The English Concert is one of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras specialising in historically informed performance. 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, including in recent seasons Lucy Crowe, Elizabeth Watts, Sarah Connolly, Joyce DiDonato, Alice Coote and Iestyn Davies.
The English Concert has a wide touring brief and the 2014-15 season will see them appear both across the UK and abroad. Recent highlights include European and US tours with Alice Coote, Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels and Andreas Scholl as well as 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 BBC4. Following the success of Handel’s Radamisto in New York 2013, Carnegie Hall has commissioned one Handel opera each season from The English Concert. Theodora followed in early 2014, which toured West Coast of the USA as well as the Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris and the Barbican London followed by a critically acclaimed tour of Alcina in October 2014. Future seasons will see performances of Handel’s Hercules and Orlando.
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. 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 recording with music by Handel and mezzo-soprano Alice Coote was released in the autumn of 2014.
The English Concert works with several distinguished guest directors, including violinist Fabio Biondi and harpsichordist Laurence Cummings.