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THE ACADEMY OF ANCIENT MUSIC & RICHARD EGARR


 

Audio links
This Is... the Academy of Ancient Music
AAM plays Avison after Scarlatti - Concerto Grosso No 3 in D minor - 4. Allegro
AAM plays Handel - Oboe Concerto No 3 in G minor HWV287 - 2. Allegro


The Academy of Ancient Music is an orchestra and choir that perform music from the baroque and classical era, in the way it was first intended. This means taking inspiration from the composers themselves; through careful research and using first edition scores as often as possible.

Our historically-informed approach was ground-breaking when the orchestra was founded in 1973 by scholar-conductor Christopher Hogwood and AAM remains at the forefront of the early music scene today, under the leadership of Music Director Richard Egarr.

Originally established as a recording orchestra, AAM has an incredible catalogue of more than 300 CDs which have won numerous accolades, including Brit, Gramophone, Edison and MIDEM awards. On its in-house label, AAM Records, the orchestra has released five critically acclaimed recordings. The most recent release, a stunning selection of instrumental works by Dario Castello, a Venetian composer from the early baroque period, was launched in October 2016.

Since 2010 AAM has run its AAMplify education scheme, with the aim of nurturing the next generation of young artists and audiences. Working with partners around the country AAM delivers workshops, masterclasses and other special projects for children and people of all ages.

The 2017-18 season began with the second instalment of AAM’s three-year Purcell opera cycle, with a semi-staged performance of King Arthur. Choir of AAM takes centre stage in the Barbican Hall for performances of Bach’s St John Passion and Handel’s Messiah, joined by first class soloists; and Nicola Benedetti performs virtuosic Vivaldi and Telemann concerti on gut strings. Soloists from AAM feature in programmes exploring the musical impact of cross-European migration, and the ‘reversed fortunes’ of Telemann and Bach. Soprano Carolyn Sampson celebrates English song from Dowland to Arne; and a programme of secular and sacred vocal music showcases the pairing of soprano Keri Fuge and countertenor Tim Mead.

The AAM is Associate Ensemble at London’s Barbican Centre and Orchestra in Residence at the University of Cambridge, The Grange Festival and Chiltern Arts.

2017/2018

 

RICHARD EGARR
director & harpsichord

Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music-making - whether conducting, directing from the keyboard, giving recitals, playing chamber-music, and indeed talking about music at every opportunity. Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music since 2006, Egarr was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague from 2019, and was Associate Artist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra 2011-2017. He has conducted major symphonic orchestras such as London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw and Philadelphia Orchestra, has frequently guested with leading baroque ensembles such as Philharmonia Baroque and the Handel and Haydn Society, and regularly gives solo harpsichord recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall and elsewhere.

In 18/19 Egarr conducts Bruckner’s “Nullte” and Beethoven 5 with the Residentie Orkest, Schumann 2 with the Utah Symphony, and Schubert 9 with the Handel and Haydn Society. He makes his debut with the Cincinatti Symphony in Bach and Vivaldi, and returns to the Seattle Symphony and St Paul Chamber for Handel and Purcell, also the Kioi Hall Chamber Orchestra Tokyo for Bach and Vivaldi, the Scottish Chamber for more Handel and the Seoul Philharmonic for Mozart. He plays solo harpsichord recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Tokyo Spring Festival and at the Madrid Auditori. Season highlights with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican Centre include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (staged) and Handel’s rarely-performed Brockes Passion, also his first collaboration with the Grange Festival (staged Nozze di Figaro).

Early in his tenure with AAM Egarr established the Choir of the AAM; operas and particularly Handel’s oratorios lie at the heart of his repertoire. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 2007 conducting a staged version of St Matthew Passion. He has directed Mozart’s La Finta Giardinera, a Monteverdi cycle and Purcell operas with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican, and staged productions of La clemenza di Tito, Le nozze di Figaro and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino at the Netherlands Opera Academy. He has a long-standing teaching position at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and is Visiting Professor at the Juilliard school.
 Egarr’s extensive discography on Harmonia Mundi includes solo keyboard works by JS Bach, Handel, Mozart and Louis Couperin. His long list of recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music includes seven Handel discs (2007 Gramophone Award, 2009 MIDEM and Edison awards), and JS Bach's St John and Matthew Passions on the AAM's own label. His latest recital disc of Byrd and Sweelinck appeared in May 2018 on Linn Records, who have also released his performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore live from the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival.

Egarr trained as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and as organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge. His studies with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt further inspired his work in the field of historical performance.

2018/2019

 

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