Sir John Eliot Gardiner

“I would say that no other musician brings more intellectual rigor or innate musical sensibility to their work” – Michael Harrison, trumpet

One of the most versatile conductors of our time, John Eliot Gardiner appears regularly with leading symphony orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Czech Philharmonic. Formerly artistic director of the Opéra de Lyon, since the 2006 season he has conducted new productions of L’Etoile (Chabrier), Carmen (Bizet), Pelléas et Mélisande (Debussy) and most recently the Weber-Berlioz Le Freyschütz at the Opéra Comique in Paris. His next appearance at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden will be with Rigoletto in March and April 2012. He finishes the season with two performances of the Berlioz Grande Messe des morts at the Festival de Saint-Denis with the Orchestre National de France and the Monteverdi Choir.

Acknowledged as a key figure in the early music revival of the past four decades, he is the founder and artistic director of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, recently voted best choir in the world. With them he has undertaken a number of ambitious large-scale tours – upcoming projects include a Bach celebration day in 2013 and a musical journey in 2014, retracing of the old pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, the Via Francigena with a cappella music of the 15th & 16th centuries.

The extent of Gardiner’s repertoire is illustrated by over 250 recordings he has made for major record companies and by numerous international awards including most recently the Gramophone’s Special Achievement Award for live recordings of the complete church cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach.

In recognition of his work John Eliot Gardiner has received several international prizes, and honorary doctorates from the University of Lyon, the New England Conservatory of Music, and the University of Cremona. In 1992 he became an Honorary Fellow of both King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music and in 2007/8 a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1990 and a Knight Bachelor in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In April 2008 he was awarded the Royal Academy of Music / Kohn Foundation’s prestigious Bach Prize. He was nominated Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1996 and made Chevalier de la Légion d’ Honneur in 2010.