Born in London in 1960, Paul McCreesh studied music at the University of Manchester and began his career as a cellist before founding the Gabrieli Consort & Players and making his direct-ing debut at St. John’s, Smith Square in London. His sensational Proms debut led to a signing with Archiv Produktion / Deutsche Grammophonin 1993. In 1994 he and his ensemble opened Vienna’s “Resonance” Festival and appeared at the Lucerne Festival. That year he founded and became artistic director of the Brinkburn Music Festival and released Christmas Mass (Echo, Edison, “Ritmo” and Studio Awards) on Archiv.
In 1997 McCreesh performed Biber’s Missa salisburgensis at St. Paul’s Cathedral and in Santiago de Compostela, made his US debut and released CDs including the Venetian Easter Mass (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Danish Grammy). In 1998 he performed Handel’s Solomon at the London Proms and released the CDs Music for Philip II (Cannes Classical Award), Biber’s Missa salisburgensis (with Musica Antiqua Köln and Goebel; Echo Award) and Epiphany Mass (Diapason d’or). 1999 brought a European tour with Handel’s Theodora and recordings of Handel’s Solomon and of Christmas Vespers (Gramophone Award). Bach Year 2000 included a tour of Europe with the Magnificat and Easter Oratorio and with the St. Matthew Passion on tour in The Netherlands and at the London Barbican. Other Archiv Produktion / Deutsche Grammophon releases with the Gabrielis, many of which have also won prestigious international prizes, include Music for the Duke of Lerma, Bach’s Magnificat and Easter Oratorio, A Venetian Christmas, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Handel’s Theodora and Saul, Biber’s Requiem and Mass in B flat major, Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, Mozart’s C minor Mass, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Haydn’s Creation (Gramophone Award 2008) and A Spotless Rose.
Paul McCreesh now works regularly with modern-instrument ensembles and has developed strong relationships with orchestras including the Netherlands Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Basle Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France. In 2006, he was appointed artistic director of Wratislavia Cantans in Wrocław, one of Eastern Europe’s most prestigious cultural events. He has also established an important opera reputation and in 2008 has conducted two Handel operas at the Teatro Real, Madrid, including a new pro-duction of Tamerlano starring Plácido Domingo. For Welsh National Opera he has conducted Gluck’s Orphée and Handel’s Jephtha; and he has directed Mozart and Handel at the Royal Danish Opera and Berlin’s Komische Oper.