John Eliot Gardiner stands as an international leader in today’s musical life, respected as one of the world’s most innovative and dynamic musicians, constantly at the forefront of enlightened interpretation.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner is revered as one of the world’s most innovative and dynamic musicians, constantly in the vanguard of enlightened interpretation and standing as a leader in contemporary musical life. His work, as founder of the Monteverdi Choir (MC), English Baroque Soloists (EBS) and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR), has marked him out as a key figure both in the early music revival and as a pioneer of historically informed performances.
As a regular guest of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Gardiner conducts repertoire from the 17th to the 20th centuries. He was awarded the Concertgebouw Prize in January 2016.
The extent of Gardiner’s repertoire is illustrated in the extensive catalogue of award-winning recordings with his own ensembles and leading orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic on major labels (including Decca, Philips, Erato and 30 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon), as wide-ranging as Mozart, Schumann, Berlioz, Elgar and Kurt Weill, in addition to works by Renaissance and Baroque composers. His many recording accolades include two GRAMMY awards and he has received more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist.
Gardiner has also conducted opera productions; at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at the Vienna State Opera and at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. From 1983 to 1988 he was artistic director of Opéra de Lyon, where he founded its new orchestra.
Recent achievements with the Monteverdi ensembles include the RPS award-winning Monteverdi 450 project in 2017, a reprise of the 2000’s famous Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, which toured to some of Europe’s most famous concert halls and churches in 2018, a five-year exploration of Berlioz’s major works to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death, and a landmark performance of Verdi’s Requiem at London’s Westminster Cathedral in aid of Cancer Research UK. In 2019 Gardiner conducted new productions of Handel’s Semele and Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini, and gave his debut performances in Colombia, Russia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. The beginning of 2020 saw Gardiner conduct the ORR in three Beethoven symphony cycles as part of the Beethoven 250 anniversary celebrations, with concerts at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the Harris Theater in Chicago. In 2021 he conducted a live streamed performance of Bach’s St John Passion from Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre, appeared at several of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals, including his 60th concert at the BBC Proms, and performed Berlioz’s sacred oratorio L’enfance du Christ at the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras’ new London home, St Martin-in-the-Fields.
An authority on the music of J. S. Bach, Gardiner’s book, Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, was published in October 2013 by Allen Lane, leading to the Prix des Muses award (Singer-Polignac). Among numerous awards in recognition of his work, Sir John Eliot Gardiner holds several honorary doctorates. He was awarded a knighthood for his services to music in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
BBC News - 5 Minute interview
Introducing Monteverdi 450
Brandenburg Concertos project