Andrew Parrott   conductor

Andrew Parrott

Andrew has  directed the Lacock Early Music Workshops in Oxford and Florence.

The English conductor Andrew Parrott studied at Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall, and later at the University of Oxford, where he researched into the performing practices of 16th and 17th century music (BA 1969; postgraduate research 1969-c1976).

Andrew Parrott has been a major fixture of the world’s musical life for the past twenty years, both as a widely respected scholar and as an internationally known conductor. He has worked as a tireless champion of the early music movement in his writings and on the podium, and his efforts have yielded results described as virtually faultless.

Parrott is perhaps best known as music director and conductor of the Taverner Choir, Consort and Players, a group of singers and instrumentalists he formed in response to an invitation to the Bath Festival by Sir Michael Tippett in 1973. Specialising in the music of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, the ensemble has become one of the foremost performing groups of early music active today.

Parrott also maintains an international conducting schedule, both in opera houses and on the symphony stage. In past seasons he has performed in Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the USA. Parrott’s musical range is broader still, however, and recent years have seen him conducting Mozart in Barcelona and Toronto, Don Giovanni around Japan, Beethoven in New York and Stockholm, the Missa solemnis in Switzerland, Stravinsky at the BBC’s London Proms and in Flanders, as well as Bach in Germany, Canada and the USA, renaissance music and Monteverdi in Edinburgh, baroque music in Prague and new music in Bratislava. He has been Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the London Mozart Players and Music Director of the period-instrument New York Collegium.

Although his specialty is vocal music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and more generally early music, Parrott is equally comfortable with music of later eras, and contemporary music has always been an important part of his work. He worked for several years as an assistant to Sir Michael Tippett. He conducted the premiere of Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera (which he has also recorded for NMC with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra) and has made CDs of new music by other British composers (including John Tavener), by Vladimír Godár (with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra) and by Arvo Pärt. He has has also conducted major works by Britten, Henze, Nono, Stravinsky, Tippett, and Varèse.

Parrott is a well-known musicologist who combines scholarship and performance as much as possible. A specialist in the performance practice of early music, he has also published major articles on Monteverdi, Purcell and Bach, and is co-editor of the 700-page New Oxford Book of Carols (1992) and author of The Essential Bach Choir (2000; German translation: Bachs Chor: Zum neuen Verständnis 2003).