Created by Trevor Pinnock in 1973, the orchestra appointed Harry Bicket as its Artistic Director in 2007 and has toured with him to Europe, the USA, the Middle and Far East. Bicket is renowned for his work with singers, and The English Concert vocal collaborators in recent seasons include Mark Padmore, Ian Bostridge, Vesselina Kasarova, Lucy Crowe, Elizabeth Watts, Carolyn Sampson, Danielle de Niese, Andreas Scholl and Sarah Connolly.
Part of the Arts Council National Portfolio programme, The English Concert has a wide touring brief in England and the 2013-14 season will see them appear across the country from Gateshead and Ryedale North Yorkshire via Hereford, Birmingham and Warwick to Bristol as well as Aldeburgh and Southampton.
Recent highlights include European and US tours with Alice Coote, Sara Mingardo, Anna Caterina Antonacci, David Daniels and Andreas Scholl and the orchestra’s first tour to mainland China.
The English Concert enjoys a strong relationship with audiences in North America, having recently performed in Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Ann Arbor and New York. Following the success of Handel’s Radamisto in New York earlier this year, Carnegie Hall has commissioned one Handel opera each season from The English Concert. Radamisto will be followed by Theodora in 2014, which will also tour to the West Coast of the USA as well as Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris and The Barbican London. Future seasons will see performances of Handel’s Alcina and Orlando.
The English Concert's discography includes more than a 100 recordings with Trevor Pinnock for Deutsche Grammophon Archiv, and a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Harmonia Mundi with violinist Andrew Manze. Recordings with Harry Bicket have been widely praised, including Lucy Crowe’s debut solo recital, Il caro Sassone. In October EMI Classics released Sound the Trumpet, a recording of Baroque music for trumpet with Alison Balsom and The English Concert directed by Trevor Pinnock. A new recording with music by Handel and mezzo soprano Alice Coote is due for release early in 2014.
The English Concert works with several distinguished guest directors, including violinist Fabio Biondi and harpsichordists Laurence Cummings and Kenneth Weiss.