Paul McCreesh impressive conductor born 1960

Paul McCreesh British conductor born 1960

Paul McCreesh the remarkable English conductor and music scholar, received his education at the University of Manchester, where he specialised in music performance and musicology, obtaining his Bachelor of Music degree in 1981. While a student there he formed a chamber choir and a period-instrument ensemble. He began his career as a cellist.

Paul McCreesh impressive conductor born 1960

Paul McCreesh (born 24 May 1960)  is an English conductor.Paul McCreesh is the founder and artistic director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players. With them he has performed in major concert halls and festivals across the world. He has been the artistic director of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wrocław, Poland and of the Brinkburn Festival in England.

In 2005 Loughborough University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

He founded the Gabrieli Consort & Players in London 1982, which he molded into an outstanding choral and period-instrument ensemble. Since then, conductor and group have gained an international reputation for their performances of Renaissance and Baroque music. Besides performing established masterpieces by Monteverdi, Purcell, Heinrich Schütz, George Frideric Handel and J.S. Bach, the ensemble often presents little-known repertoire, and is particularly noted for spectacular reconstructions of major musical events from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & Players are frequently heard in concerts and radio broadcasts in Britain and throughout Europe, have toured world-wide and made many award-winning recordings. They have performed at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts and at the South Bank Centre in London, at international festivals and concert series in Bruges, Utrecht, Rome, Milan, Lyon, York, Glasgow, Barcelona and London – where they also participated in the inaugural concert of the Covent Garden Festival. In January 1994, the ensemble opened the ”Resonance” Festival in Vienna and in August 1994 they appeared at the Lucerne Festival.

Paul McCreesh has been making innovative recordings and conducting thrilling performances of choral, operatic and symphonic music for over 30 years. He is founder and Artistic Director of the Brinkburn Summer Music Festival in England which first took place in July 1994. He was Artistic Director was the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wrocław between 2006 and 2012. In 2013 he became Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, with whom he is conducting a wide range of music from the classical period through to the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing in particular on symphonic repertoire, oratorio and opera in concert, working closely with the world-renowned Gulbenkian Choir.

Paul McCreesh McCreesh is well-known for the energy and passion that he brings to his music-making Although he specialises in the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, he also works with many major modern instrument orchestras accross the globe, including the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester-Berlin, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sinfónica de Euskadi, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia di Roma.

He has guest conducted most recently the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of his 2014-2015 season include his debut in Japan conducting the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and returns to the Verbier Festival Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, in the USA, with whom he enjoys a regular and ongoing collaboration.

Paul McCreesh is also active in opera houses, conducting productions at the Teatro Real Madrid, Royal Danish Opera, Vlaamse Opera and at the Verbier Festival. He has conducted G.F. Handel’s Jephtha for Welsh National Opera and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, as well as Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Royal Danish Opera and, for Komische Oper Berlin, a new David Alden staging of G.F. Handel’s Alcina.

He has also conducted G.F. Handel’s Rodelinda at the Beaune Festival and at the Brinkburn Festival. In 2014-2015 he will conduct Hérold’s Le Pré aux Clercs at Opéra Comique, Paris, and he will return to Vlaamse Opera for a new production of Le nozze di Figaro.

Paul McCreesh is widely regarded as one of the most exciting artists of his generation in the field of early music. He has done extensive research into music of the 17th century. As both an interpreter and music scholar, he has brought insight and erudition to his handlimg of works from Venetian High Renaissance and Baroque eras. While he sometimes provokes controversy, he always elicits respect and often accolades for his imaginative performances.

The Gramophone Award winning album ”Venetian Coronation” (released on Virgin Classics in 1990) represented a break-through for the Gabrieli Consort & Players. Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & Players made their debut as exclusive Archiv Produktion artists with ”Venetian Vespers”, a reconstruction of a festive Vespers service as it might have been performed at San Marco, Venice in 1643. In 2011 McCreesh launched his own record label, Winged Lion, in collaboration with the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Signum Classics and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival.

To date the label has released six albums, three of which have received major awards: Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (BBC Music Magazine Award, 2014), Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Diapason d’Or Award, 2013) and Berlioz’s gargantuan Grande Messe des Morts (BBC Award, 2012). The Winged Lion recordings build on his large catalogue of recordings with Deutsche Grammophon, which includes the Gramophone Award-winning Haydn’s The Creation.

Paul McCreesh is especially passionate about working with young musicians and broadening access to classical music; he works regularly with youth orchestras and choirs and is active in building new educational initiatives whenever possible.

Musical education

McCreesh began his career as a cellist and took his MusB from the University of Manchester in 1981.

Repertoire and performance

Paul McCreesh made his name in the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The Gabrieli Consort was founded in 1982 and as of 2020 is still active. McCreesh and the Gabrielis made a successful Proms début in 1992: the second part of the concert was ”Music for the Coronation of a Doge, 27 April 1595”.
In recent years he has also worked with modern instrument orchestras including the DSO Berlin, RSO Berlin, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Sinfónica de Euskadi, Stockholm Philharmonic and Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia di Roma.

Opera

McCreesh has conducted Handel’s Jephtha for Welsh National Opera and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, as well as Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Royal Danish Opera and, for Komische Oper Berlin, a new David Alden staging of Handel’s Alcina. He has also conducted Handel’s Rodelinda at the Beaune Festival and at the Brinkburn Festival, which he founded.

Recordings

From 1993 Paul McCreesh built a large discography for Deutsche Grammophon. In 2011 he established Winged Lion, an independent label, which is a subsidiary of Signum Records.

Reconstructions

McCreesh is noted for his ”liturgical reconstructions” in which music is presented in the context of a specific liturgy with appropriate background sounds such as bell-ringing.  The Gramophone Award winning album ”Venetian Coronation” (released on Virgin Classics in 1990) represented a breakthrough for the Gabrieli Consort and Players. A new version of this musical reconstruction of the coronation of Marino Grimani was released in 2012 on Winged Lion.

”Music for the Duke of Lerma” is a musical reconstruction featuring Spanish sacred music associated with the Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, 1st Duke of Lerma. It was released on DG’s Archiv label.

Opera

In 2020 McCreesh’s recording of Purcell’s semi-opera King Arthur was judged best recording of the year by BBC Music Magazine.

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