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.
Egarr joined Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale as Music Director in August 2020, having been Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music for 15 years. He is also Principal Guest of the Residentie Orkest and Artistic Partner of the St Paul Chamber and was Associate Artist with the Scottish Chamber 2011-2017.
Egarr straddles the worlds of historically-informed and modern symphonic performance and has conducted many leading symphony orchestras, notably the London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw and Philadelphia orchestras. In 23/24 season his guest conducting includes Haydn’s Creation with the Gothenburg Symphony, Schumann 2 with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Bach B minor Mass with the Scottish Chamber, also Handel’s Messiah and a CD of French repertoire with the Orquesta Sinfonica Castilla y Leon. He conducts repertoire ranging from Gabrieli to Schubert 9 to Tippett and Ives with St Paul Chamber, and Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Beethoven 9 with the Residentie Orkest. With Philharmonia Baroque plans include Schumann’s Requiem and works by Errollyn Wallen and Tarik O’Regan alongside the core baroque repertoire.
As half of Duo Pleyel, Egarr regularly plays four-hands repertoire with his wife Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya; they have released 3 acclaimed albums on Linn – Mozart/JC Bach, Dussek and Schubert - with a Beethoven disc due for release in 2023. Egarr regularly gives solo harpsichord recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall; his extensive discography on Harmonia Mundi includes solo keyboard works by Bach, Handel, Mozart and Couperin, and latterly discs for Linn Records of Byrd and Sweelinck.
Egarr’s long list of recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music includes several award-winning Handel discs (2007 Gramophone Award, 2009 MIDEM and Edison awards) and both JS Bach’s Passions. His world premiere recording on AAM Records of Dussek’s Messe Solemnelle won the Gramophone Best Choral Recording 2021. Early in his tenure at the AAM Egarr established the Choir of the Academy of Ancient Music; operas and particularly Handel’s oratorios lie at the heart of his repertoire. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 2007, and with AAM conducted cycles of Monteverdi and Purcell at the Barbican and Mozart operas at the Barbican and the Grange Festival.
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. He taught for many years at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and was Visiting Professor at the Juilliard School for over 10 years
"Dussek himself could scarcely have hoped for a performance as fine as this one, with the Academy of Ancient Music on top form, and a well-drilled choir of 20 clearly in thrall to Egarr’s infectious enthusiasm for the work…It’s a fascinating work and an important project…enthusiastically recommended."
Gramophone Award 2021
San Francisco Classical Voice
" … as plush a sound as I have ever heard from the group…Egarr conducts without a baton and punches accents with fervor, connecting with the players on a gut level. But Egarr is also an appreciator of structure, and his readings of these scores were highly revealing in their scrupulous attention to contrapuntal detail…the orchestra is back live and in great shape."
"Performed with compelling conviction by the AAM and a superb line-up of soloists...Outstanding…Egarr and his responsive forces barely put a foot wrong. The superb playing and singing of the AAM go beyond mere notions of good Handelian style, while all the soloists “live” their roles with operatic vividness"