Founded in 1978 by John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists has always sought to challenge preconceptions of Baroque and early Classical music.
Leader - Kati Debretzeni
The English Baroque Soloists (EBS) has long been established as one of the world’s leading period instrument orchestras. Throughout its repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to Mozart and Haydn, the ensemble is equally at home in chamber, symphonic and operatic performances and the distinctive sound of its warm and incisive playing is instantly recognisable. The orchestra has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Sydney Opera House.
The EBS is regularly involved in joint projects with the Monteverdi Choir, with whom it took part in the iconic Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, performing all of Bach’s sacred cantatas throughout Europe. The ensemble has also participated in major opera productions alongside the Choir, in works by Handel, Purcell and Monteverdi, and recorded Mozart’s greatest operas for Deutsche Grammophon in the 1990s. More recently it toured Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice to Hamburg and Versailles, following a staged production at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in collaboration with the Hofesh Shechter dance company.
2017 saw the EBS take part in the celebrated Monteverdi 450 tour, in which it performed all three of Monteverdi’s surviving operas across Europe and in the USA, a project that was recognised by a Royal Philharmonic Society award in the Opera and Music Theatre category. In 2018, the EBS performed in Salzburg’s annual Mozartwoche, before embarking on a reprise of the landmark Bach Cantata Pilgrimage with the Monteverdi Choir in some of Europe’s most famous concert halls and churches, culminating in a residency at London’s Barbican Hall.
The EBS began 2019 with its inaugural visit to South America for the Cartagena International Music Festival, and subsequently undertook a tour of Handel’s dramatic oratorio Semele with the Monteverdi Choir, visiting a series of iconic venues including the Philharmonie in Paris; Barcelona’s Palau de la Música; the Alexandra Palace Theatre in London; Milan’s Teatro alla Scala; and Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome. The ensemble then made its debut performances in Russia, alongside the Monteverdi Choir, with a programme of works by Monteverdi, Carissimi, Scarlatti and Purcell, before returning to South America for further inaugural concerts in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.
The EBS made its debut appearance at the Settimana di Musica Sacra di Monreale festival in Sicily in 2020, performing Baroque masterpieces alongside the Monteverdi Choir. In 2021, the ensemble performed its first live streamed concert; Bach’s St John Passion, filmed in Oxford’s historic Sheldonian Theatre and streamed on Deutsche Grammophon’s online platform ‘DG Stage’. It also gave critically acclaimed performances of Handel and Bach at two of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals; the BBC Proms and the Berliner Festspiele.
The English Baroque Soloists is under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.
Bach St John Passion - April 2021
Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2