Laurence Cummings


Historical Performance - William Crotch Professor of Historical Performance

Harpsichordist and conductor with leading period instrument groups throughout the UK and Europe
Regular engagements with the English Concert and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Directs the Academy’s Baroque Orchestra

Laurence is one of Britain's most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance both as a conductor and a harpsichord player. He was an organ scholar at Christ Church Oxford where he graduated with first class honours. Until 2012 he was Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music which led to both baroque and classical orchestras forming part of the established curriculum. He is now the William Crotch Professor of Historical Performance. He is a trustee of Handel House London and was also Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Society. Since 1999 he has been Artistic Director of the London Handel Festival and in 2012, he became Artistic Director of the Internationale Händel-Festpiele Göttingen. He is also a regular guest at Casa da Musica in Porto where he is Music Director of the Orquestra Barroca Casa da Mœsica.

He has played harpsichord and organ continuo with many leading period instrument groups, including the English Concert, Les Arts Florissants, The Sixteen Choir, Gabrieli Consort and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has conducted at English National Opera, Opera North, Gothenburg Opera, Glyndebourne, Opernhaus Zürich, Opéra de Lyon, Garsington Opera and English Touring Opera. He made his US debut conducting Orfeo with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston.

Laurence regularly conducts the English Concert and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, both in the UK and on tour. He also works with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and Royal Academy of Music Baroque Orchestra.

His numerous recordings include the first recording of Handel’s newly discovered Gloria with Emma Kirkby and the Royal Academy of Music on BIS and recital discs of solo harpsichord music (including music by Louis and François Couperin) for Naxos. A solo disc of Handel arias with Angelika Kirschlager and the Basel Chamber Orchestra on Sony BMG was followed up by a recording of duets with Lawrence Zazzo and Nuria Rial, also with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. He conducted the English Concert and recorder player Maurice Steger in a disc of Corelli concertos for Harmonia Mundi.


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