Christopher Hogwood, distinguished conductor, keyboardist and musicologist, is one of the greatest proponents of the early music movement, as well as a renowned conductor of nineteenth and twentieth-century works. Emeritus Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, the orchestra he founded in 1973 and with whom he has a critically acclaimed catalogue of over 200 recordings, Hogwood is currently conducting a series of rarely performed Handel operas in concert. He is Conductor Laureate of Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society and continues to be a regular guest with many of the world’s leading orchestras including Tonhalle Zurich, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Athens Camerata. This Autumn he returns to conduct the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra, Austro-Hungarian Orchestra and Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.
Hogwood has appeared in many of the world’s leading opera houses including Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris, London’s Royal Opera House, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Sydney’s Opera House. His performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at La Scala, Milan last summer were hailed as the “most evocative moment of the La Scala Season“. (La Corriere Della Sera, July 2006)
Future plans include his first visits to Leipzig Opera and Teatro Real, Madrid.
Hogwood began his career as a keyboard player over forty years ago and has been a major force in the revolution that has forever changed the way music is performed, recorded and heard. Based on the principle of discovering and, as far as possible, recreating the composer’s intentions, both in notation and performance, his approach begins with musicology, going back to the original sources, correcting published errors, tracking changes in subsequent editions. Only then does he apply his deep knowledge of performance practice to the rehearsal room, concert hall and recording studio.
His repertoire ranges from mediaeval to contemporary music, yet he is particularly associated with the music of Haydn and Handel, and in twentieth-century music has an affinity for the neo-baroque and neo-classical schools including works by Stravinsky, Martinů and the Entartete composers. He is especially interested in Czech music and was awarded the Martinů Medal in 1999. With symphony and chamber orchestras he creates intriguing juxtapositions of the new and the old (Mozart and Schnittke, Webern and Bach, Haydn and Martinů) and has directed many premieres of works by European and American composers. He has also encouraged the AAM to commission contemporary works by composers such as Tavener, Woolrich and Musgrave.
An important contributor to numerous publishers and particularly Baerenreiter, Hogwood’s current editorial projects range from sixteenth century Italian music to the last orchestral work by Stravinsky. Of particular note is the publication of the many alternative versions of the great overtures and symphonies by Mendelssohn, revealing new insight into his working methods; major keyboard collections such as the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and complete keyboard works of Purcell; plus unusual and intriguing arrangements by contemporaries of Mozart and Haydn. He has just completed a new edition of Elgar’s Enigma variations. In addition, he chairs the board of the CPE Bach Complete Works Edition and is also on the board of the Martinů Complete Edition.
Hogwood’s celebrated catalogue of recordings with AAM for Decca includes the complete Mozart and Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. Many of these recordings are now being reissued. The neo-classical is also well represented by a series of recordings on Sony/BMG’s Arte Nova label, featuring composers such as Martinů, Stravinsky, Britten, Copland, Tippett and Honegger. Other recent projects include the Secret Series for clavichord, Secret Mozart (Sony), Secret Handel and Secret Bach (Metronome), and Martinů complete works for violin and orchestra with Bohuslav Matousek as soloist, with the first volume released by Hyperion this September. Secret Handel was recently awarded a Diapason d’Or.
Hogwood’s many publications include a survey of patronage through the ages (Music at Court), biographical studies of Haydn and Mozart (Thames and Hudson), a history of the trio sonata (BBC Publications), and investigations of British music. His book on Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks was recently published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) and a revised edition of his classic biography of Handel was issued earlier this year. His written work has been translated into six languages.
Hogwood is Honorary Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge; he holds Fellowships at Jesus and Pembroke Colleges, Cambridge; and is Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.