The English Baroque Soloists were founded in 1978 by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and are defined not only by their sheer brilliance, but also by their continued willingness to challenge long-running preconceptions of early music. Their use of period instruments coupled with passionate and virtuosic playing are some of the elements that make them renowned. They have long been celebrated as one of the world’s foremost period instrument orchestras. Chamber, symphonic and operatic repertoire are equally strong in this group of musicians' repertoire, from Monteverdi to Mozart and Haydn, and the rapport they have with their audiences showcases their repertoire as living dialogue.
The English Baroque Soloists have performed at many of the world’s top venues such as La Scala in Milan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Sydney Opera House. They have given performances of Mozart’s seven mature operas and recorded all of Mozart’s late symphonies and his complete piano concertos.
Alongside their independent status as a period chamber orchestra they also participate regularly together with the Monteverdi Choir, with whom they performed the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, presenting all of Bach’s sacred cantatas throughout Europe. This project was recorded by Soli Deo Gloria (SDG), the company’s own in-house label, and acknowledged by Gramophone magazine as “one of the most ambitious musical projects of all times”. They came together again in a “Bach Marathon” event at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013, and collaborated on recordings and tours of Ascension Cantatas (2012) and Bach Motets (2011), both of which reached no 1 in the UK classical charts.
In 2015 the English Baroque Soloists toured Gluck’s Orphée & Eurydice in Hamburg and Versailles following a staged production at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden with the Monteverdi Choir and Hofesh Shechter dance company. The same year they performed in the U.S. for the 50th anniversary tour of Monteverdi’s Orfeo. The group also travelled to Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne and Paris for renowned celebrated performances and a recording of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.