While the highpoint of last season was performing Bach's B minor Mass at St Thomas Leipzig and at the Royal Albert Hall to a BBC Proms audience of 5,500, the focus of the coming year will be Handel's great opera Radamisto in Europe and the USA.
Our work in the USA has grown steadily since 2009, and Radamisto is the first of three Handel projects commissioned by Carnegie Hall, New York, that we will present over the next three years. Counter-tenor David Daniels will sing the title role, with sopranos Brenda Rae, Elizabeth Watts and Joélle Harvey, mezzo Patricia Bardon, an bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni in performances that also visit le Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris, the Barbican Hall, London, and Town Hall, Birmingham.
Indeed, we will be in residence at the University of Birmingham in January working with students on Radamisto at the Centre for Early Music Performance and Research, following our second master class for young harpsichordist-directors in London last June. Mentoring has become an increasingly important part of our work, providing opportunities for young musicians to work alongside the world-class players of The English Concert.
Our season opens with chamber music at Handel House Museum in Mayfair followed by a programme at Wigmore Hall with the hugely accomplished soprano Carolyn Sampson, which then visits Macau, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Taipei for our first extended Far East tour.
That supremely expressive tenor Mark Padmore returns to sing Bach and Buxtehude in 'Walking to Lübeck', and in May we welcome back violin virtuoso Fabio Biondi to direct music by Mozart and Haydn in London, Oxford, Reading and Bristol.
With The Choir of The English Concert returning to the forefront of our activities, I am delighted that Laurence Cummings will conduct them in a programme of Corelli and Bach at the Spitalfields Music Winter Festival and in Biber's fascinating Missa Christi resurgentis at Wigmore Hall in March.
So much to look forward to!
Harry Bicket - Artistic Director