12. - 20. April 2014
Academy of Ancient Music
Christopher Hogwood, conductor
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Haydn: Symphony No. 26 ‘Lamentatione’
CPE Bach: Harpsichord Concerto in D minor H427
Haydn: Mass No.4 in Eb major Hob.XXII ‘Great Organ Mass’
Christopher Hogwood, founder and Emeritus Director of the AAM, returns to celebrate the 300th anniversary of CPE Bach’s birth. Renowned throughout the globe for his conducting and featured on nearly 300 AAM recordings, Hogwood is widely regarded as one of the finest scholar-musicians practising today.
“His name is a byword for excellence of playing and quality of supporting scholarship” BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Christopher Hogwood founded the Academy of Ancient Music in 1973, rapidly establishing a place at the forefront of the period-instrument movement. Over the next 30 years he conducted the AAM on six continents and made over 200 CDs, including many of the first recordings of baroque and classical masterworks on period instruments. His reputation as a conductor and keyboardist has been complemented by his research and editing work, which includes seminal books on Handel and Mozart and countless editions of baroque, classical and more modern works.
Since passing the baton of Music Director of the AAM to Richard Egarr in 2006, Christopher has returned to conduct a highly-acclaimed series of Handel operas. Future plans with the AAM are to be announced shortly.
Christopher is equally active in 19th and 20th-century repertoire as a conductor and musicologist, with a particular focus on the neo-classical school (Martinů, Stravinsky, Britten, Copland, Tippett and Honegger). He has worked with most of the leading symphony orchestras and opera houses, and continues to tour extensively throughout the world. In 2011 he was awarded 'Artist of the Year' at the Beijing Music Festival for his contribution to baroque music.
Christopher is Honorary Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge, Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, and Professor of Music at Gresham College, London. He is currently Chair of the Board of the CPE Bach Complete Edition, and General Editor of the complete works of Francesco Geminiani for Ut Orpheus. For further information see www.hogwood.org
Praised by The Times for his ‘daring and fiery performances’ and by Opera Today as ‘the leading harpsichordist of his generation,’ the Iranian-born Mahan Esfahani (b. 1984) is the first harpsichordist to be named a BBC New Generation Artist and to be awarded a fellowship prize by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. Recent highlights have included performances of of Kalabis’ Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra (1975) with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Martinu’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra (1935) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiri Belohlavek, and Poulenc’s Concert Champetre (1928) with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Last season, he also gave his solo debut at the Wigmore Hall (broadcast on BBC Radio 3), about which the Daily Telegraph exclaimed ”the harpsichord comes out of hiding…magnificent.” In addition, his recording of the Poulenc concerto was issued in May 2010 with BBC Music Magazine, and he has been featured as a “Hot Property” by Classic FM magazine.
With a repertoire that spans four centuries, Esfahani works to take the harpsichord beyond the realm of ‘early music’ and to major festivals and series in the mainstream of Classical Music across Europe, Canada, and the United States. Highlights of the past season have included, in addition to numerous solo recitals, appearances as a director and soloist with The English Concert at the Lufthansa Festival, Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra, and the Manchester Camerata, recitals with such singers as Paul Agnew and James Bowman at Spitalfields and the Wigmore Hall, and his debut in the Far East with the Malaysian Philharmonic. In July of 2011 he sold out London’s Cadogan Hall with the first solo harpsichord recital in the 116-year history of the BBC Proms, and next season sees appearances as a director, harpsichordist/fortepianist, or concerto soloist with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Prague Symphony chamber concerts, the Istanbul Bach Days, the Hanover Band, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Festival of Flanders at Bruges, the New Dutch Academy in The Hague, New York’s Frick Collection, and across the United Kingdom.
Esfahani studied as a President’s Scholar at Stanford University where his principal mentor was the musicologist George Houle; he went on to pursue his performance studies under the supervision of the Australian harpsichordist Peter Watchorn (Boston) and the Italian organist Lorenzo Ghielmi (Milan) before settling in the United Kingdom in as Artist-in-Residence at New College, Oxford. As a guest instructor he has given lectures and taught at the University of York and the Royal Northern College of Music. In the autumn of 2010 he was made an honorary member of the senior common room at Keble College, Oxford.