Intermusica brings the world renowned Academy of Ancient Music to Bangkok, Beijing and Shanghai to commemorate the 275th anniversary of Vivaldi’s death between 3 and 7 May 2016.
Directed by Intermusica's Richard Egarr, the orchestra makes its debut in Bangkok with a concert at the new Prince Mahidol Concert Hall on 3 May, the first performance by a British orchestra at the venue. The orchestra then travels to China to perform at the NCPA, Beijing (5 May) and Heluting Concert Hall in Shanghai (7 May).
During the tour the AAM performs a programme of works showcasing Vivaldi at his finest. Joining the orchestra is critically acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, who performs some of Vivaldi’s vocal works including “Sin nel placido soggiorno" and “Agitata da due venti”.
Intermusica leads eight major Asia tours in 2016
Intermusica will take eight world-class ensembles to Asia in 2016 in a year of ground-breaking firsts. Watch our video below to find out more.
Academy of Ancient Music
- Conducted by Richard Egarr
- First British orchestra to play in Prince Mahidol Hall, Bangkok
- Marking 275th anniversary of Vivaldi’s death
Budapest Festival Orchestra
- Conducted by Iván Fischer with soloist Ning Feng
- BFO’s debut in Xi’an, the ancient capital of China
- Chinese premiere of Dutilleux’s L’arbre des songes
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
- Choir’s debut in Nanjing and Tianjin and fourth Intermusica tour to China
- Opening Beijing NCPA’s International Chorus Festival
Colin Currie Group
- Group's Macau debut
- Celebrating Steve Reich’s 80th birthday year
- Debut of Steve Reich's music at Macu International Music Festival
- Conducted by Sir Mark Elder
- Hallé's debut in Wuhan and Shanghai
- First British orchestra to collaborate with Chinese choruses in the Chinese premiere of William Walton’s Henry V
- Conducted by Andrew Manze
- UNESCO World Cities of Music collaboration with Tongyeong
- Sir Andras Schiff’s debut concerto tour of China
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
- Conducted by Osmo Vänskä with soloist Renaud Capuçon
- OSR's debut in India
The English Concert
- With soloists Tim Mead and Mary Bevan
- ‘Shakespeare in Love’: a concept designed by Intermusica in collaboration with The English Concert to celebrate Shakespeare 400
- The English Concert’s debut in Wuhan, Shanghai and Beijing
Richard Egarr returns to Galicia to conduct Haydn’s Creation
Egarr returns to A Coruña for two performances with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia on 4 and 5 March 2016 at Palacio de la Ópera. Egarr leads the orchestra in Haydn Creation, which he most recently conducted with LSO at the Barbican:
“Egarr's characteristically vigorous direction brought the spheres into harmony… there was plenty of thump and oomph in the large moments, but it was consistently matched with delicate vocal and instrumental shading and detail.”
Guardian, January 2014
Egarr previously collaborated with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia at the Festival Mozart Coruña 2013, where he conducted Mozart Requiem and Haydn Symphony No. 101 in a performance which was described as “Music of the highest quality” (Diario de a Rousa). Click here to watch a clip from the concert.
Richard Egarr directs Bach Christmas Oratorio with Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican
Richard Egarr returns to London this month following concerts in the US with the Handel & Haydn Society and San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque, directing a performance of Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican Centre on 22 December 2015. Egarr and the AAM are joined by the Choir of the Academy of Ancient Music and soloists including Susan Gritton and James Gilchrist.
Highlights of Egarr’s 2016 AAM season include a tour of Asia with Vivica Genaux, with concerts in Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing, and a semi-staged performance of Handel’s Acis and Galatea at Milton Court.
Richard Egarr and Academy of Ancient Music conclude Monteverdi opera cycle at the Barbican Centre
Richard Egarr returns to the London on 29 September 2015 to conduct a semi-staged concert performance of Monteverdi Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria at the Barbican Centre. Egarr conducts the period orchestra and a cast including Ian Bostridge in a performance that completes the orchestra's three-year cycle of Monteverdi's opera at the venue.
Egarr’s rendition of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with the AAM received widespread critical acclaim:
“Hearing the Academy of Ancient Music under its musical director Richard Egarr and the emotional intensity and narrative clarity with which the singers delivered this favola in musica, the sheer innovative genius of Monteverdi was revealed in all its glory.”
