Created by Trevor Pinnock in 1973, the orchestra appointed Harry Bicket as its Artistic Director in 2007. Bicket is renowned for his work with singers and vocal collaborators in recent seasons include Lucy Crowe, Elizabeth Watts and Sarah Connolly.
Part of the Arts Council National Portfolio programme, The English Concert has a wide touring brief in England and the 2014-15 season will see them appear across the UK.
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. Harry Bicket directed The English Concert and Choir in Bach’s Mass in B minor at the 2012 Leipzig Bachfest and later that year at the BBC Proms, a performance that was televised for BBC 4. Following the success of Handel’s Radamisto in New York in 2013, Carnegie Hall has commissioned one Handel opera each season from The English Concert. Theodora followed in early 2014, which toured 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, Hercules 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 in the autumn of 2014.
The English Concert works with several distinguished guest directors, including violinist Fabio Biondi and harpsichordists Laurence Cummings.