Harry Christophers

Born 1953

Harry Christophers

Conductor

Biography

English conductor and chorusmaster, Harry Christophers, is known for his exceptional conducting of repertoire from the Renaissance, the Baroque and the 20th century. As founder and conductor of The Sixteen he has grown their recording library extensively and holds the Artistic Director position at Handel and Haydn Society in Boston with whom he conducted a cycle of Haydn symphonies.

Christophers grew up playing the clarinet and had unlikely music influences including the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull alongside classical composers such as Brahms and Stravinsky.

He made his Salzburg Festival debut with The Sixteen in 1989 conducting Bach’s St. John Passion. The group recorded the album IKON which was nominated for a Grammy in 2007 on the label Decca which featured special pieces from the choral repertoire. The Sixteen and Christophers also recorded Handel’sMessiah on their own label CORO which was the 2009 MIDEM Classical Award.

In 2000, Christophers notably took on a conducting tour called the Choral Pilgrimage of English Cathedrals with music composed during the pre-Reformation.

Harry Christophers has been bestowed several important honours and awards including winning the Gramophone Award for Early Music and the Classical Brit Award. Additional, he won Artist of the Year at the 2009 Classic FM Gramophone Awards. In 2012, he was awarded a CBE for his contribution to music at the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Notable conducting performances include Handel’s Jephtha at 2006 Granada Festival, Purcell’sKing Arthur for Lisbon Opera, and Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea and Handel’s Ariodante for the English National Opera. He even conducted the UK premiere of Messager’s Fortunio for the Grange Park Opera.

Christophers is principal guest conductor for Granada Symphony Orchestra and regularly guest conducts at Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

“Harry Christophers brings the same fire to these perfect miniatures that he brought to his triumphant Messiah, firmly establishing him as the Handelian of the moment.” - The Observer

Photos: Marco Borggreve

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