Harry Christophers   conductor

Harry Christophers

Harry Christophers directed the first ever Lacock Summer School in 1986, then held in a run-down farm in Gloucestershire. The centrepiece of the programme was Striggio’s 40-part motet Ecce beatam lucem, newly published by Mapa Mundi.

Harry Christophers is known internationally as founder and conductor of The Sixteen as well as a regular guest conductor for many of the major symphony orchestras and opera companies worldwide. He has made a significant contribution to the recording catalogue (already comprising some 90 titles) for which he has won numerous awards including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel’s Messiah, numerous Schallplattenkritik, the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music and most recently, the Classical Brit Award 2005 for his disc entitled Renaissance . His CD IKON has recently been nominated for a Grammy. In 2000 he instituted the ‘Choral Pilgrimage’, a national tour of English cathedrals from York to Canterbury in music from the pre-Reformation, as The Sixteen’s contribution to the millennium celebrations. It raised awareness of this historic repertoire so successfully that the Choral Pilgrimage in the UK is now central to the annual artistic programme. The seventh Choral Pilgrimage in 2007 concentrated on music from the Sistine Chapel, and in 2008 the Pilgrimage featured music of Tudor England.

As a guest conductor, Harry Christophers enjoys a special partnership with the BBC Philharmonic including a disc of works by Ives, Stravinsky, Poulenc and Tippett, which won a Diapason d’Or.  He is also a regular guest conductor with the Deutsches Kammerphilharmonie, City of London Sinfonia, Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, the Granada Symphony Orchestra and the Orquestra de la Comunidad de Madrid, who have all benefited from his dynamic brand of programming.  He recently made his debut with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Hallé, the London Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony, to which he returned in 2008.

 Increasingly busy in opera, he began a Monteverdi cycle in 1998, in new productions for Lisbon Opera House, with Il Ritorno d’Ulisse , following his success there with Gluck’s Orfeo. In 2000, he conducted Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for the Lisbon Opera as well as Purcel’s King Arthur and Rameau’s Platée, and made an acclaimed debut with English National Opera, conducting Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.   He has since conducted productions of Gluck’s Orfeo and Handel’s Ariodante at ENO as well as the UK premiere of Messager’s opera Fortunio for Grange Park Opera. After the outstanding success of Handel’s Semele and Hercules at Buxton Opera in past seasons, he returned in 2005 to conduct a new production of Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba .  In 2006, Mozart's anniversary year, he conducted a new production of Mitridate for the Granada Festival; in 2008, he conducted a new production of Handel’s Samson for Buxton Opera.