BiographyJohn Eliot Gardiner, one of the most versatile conductors of our time, is acknowledged as a key figure in the early music revival. Founder and artistic director of three ensembles – the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner also appears regularly with the most important European symphony orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France.
The extent of John Eliot Gardiner’s repertoire is illustrated in over 250 recordings made for major European record companies (including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Philips Classics and Erato), which have received numerous international awards. Since 2006 his recordings have appeared on the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s independent label, Soli Deo Gloria, established to release the series of live recordings made during the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, for which he received Gramophone’s Special Achievement Award in 2011. SDG’s catalogue has expanded to include recordings of other Bach masterpieces, including the St John Passion, the Brandenburg Concertos and the complete Motets, a Brahms symphony cycle, and a cappella recordings with the Monteverdi Choir. Many of the label’s recordings have been awarded international prizes, including Recording of the Year in the 2006 Gramophone Awards and the Diapason d'or de l'Annee in France for the Bach Motets. SDG’s latest release is a live recording of Beethoven Symphonies 5 and 7 with the ORR from Carnegie Hall.
As guest conductor, John Eliot Gardiner continues his close relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra with a Mendelssohn cycle planned for 2014. In Spring 2010 they completed a three-year Beethoven cycle taking in performances in the UK, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and Madrid. During the 2011/12 season he toured with the LSO in Germany and conducted the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester in Salzburg. In Spring 2012 he worked with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for the first time, combining forces with the Monteverdi Choir and touring Schumann’s Manfred in Italy and Spain. Following the success of his revival of Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2008, he returned there to conduct Rigoletto in April 2012. He finished the 2012 season with two performances of the Berlioz Requiem at the Festival de Saint-Denis in Paris and with a much acclaimed semi-staging of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the BBC Proms.
He began the 2012/13 season with an extended European and North American tour of Beethoven’s Ninth and Missa Solemnis with the Monteverdi Choir and the ORR, followed by concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw, Teatro la Fenice, Leipzig Gewandhaus and the LSO. A day-long Bach Marathon event at the Royal Albert Hall with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists at Easter in April 2013 formed part of John Eliot Gardiner’s 70th birthday celebrations and continued with performances of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the London Symphony Orchestra in Brussels, Paris and London, and The Marriage of Figaro at Covent Garden.
An authority on the music of J. S. Bach, John Eliot Gardiner’s book “Music in the Castle of Heaven” was published in October 2013.
2014 season sees the 50th birthday of the Monteverdi Choir and celebratory concerts will take place all over the world.
Amongst numerous awards John Eliot Gardiner received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lyon in 1987 and from the New English Conservatory of Music in Boston in 2005. He was nominated Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1996 and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2010, and awarded Germany’s Verdienstkreuz (1st class) in 2005. In 1992 he became an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, London and of the Royal Academy of Music, and was visiting Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge in 2008-9. He received a knighthood in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
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