Paul McCreesh

Conductor

"McCreesh leads an electrifying and fastidiously detailed account of the Britten"

Dallas Morning News

"How do you keep Handel’s great oratorio sounding fresh and relevant..? Hiring Paul McCreesh is one solution."

Star Tribune

"The profundity and coherence of McCreesh’s recording sets a new standard"

BBC Music Magazine*****

"McCreesh’s fresh new translation animates the top-class solo singing, while the massed choruses blow the roof off. Glorious"

The Guardian

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Paul McCreesh is renowned for the energy and passion of his music-making, and an interpretative insight combining ‘musicological inquisitiveness and artistic creativity’ (Gramophone). He gives performances ‘benefitting from years of living with and thinking about a work, constantly evolving his approach to it’ (Opera).

First established as the founder and artistic director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players, he now guest-conducts some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bergen Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic and Verbier Festival Orchestra. He is a former Principal Conductor and Artistic Director at the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Lisbon and served for six seasons as Artistic Director of the International Festival Wratislava Cantans in Wrocław, Poland.

McCreesh is passionate in his determination to broaden and democratise access to the arts, especially amongst young people, and is actively involved in developing new educational initiatives wherever he works. In the UK, he leads Gabrieli’s ever-expanding ROAR project for young singers, many from challenging areas. He is renowned for his ambition in expanding opportunities in musical education for all.

Few conductors rival McCreesh in their breadth of repertoire interests. He is as likely to be found conducting Purcell’s theatre works as Elgar’s symphonies or an a cappella part-song. He is particularly known for his performances of major choral works, especially Britten’s War Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius and Haydn’s The Creation and The Seasons. His thirty-year recording career embraces both pioneering recordings of rarely-heard repertoire and well-known masterpieces, and includes numerous award-winning, benchmark discs; he is widely regarded as one of today’s most influential recording artists.

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A Venetian Coronation, Gabrieli Consort, London Festival of Baroque Music,

St John’s Smith Square (May 2022)

This is familiar terrain for these exceptional musicians, who perform it often and have recorded it twice. They’re taking it to Manchester (12 July) and York (13 July). Go and be transported.

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer****

Bach Easter Oratorio and more, Gabrieli Consort & Players

Wigmore Hall (April 2022)

McCreesh and his musicians performed it wonderfully well. Using just four singers and 19 players resulted in crystal-clear counterpoint, its sheer complexity adding to the elan of the opening sinfonia and chorus.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian****

Recording CD: Purcell The Fairy Queen 1692, Gabrieli Consort

Signum Classics SIGCD615 (April 2020)

A fine recording ... scholarly and sensitive... McCreesh and his performers give their impressive all to the miraculous score.

The Times

McCreesh’s production rises to the occasion: original voiving, unorthodox continuo, project-specific trumpet design and rediscovered string techniques bring out qualities missing from earlier recordings. Purcell’s hornpipes were never livelier, nor his chaconnes statelier, than in this performance.

BBC Music Magazine (Opera Choice)*****​​

Impeccable ... McCreesh's labour of love has abundant nuances and transcedent beauty.

Gramophone (Editor’s Choice)​​

For his work there can be nothing but praise, from the subtle subdued hues produced by his strings, set up and bowed in accord with 17th-century practice, to the gossamer-like touch he brings to so much of the score... McCreesh's Purcell … has no rival.

Opera Magazine​​

“…a blissful marriage of musicological inquisitiveness and artistic creativity”

David Vickers, Gramophone

As always with Gabrieli, the music-making itself is top-notch … recommended in particular for Purcell enthusiasts.

The Classic Review​​

Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli have become so accomplished at breathing new life into historical works and occasions that it’s difficult to give this latest recording the praise it deserves without becoming repetitive. Their trademark approach to authenticity continues to be a winning formula – recapturing the spirit, rather than the precise letter, of the original – and the performers all flit effortlessly between the narrative’s changes of mood. I can’t think of anyone who could give a better rendition of this Restoration 'feel-good' masterpiece.

David Smith, Presto Classical​​

Applying the latest research, Paul McCreesh and his forces give a performance of engaging freshness and vitality...

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill*****​

Filharmonia Poznanska, Haydn London Symphony & Beethoven C Major Mass

(January 2020)

The entire audience was concentrated on McCreesh. Not without reason, as with his entire being he expressed all the musical nuances intended by the composer

Daria Zadrożniak, Ruch Muzyczny

​ Purcell King Arthur, Gabrieli Consort

St John’s Smith Square (October 2019)

Above all, though, this was an evening of joyous, wonderfully elegant music-making. Nine singers shared the songs and choruses between them, a flawless ensemble of equals… The playing, meanwhile, had everything one could wish for in its deftness, grace and lightness of touch.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian*****

Repertoire Selection

BERLIOZ

Nuits d'été
Roman Carnival Overture
Symphonie fantastique

BEETHOVEN

Symphonies 1-4, 6-9
Violin concerto in D major

BRAHMS

Serenades 1 & 2 
Symphonies 2 & 4

BRITTEN

Interludes from Peter Grimes
Les illuminations
Nocturne
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge

COPLAND

Appalachian Spring
Clarinet Concerto

DVORAK

Cello Concerto in B minor
Piano Concerto in G minor
Symphonies 6-9

ELGAR

Cello Concerto in E minor
Cockaigne Overture
Serenade for strings (Introduction and Allegro)
Symphonies 1 & 2 

HAYDN

Seven last words from the Cross

MAHLER

Das Knaben Wunderhorn song cycle
Kindertotenlieder song cycle
Rückert-Lieder

MENDELSSOHN

Piano Concertos 1 & 2
Symphonies 1-11
Violin Concerto in E minor

MOZART

Ballet music from Idomeneo
Serenades

NIELSON

Clarinet Concerto

PROKOFIEV

Symphony No. 1 (‘Classical’)
Violin Concertos 1 & 2

SCHOENBERG

Verklarte nacht

SCHUBERT

Overture in the Italian style
Rosamunde
Symphonies 1-7

SCHUMANN

Cello Concerto in A minor
Symphonies 1,2 & 4

SHOSTAKOVICH

Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major

SIBELIUS

Lemminkäinen Legends
Valse Triste

STRAUSS

Four last Songs
Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major
Metamorphosen

STRAVINSKY

Concerto in E-flat major (‘Dumbarton oaks’)

TCHAIKOVSKY

Romeo and Juliet
Serenade for Strings in C major
Suites 3 & 4
Variations on a Rococco Theme

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Oboe Concerto in A minor

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