This follows on from a busy August for Egarr, who was recently awarded a Herald Angel award for his recitals in this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, where he also conducted a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan HMS Pinafore.
Richard Egarr returns to Edinburgh International Festival for solo harpsichord recital
Following his appearance at the Esterházi Festival with the Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr returns to the Edinburgh International Festival this August for three concerts, beginning with his solo harpsichord recital on 18 August 2015. The recital, which takes place in the Queen’s Hall at 11am, focuses on J.S. Bach’s French and English Suites. Egarr has performed the pieces previously to great acclaim, with BBC Music Magazine calling his Harmonia Mundi recording of Bach’s English Suites “the best harpsichord recital of these Suites on disc”. The recital at Queen’s Hall is the latest in a series of solo performances for Egarr this year, which included a critically acclaimed recital at Carnegie Hall.
Egarr then joins Iestyn Davies and the Ensemble Guadagni on 19 August at 11am in the Queen’s Hall, where they perform songs from Purcell’s Orpheus Britannicus, before finishing his week in Edinburgh with a concert performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera HMS Pinafore on 23 August at 5pm. Egarr is joined by a cast that includes John Mark Ainsley, Hilary Summers and Andrew Foster Williams.
All concerts will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
Egarr's performances at this year's Edinburgh Festival have received praise from the critics:
Bach French and English Suites:
"High octane, muscular, a rush of blood to the head... stark, raw and searching... I was gripped by the energy of it all, by the urgency of the ornamentation, by the aching crunches in the Allemandes. Most of all I loved the sudden segues into some very quiet, very beautiful places in the Sarabandes."
“The French Suite No 5 takes us from stirring emotional depth to pure joy. It also ends with one of the most fiendishly tricky movements in all the Suites, with both of Egarr’s quick-fire hands earning their supper several times over."
Gilbert and Sullivan HMS Pinafore:
"Top marks go to conductor Richard Egarr, however, in repertoire that is far from his home territory, but which he clearly loves. Every bar of the score came over with affection and clarity, and was as light as the wind whipping through the rigging. He worked wonders with the orchestra, who sounded utterly rejuvenated, and the brass and winds were so clean and precise as to sound like Rossini."
Seen and Heard International
"Richard Egarr’s crisp approach to Sullivan’s score was rewarded by some fine playing and singing by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and the chorus"
Richard Egarr in Australia: Critical acclaim for ACO tour
Richard Egarr's tour with the Australian Chamber Music has been met with great critical acclaim from the Australian press. Egarr directed the orchestra from the harpsichord in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Wollongong, Brisbane and Sydney, and he also gave four recitals at City Recital Hall, Sydney.
Egarr was interviewed by the Brisbane Times about some of the works performed during the tour and the different instruments used:
"You have to adapt but you don't play the music any differently; you just have to do different things on different tools. I enjoy playing older instruments because they can teach you a lot about what's in the music."
Click here to read the full interview.
"In Haydn's Keyboard Concerto in D major, Egarr's fortepiano playing was a model of well-defined clarity, fluid melodic style and musical spontaneity, the last mentioned including improvised cadenzas and dreamy transitional passages between movements.
Egarr's musical conception over the long span is so secure and centred, that it manages to include small delays of tempo and gradations of tone, interpolated decorations and other displays of wit into a broader structure so that the overall shape is enriched rather than distorted."
Sydney Morning Herald
"Egarr's virtuosity coupled with the joy of sharing wonderful music and engaging directly with the audience was a continuous delight... the quality of the music, the excellence of the playing and Egarr's charm made this a thoroughly enjoyable concert."
"Egarr was in his element as exuberant soloist in Haydn's Concerto for Keyboard in D major... he kept the ensemble quite literally on its toes in anticipation of his tempo changes, his radically accentuated dynamics and his improvised cadenzas.
Spontaneity and absolute responsiveness continued in the ACO's playing of Haydn's Symphony No.44 in E minor. Beethoven would have been proud of the spectacular dynamic contrasts in the interpretation of his teacher's work and would have appreciated the beautiful responsiveness of the horns and oboes in assisting with comparison of soft and loud passages."
