Paul McCreesh appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser, Gulbenkian Orchestra
Published: 14 September 2012
Paul McCreesh has been announced as the new Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon from July 2013. He succeeds Lawrence Foster, whose 11-year tenure ends that month.
Over the course of his four-year contract McCreesh will work closely with Risto Nieminen, Director of Music of the Gulbenkian Foundation, to develop the orchestra’s artistic profile, expanding its work in Classical and Romantic repertoire in particular, as well as conducting major twentieth century works. McCreesh will also create projects with the Gulbenkian Choir, and develop outreach/educational programmes, touring and recording plans with the orchestra.
McCreesh will conduct the Gulbenkian Orchestra in four concerts in the 2012/13 season. In two different programmes in January 2013 he will conduct music by Mozart, Stravinsky, Schubert, Freitas Branco, Strauss Four last Songs, with Karita Mattila as soloist, and Elgar Symphony No.1.
Paul McCreesh conducted the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir for the first time in November 2011 in two performances of Haydn The Seasons. McCreesh said: “I am both thrilled and honoured to be appointed to lead this fine orchestra; in our performances last season I very much enjoyed the warmth, skill and the imagination of the orchestra's musicians, alongside the great energy of the Gulbenkian's acclaimed choir. I look forward to an exciting and rewarding artistic collaboration over the next years.”
Risto Nieminen said: “When Paul McCreesh conducted Haydn's The Seasons in November 2011 with our orchestra and chorus, we immediately realised that the chemistry was right. He produced a clear, lively sound and energised the musicians and audience alike. Paul is an artist of great experience and insight, and this appointment gives the orchestra an enormous opportunity to develop under his leadership."
Paul McCreesh initially built his reputation as founder and Artistic Director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players which he established in 1982, but is now equally well-known for his work with modern-instrument orchestras, choirs and opera houses across the globe, in a broad range of repertoire. He was Artistic Director of the dynamic Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wroclaw (Poland) between 2006 and 2012, and in 2011 he launched his own record label Winged Lion in collaboration with the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Signum Classics and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival.