A versatile musician of enormous vitality whose repertoire ranges from Monteverdi to Gilbert and Sullivan, Richard Egarr is a harpsichordist and conductor best known for his performances of Baroque music, whether as Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music or as a keyboard soloist with a particularly distinguished series of Bach recordings (mostly made for Harmonia Mundi), including all the major solo harpsichord works and concertos. After studying music at Cambridge, he studied with Gustav Leonhardt, and believes that Baroque music should set the senses on fire. In an interview with the Glasgow Herald he said: “You only have to read a tiny bit about what music meant to people in the 17th century, about the way people reacted, to know this was supposed to be seriously emotional stuff. There are so many examples of people bursting into tears. Music was a passionate thing. Why should we soften the edges now?” His Phillips Music recital is comprised of three Bach Partitas and one French Suite.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750):
Partita in B-Flat Major, BWV 825
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816
Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830
Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music-making - whether conducting, directing from the keyboard, giving recitals, playing chamber-music, and indeed talking about music at every opportunity. Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music since 2006, Egarr is also Associate Artist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has a flourishing career as a guest conductor with orchestras such as London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw and Philadelphia Orchestra.
This season Egarr makes his debut with Finnish Radio Symphony, St Paul Chamber, Utah Symphony and Melbourne Symphony, and returns to the Seattle Symphony, NDR Hanover, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia. He also returns to the Handel and Haydn Society Boston for two weeks.
Early in his tenure with AAM Egarr established the Choir of the AAM, and operas/oratorios lie at the heart of his repertoire; current plans with the AAM include a Purcell opera cycle at the Barbican Centre where they are an Associate Ensemble. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 2007 conducting a staged version of St Matthew Passion. Egarr is a lasting inspiration to young musicians, maintaining regular relationships at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, Britten Pears Foundation, and the Netherlands Opera Academy (La clemenza di Tito, Le nozze di Figaro and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino). He is a Visiting Artist at the Juilliard School in New York.
Egarr continues to play solo recitals across the world, with concerts this season including Wigmore Hall, Bozar, and Carnegie Hall as part of a North American tour. His extensive discography on Harmonia Mundi includes solo keyboard works by JS Bach, Handel, Mozart and Louis Couperin, with JS Bach Partitas to be released in February 2017. His long list of recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music includes seven Handel discs (2007 Gramophone Award, 2009 MIDEM and Edison awards), and more recently JS Bach's St John and Matthew Passions on the AAM's own label. In 2015 he conducted a sold out performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore at Edinburgh International Festival, recorded live and released on Linn Records in 2016 to enthusiastic reviews.
Egarr trained as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and as organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge. His studies with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt further inspired his work in the field of historical performance.