"The Australian Chamber Orchestra rose with ease to the high energy set by Egarr at the helm... After the interval, Haydn's Concerto for Keyboard in D major offered the opportunity for the audience to experience the virtuosity of Richard Egarr at the period-style keyboard.
The three-movement gypsy-inspired work allowed for some cheeky improvisation, the second movement being particularly noteworthy in the way Egarr moved in and out of the orchestral texture. Haydn's renowned Symphony No.44 concluded the charmingly varied program."
Sydney Morning Herald
"Nothing short of spectacular... as colourful, dramatic and downright jazzy as you could have wished... a sparkling, rhetorically alert account... Orchestral playing of the highest order, crackling with fierce energy and sheer fun."
Yahoo News Australia
"His charismatic playing and interpretation of the various compositional styles joins with the ACO's expertise in delivering exciting early music moments... The audience is engaged from the outset by Egarr's interesting style of commentary and direct questioning. Music is put in colourful historical perspective and made relevant for our modern concert interest.
Richard Egarr's command of the fortepiano and his playing of Haydn's multi-faceted Concerto for Keyboard in D major, Hob XVIII:11 is a pleasure to watch."
Sydney Arts Guide
Richard Egarr returns to Australian Chamber Orchestra for three-week tour
Richard Egarr travels to Australia this month, where he returns to the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a three-week tour that begins on 13 June 2015. The tour culminates in a performance at Sydney Opera House on 28 June following visits to Llewellyn Hall, Canberra (13 June), Hamer Hall, Melbourne (14 & 15 June), Adelaide Town Hall (16 June), Perth Concert Hall (17 June), Wollongong Town Hall (20 June) and Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane (22 June). Egarr also gives four performances at City Recital Hall, Sydney on 23, 24, 26 and 27 June.
His 2011 visit to the orchestra resulted in a fine partnership with the ACO, and their concerts together received rave reviews. The ACO perform a programme that features Lawes, Purcell, Haydn and JS Bach, with Egarr directing from the harpsichord.
The week before his tour with the ACO Egarr makes his first visit to the Tasmanian Chamber Orchestra, with whom he performs Haydn The Clock and D major keyboard concerto and Purcell's Fairy Queen Suite.
Richard Egarr returns to Carnegie Hall to conduct Dido and Aeneas
Richard Egarr returns to Carnegie Hall on 12 April for the third time this season, this time to conduct Les Violons du Roy in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas starring Dorothea Roeschmann, Helene Guilmette and Henk Neven in his North American debut. They also perform the programme in Quebec on 9 April and Montreal on 10 April.
This follows his performance of Bach St Matthew Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican on 3 April, with a star-studded line-up of singers including James Gilchrist, Matthew Rose, Elizabeth Watts and Sarah Connolly, all of who also perform with Egarr on the AAM's new recording of the work, released last month.
On 15 to 18 April Egarr conducts Beethoven Symphony No.8 in four concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (including Queen's Hall Edinburgh and Glasgow City Halls).
A major event for Egarr in May is several performances of Handel's Semele with the Residentie Orkest at The Hague and at Rotterdam's De Doelen as part of the Operadagen. It will be semi-staged by Dutch director Sjaron Minailo, starring Claron McFadden and Roberta Alexander.
Richard Egarr returns to Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall for solo harpsichord recital
Richard Egarr returns to Carnegie Hall on 9 February for his second of three visits this season, this time to play a solo harpsichord recital of Handel (Suite in D minor) and J.S. Bach (Partitas 1, 6 and French Suite No.5) in Weill Hall. His release last year of the complete Handel Keyboard Suites on Harmonia Mundi was widely praised:
“With this recording Egarr has reinforced his position as a Grand Master of the Baroque keyboard.”
Fono Forum, five stars, May 2014
"Egarr is the versatile man for all Handelian moods. Daring and full of insight, this invigorating release goes straight to the top of the class.”
BBC Music Magazine, February 2014
Then on 13, 14 and 15 February he returns to his regular collaborators, the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, for concerts in Jordan Hall, conducting Beethoven Symphony No.1 and Mozart Mass in C minor 'Orphanage Mass’. This is one of several recent Beethoven concerts for Egarr: two weeks earlier he conducted the Residentie Orkest in Beethoven Symphony Nos 2 and 8 on 30, 31 January and 1 February, as part of his Beethoven cycle with the orchestra. Finally, on 20 and 21 February he takes JS Bach’s Orchestral Suites to the Seattle Symphony.
