The English Concert

The English Concert is an outstanding orchestra: exceptional, in the world-renowned quality, ambition and variety of its live and recorded output; unique, in the zeal of its players for working and performing together; unwavering, in its desire to connect with its audience throughout the world.

Founded in 1973 by the visionary harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert quickly rose to prominence under his leadership. For over three decades, Pinnock served as the founding director, shaping the orchestra’s distinctive sound and championing the performance of Baroque and Classical music on period instruments. The orchestra’s outstanding recording output under Trevor Pinnock, which includes critically acclaimed interpretations of Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi, garnered international recognition and helped to establish The English Concert as a leading force in the early music revival. This rich musical legacy continues to inspire and inform the orchestra’s work today.

Under the present artistic direction of Harry Bicket and principal guest Kristian Bezuidenhout, The English Concert has earned a reputation for combining urgency, passion and fire with precision, delicacy and beauty.

The artistic partners we collaborate with reflect and enhance our pursuit for new ways to bring our music to life. Joyce DiDonato, Dame Sarah Connolly, Iestyn Davies, Alison Balsom, Trevor Pinnock, Dominic Dromgoole, Tom Morris and many more have not only brought their extraordinary skills to individual projects but continue to help us to shape the way we perform.

‘each instrumentalist played as though personally responsible for the entire show, wringing out every ounce of drama: at one point during Act II, the cellos unleashed such a torrent of fury that they threatened to upstage the cast.’

‘The English Concert were nothing short of brilliant. Sporting perfectly tight ensemble, spacious and ringing tone, a variety of colors, gleaming strings and clean, forceful brass, they are the model of a period chamber orchestra in every sense.’

One cornerstone of the orchestra’s annual cycle is its international Handel Opera tour. Blossoming from an ongoing relationship with Carnegie Hall, the itinerary now regularly takes in the Theater an der Wien, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Elbphilharmonie and Barbican Hall, and the roster of great halls continues to grow. Meanwhile, our regular London series allows us to explore a radically different path, presenting programmes to our home audience that challenge and inspire us.

In 2023, The English Concert launched their ambitious Handel for All project, which aims to film and make freely available all of Handel’s works online.