Created by Trevor Pinnock in 1973, the orchestra chose Harry Bicket to be its Artistic Director in 2007, and he has since led the orchestra in tours to Europe, the USA and the Middle East. Bicket is renowned internationally for his work with the finest singers of the age, and English Concert collaborators in performance and recording include Ian Bostridge, Vesselina Kasarova, David Daniels, Lucy Crowe, Elizabeth Watts, Daniele de Niese, Rosemary Joshua and Sarah Connolly.
Recent highlights include European and US tours with Alice Coote, Sara Mingardo and Anna Caterina Antonacci, a return to the Barbican Hall Great Performers series in London, Handel’s Samson at the 2009 BBC Proms with Mark Padmore in the title role, residencies at the Victoria & Albert and Handel House museums, recordings with oboist Albrecht Mayer and recorder virtuoso Maurice Steger, and the English Concert Master Class for young harpsichordist-directors at the Foundling Museum.
The English Concert and Choir toured Handel’s Messiah in Spain in 2010, featuring a TV broadcast from the Palau de la Música Barcelona. In 2011 they returned to the United States with Harry Bicket and countertenor Andreas Scholl, visiting Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Toronto and New York, and were Artist-in-Association at the Spitalfields Summer Festival in London.
In 2012 The English Concert and Choir performed Bach's Mass in B minor at the closing concert of the Leipzig Bachfest, in St Thomas Church, and at the BBC Proms to an audience of more than 5,000.
At the request of Carnegie Hall, New York, Harry Bicket and The English Concert will present three Handel operas-in-concert there and on tour in the USA and Europe, between 2013 and 2015, starting with Radamisto, which will also be presented at Barbican Hall, London, le Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris, and Town Hall, Birmingham.
The English Concert's discography includes more than 100 recordings with Trevor Pinnock for Deutsche Grammophon Archiv, and a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Harmonia Mundi with violinist Andrew Manze. Their recordings with Harry Bicket – Bach arias with David Daniels, Handel Duetswith Rosemary Joshua and Sarah Connolly, and Bach Arias & Cantatas with Elizabeth Watts – have been widely praised. Recent releases include recital discs with sopranos Lucy Crowe and Daniele de Niese.
The English Concert works with several distinguished guest directors, including oboist Alfredo Bernardini, violinist Fabio Biondi and harpsichordists Laurence Cummings and Kenneth Weiss.