NICHOLAS McGEGAN, conductor – Semifinal Round

Described by The New Yorker as “an expert in 18th century style,” Nicholas McGegan has served as music director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque, artistic director at the International Handel Festival Göttingen, and principal guest conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.

Active in opera as well as the concert hall, he has been principal guest conductor of the Scottish Opera and principal conductor of Sweden’s 18th-century theatre in Drottingholm, running the annual festival there. He has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed practice beyond the world of period instruments to wider conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston Symphony, Concertgebouw, Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Royal Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hallé, and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Montreal, and Sydney. Opera companies he works with include Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Washington. He has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, notably at festivals like Edinburgh International and Ravinia.

His discography of over 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna, which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination. Among his other rediscoveries is the first performance in modern times of Handel’s masterly but mislaid Gloria.

Born in England, he was educated at Cambridge and Oxford universities. His awards include an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen, the Hallé Handel Prize, an order of merit of the state of Lower Saxony, a medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen, and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco for two decades of distinguished work with the Philharmonia Baroque. He was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2010.