The English Concert

We love music of the baroque and classical periods, and we believe that through our performances on original instruments, with styles of playing and singing appropriate to a composer or period, we can get to the essential core of the music. With our international group of close-knit musicians, many of whom are soloists in their own right, anything is possible.

Just because we have an enviable reputation, established since our foundation in 1973 with Trevor Pinnock, does not mean we rest on our laurels. Indeed, whether led by our Artistic Director Harry Bicket, or guests such as our newly appointed Principal Guest Director and fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, we always strive for excellence.

‘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.’

But it is not just about our award-winning discography, or who we’ve worked with, it is about reaching the audience and making music together. This is why we are always on the look-out for exciting new opportunities and new ways to tell a story, whether we are working with the likes of Tom Morris to stage Handel’s Messiah, bringing its emotional and dramatic essence to the fore, or interacting in a more intimate way in Shakespeare’s Globe or the Wanamaker Playhouse.

Central to our activities is our flourishing commission from Carnegie Hall to present one Handel opera-in-concert each year. Starting with Radamisto in 2013, subsequent performances of Theodora, Alcina, Hercules, Orlando, and most recently Ariodante, have seen the orchestra in major concert halls across Europe and the US, alongside Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels and Sarah Connolly. This season, Iestyn Davies appears in the title role of Rinaldo.

'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.’