Music Director: Orchestre Français des Jeunes Baroque
Director: Le Jardin des Voix
Associate Conductor: Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew is in continuous demand as an outstanding interpreter of the baroque and pre-classical repertoire. His long association with the world’s leading conductors in the field of early music includes a discography of over one hundred recordings.
Season highlights include Rameau’s Platée with Le Grande Ecurie under Jean-Claude Malgoire and Bach’s St John Passion (both the arias and Evangelist) with Music for the Baroque in Chicago. He also makes his conducting debut with both the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra with performances of the Messiah.
"Sombre in everything except harmony and discord, this is a lush and textured album sung with exemplary clarity. Lament no more...Fabulous pile-ups of dissonances and a polychoral lushness characterise most of the music, sung with exemplary clarity and expression by Les Arts Florissants under the British tenor, Paul Agnew. The astringency of the upper voices gives more bite to those spine-shivering discords." (The Times, October 2011)
"Paul Agnew's direction throughout is exemplary, rendering Domenico Scarlatti's Stabat Mater with poise and piety, and expertly navigating Leonardo Leo's ingenious interplay of choirs and plainsong in his "Miserere a due cori". (Lamentazione, Virgin Classics - The Independent, September 2011)
“Deprived of their usual conductor Emmanuelle Haïm, and replaced this evening by Paul Agnew, the orchestra and the chorus reacted with happiness to his flexible and controlled direction. This singer made a great impression with each of the three parts: soft exaltation for the first, compassion in the second and confidence in the final part.” (Joelle Farenc Classical, December 2009)
"Paul Agnew… directed [Les Arts Florissants]… he and his colleagues must have done a huge amount of preparation to achieve performances that were so immaculately assured and yet sounded so spontaneous… it was in a unity of expression that matched rhythmic freedom with a heightened perception of textual meaning, effortlessly realising the intimate intensity of the settings. (The Guardian, November 2009)
“Tenor Paul Agnew sang as one of the seven vocalists from the French baroque specialist group, and also directed the ensemble, which included four continuo players – though the term director has never been more lightly worn. Giving no cues and making no physical gestures beyond meaningful looks, Agnew's interventions were practically imperceptible; he and his colleagues must have done a huge amount of preparation to achieve performances that were so immaculately assured and yet sounded so spontaneous.” (The Guardian, November 2009)