Paul Goodwin


Paul Goodwin is renowned for his historically informed interpretations of music of all periods, his wide repertoire and his interest in contemporary music. He has a great passion for incorporating period style within the traditional orchestral world and creating idiosyncratic and dynamic programs. He is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival in California.
Paul has a wide symphonic repertoire, conducting orchestras including: the BBC Philharmonic, the Hallé Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  In the US he has conducted the Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In Europe he has worked with the Belgian and Spanish National Orchestras, the Rotterdam, Helsinki, Real Filharmonia de Galicia and Royal Stockholm Philharmonics and the Bayerischer, Hessischer, NDR (Hannover), and MDR (Leipzig) Rundfunkorchester.
In opera, Paul’s recent successes have included Iphigenie en Tauride at the Komische Oper Berlin, Rape of Lucretia at the Teatro Real Madrid and Orlando at Scottish Opera, following its previous success at Opera Australia and Handel’s Jeptha at Welsh National Opera.
In the 2014/15 season Paul conducts the Auckland Philharmonic, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, WDR Rundfunkorchester Koln, Philadelphia Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Polish National Radio Symphony, Basel Symphony Orchestra and Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn. He conducts  Handel’s Riccardo Primo with Staatstheater Karlsruhe and St. Matthew Passion with Fundacion Excelentia Madrid. Recent highlights have included  Junge Deutsche Philharmonic, Grosses Orchester Graz, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Orchestra Teatro San Carlo, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Mozarteum Orchestra.
For 11 years Paul was the Associate Conductor of the Academy of Ancient Music with whom he toured extensively and made recordings of Schutz choral music, Mozart’s singspiel ‘Zaide’ and two discs of music by John Tavener, commissioned for the AAM.  Three of these CDs were nominated for Grammy (USA) and Gramophone (UK) awards. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra for 6 years, collaborating with artists such as Kiri Te Kanawa, Joshua Bell, Maria João Pires, Mstislav Rostropovich and Magdalena Kozena.  He has recorded CDs of Strauss, Hartmann, Handel’s Riccardo Primo and Athalia, and a highly acclaimed CD of Elgar's Nursery Suite for Harmonia Mundi. 

Paul’s dedication to educational projects has led him to work with National Youth Orchestras in Spain and Holland as well as the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and the orchestras of the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music, London. For many years he has been a regular visiting conductor for the Queen Elisabeth Competition Brussels.  In 2007, Paul Goodwin was awarded the Handel Honorary Prize of the City of Halle (Saale) in recognition of his extraordinary services to performances of works by George Frederic Handel.

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    Rehearsing with Charlie Siem and the Munich Rundfunkorchester



Concert 29 January 2015

With the San Francisco Symphony

Goodwin is a particularly energetic conductor, capable of using the full scope of his body language to summon expressiveness at the finest level of detail. His “finest hour” came at the end of the program with Mozart’s K. 297 (“Paris”) symphony in D major...Goodwin seemed very much in his element in leading the SFS musicians in this symphony. He worked with a string section that was reduced but still larger than he had been using in the earlier portions of the program. Mozart was clearly going for a grand sound in this symphony; and Goodwin was determined to provide enough musicians to achieve that grandeur (and balance against the bold contributions from timpani and trumpets). Even for concert-goers familiar with the breadth of Mozart’s orchestral writing, this performance was one for the books.

The Examiner

That balance was struck particularly nicely at the beginning and end of the program. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 made its presence felt early, in a bright-toned rendition of the Overture...Goodwin set the steady tread of the bass line and the gentle unfurling of the main melody in telling opposition to one another. Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony, in a performance that was both exuberant and emotionally probing, brought the concert to a handsome conclusion.

Auckland Concert

With the Auckland Philharmonia

Haydn's Military Symphony provided a breezy launch for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's Thursday concert. Conductor Paul Goodwin was obviously inspired by the composer's endlessly inventive high spirits, especially when an innocuously pretty slow movement was rocked by blasts of percussion. After interval, Poulenc's 1948 Sinfonietta offered a generous slice of Gallic charm school. The Frenchman does sanction a few gruff outbursts in his opening Allegro but, in general, tunefulness rules, with Goodwin's generous baton work drawing out lush, swooning sequences.

The New Zealand Herald



The Philadelphia Orchestra

“Goodwin gave a surprisingly well-integrated rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus" - it came out more in a single stream than a series of exalted episodes - though the contrasts he brought to the "Since by man came death" chorus were, by Handelian standards, explosive. Not every conductor is able to build an overall arc in Messiah, but Goodwin can.” The Philadelphia Enquirer, December 2012



Welsh National Opera

“Both chorus and orchestra reaffirm their credentials as exponents of the baroque repertoire, responding warmly to Paul Godwin's incisive conducting.” The Guardian, 1 October 2012

CONCERT 31 May 2012

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

"Under the crisp, energetic direction of English conductor Paul Goodwin, the orchestra tackled a couple of large-scale undertakings and gave everyone present a refresher on what's so wonderful about Bach and Handel...Goodwin proved himself a master musical chemist in concocting a "Suite of Sinfonias"...It all flowed together splendidly, thanks not only to Goodwin's editing acumen, but also his infectious joy in presenting the music." Pioneer Press, 31 May 2012

Concert 29 January 2012

Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo

“This symphony [Mozart No 47] was played with exquisite elegance under the direction of an English baroque conductor, who is not only called Paul Goodwin, but who also proves to be very 'good'. Nice-Matin, 30 January 2012

Concert 20 January 2012

Nuremburg Philharmonic Orchestra

"Guest conductor Paul Goodwin and the Nuremberg Philharmonic played with great musicality and variation in this programme. In Haydn’s ‘Funeral Symphony’, the orchestra played with solemnity and with a fine tone. In contrast Haydn’s D major symphony was sparkling and joyful right to the end." Nurnberger Zeitung, January 2012

Concert 10 December 2011

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

"Acting as spirited guides for a whirlwind tour through the evolution of orchestral literature from 1682 to 1739, early music master Paul Goodwin and the orchestra presented a tremendously enjoyable concert...The high-energy conductor is such an enthusiastic advocate for the music that it spread like an electric current through both orchestra and audience.” St Paul Pioneer Press, December 2011


St Matthew Passion

National Theatre

"there were several moments when, catching sight of Goodwin conducting – in the thick of it with singers and musicians – I saw that he, too, is completely included, his baton as much an actor's gesture as a pointer to the orchestra." The Observer, 25 September 2011


St Matthew Passion

National Theatre

"Conductor Paul Goodwin draws some finely detailed, idiomatic playing from Southbank Sinfonia." The Independent on Sunday, 25 September 2011.


St Matthew Passion

National Theatre

"Urgency and immediacy are their watchwords. Much aided by the translation which Goodwin has compiled through years if working with singers - this they certainly deliver...Miller and Goodwin generate massive momentum through the application of that time-honoured mantra: less is more." The Independent, 20 September 2011


St Matthew Passion

National Theatre

"The young members of the South Bank Sinfonia play with conviction, conducted alertly by Paul Goodwin, who has compiled and edited a crisp English translation" The Evening Standard, 20 September 2011.