The 2012–2013 Season will mark Harry Christophers’ fourth as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. Appointed in 2008, he began his tenure with the 2009–2010 Season and has conducted Handel and Haydn each season since September 2006, when he led a sold-out performance in the Esterházy Palace at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Christophers and H&H have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey that began with the 2010–2011 Season, showcasing works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society over the last 198 years, and releasing the first CD in a trilogy of recordings on the CORO label leading to the 2015 Bicentennial.
Christophers is known internationally as founder and conductor of the UK-based choir and period instrument ensemble The Sixteen. He has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America, Australia, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th-century music. In 2000, he instituted the “Choral Pilgrimage,” a tour of British cathedrals from York to Canterbury. He has recorded over 100 titles for which he has won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel Messiah, numerous Preise der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics Awards), the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and the prestigious Classical Brit Award (2005) for his disc entitled Renaissance. In 2009, he received one of classical music’s highest accolades, the Classic FM Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year Award. The Sixteen won the Baroque Vocal Award for Handel Coronation Anthems, a CD that also received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination.
Harry Christophers is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. As well as performing on the concert stage Harry continues to lend his artistic direction to opera. In 2006, Mozart’s anniversary year, he conducted Mozart’s Mitridate for the Granada Festival, and after outstanding success at Buxton Opera in past seasons, he returns this year to conduct Handel’s Jephtha. Previous productions include Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Purcell’s King Arthur for Lisbon Opera, Monteverdi’s Poppea, Gluck’s Orfeo, and Handel’s Ariodante for English National Opera, and the UK premiere of Messager’s Fortunio for Grange Park Opera.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and also of the Royal Welsh Academy. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. He received a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen of England in 2012 for services to music.