Richard Egarr continues his Beethoven cycle with Residentie Orkest
Richard Egarr continues his Beethoven symphony cycle with the Residentie Orkest, where he is Principal Guest Conductor, at the end of January. He will conduct Symphony No.2 and No.8 on 30, 31 January and 1 February at The Hague.
This follows his solo harpsichord recital in Gent De Bijloke on 17th January.
Richard Egarr makes his debut with Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Richard Egarr conducts a classical programme with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, for his debut with the orchestra, in concerts on 5 and 6 December at De Singel, Antwerp. The programme features symphonies by Mozart (‘Jupiter’) and Schubert (No.2), together with Haydn’s D major keyboard concerto.
On 19 December he returns to Belgium, this time with the Academy of Ancient Music at De Bijloke in Gent directing Handel’s Messiah. This is one of four European Messiah concerts for Egarr and the AAM, which begin at the Barbican Hall, London, on 10 December, followed by Auditorio Nacional in Madrid on 16 and 17 December. In Madrid they will collaborate with the amateur chorus of La Caixa foundation as they have done in the past with great success.
In 2015, Egarr returns to De Biljloke on 17 Janaury for a solo harpsichord recital of Bach Partitas and a Handel suite, which he repeats at Carnegie Hall on 9 February.
Richard Egarr: Carnegie Hall and US tour with Academy of Ancient Music
Richard Egarr's "highly recommended" (Observer) recording of the Bach Orchestral Suites with the Academy of Ancient Music is released on the AAM's own label on 4 November. Following the release of the album, Egarr and the AAM will tour the Orchestral Suites across North America, including concerts at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (5 November), Carnegie Hall, New York (7 November) and Disney Hall, Los Angeles (12 November) in an itinerary of eight concerts in major venues.
This will be the first of three appearances for Egarr at Carnegie Hall in different guises; in February he returns for a solo harpsichord recital, and in April he will conduct Dido and Aeneas with Dorothea Roeschmann and Les Violons du Roy.
Click here to listen to Egarr and the AAM performing Bourée I & II.
Intermusica artists win Gramophone Awards 2014
The Pavel Haas Quartet, Richard Egarr and Thomas Hobbs are winners at the 2014 Gramophone Awards in the Chamber, Recital and Choral categories. All this year’s awards will be presented at the Gramophone Awards ceremony in London on 17 September.
The Pavel Haas Quartet have won the Chamber category for their Schubert recording, released on Supraphon in September 2013. The recording received immediate acclaim upon its release, described as “vivid and compelling” by The Strad and "the perfect fusion of virtuosity and profundity" by the Times, while Gramophone praised the quartet’s “fearless risk-taking, their fervency and... absolute confidence."
Richard Egarr is honoured in the Recital category for his Wigmore Hall Live recording with counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, Arise, My Muse. Recorded in February 2013, the album was released on the Wigmore Hall Live label, and features music from seventeenth-century London by composers Henry Purcell, Giovanni Gabrieli, Jeremiah Clarke, John Blow and William Croft.
In the choral category, Thomas Hobbs is one of the soloists on the winning Mozart Requiem recording with the Dunedin Consort, John Butt, and fellow soloists Joanne Lunn (soprano) Rowan Hellier (mezzo-soprano) and Matthew Brook (bass). The recording, released on Linn Records, was described by Gramophone as "one of the finest Mozart Requiems of recent years”.
Intermusica tours the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr to China and Australia
Intermusica is delighted to be touring the Academy of Ancient Music on a two-part tour to Shanghai Concert Hall and Perth International Arts Festival in February. Conducted and play-directed by Music Director Richard Egarr, the tour marks the orchestra’s debut in Shanghai. On February 17, they perform JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos (the first ever time all the concertos will be performed in a single concert in China).
In Australia (February 20 and 22), the orchestra performs the Brandenburg concerti, Haydn The Creation and a chamber music concert at Albany Entertainment Center that includes trios and concerti by Handel and Purcell.