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Robert King

Biography

Born: June 27, 1960; Wombourne  
A Purcell scholar of renown and an expert conductor of early music, Robert King has achieved significant stature through live and recorded performances with his own ensemble, the King's Consort. A fruitful association with Hyperion Records has resulted in a lengthy discography of early English, German, and Italian music, many titles of which have won international awards. After serving as a chorister and soloist with the St. John's College Choir, Read more Cambridge, King returned to Cambridge University for his music degree. When only 20, he formed the period instrument orchestra the King's Consort; by 1983, he had made his London debut. Success in works of the Elizabethan through Baroque periods led to invitations from larger orchestras and in 1991, King was asked to make his debut at the Proms. Well-received, he was invited to return on four other occasions. Touring came to occupy a considerable portion of King's time with trips taking him to most parts of Europe, to the Far East, and to North and South America. Guest appearances with major orchestras have presented King in the Classical period repertory, especially in works by Mozart and Haydn. In the United States, he has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington and the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Seattle, and Oregon. Scandinavia has frequently heard King in both guest appearances and through his artistic directorship of the Nordic Baroque Music Festival in Sweden. King has also been heard directing opera performances, among them Handel's Ezio at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysée in Paris; the same composer's Ottone in London, Osaka, and Tokyo; Purcell's The Indian Queen at the Schwetzinger Festspiele and in London; and The Fairy Queen in Britain and Spain. As a choral conductor, King has directed the New College Choir, Oxford, as well as the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Tölzer Knabenchor, the Swiss Radio Choir, and Orféon Donostiarra. Among King's nearly 90 recordings are several of Handel's operas and oratorios; a series devoted to the complete songs, anthems, and services of Purcell; Bach's Mass in B minor employing a boy soprano and a countertenor as soloists; and multiple volumes of sacred music by Vivaldi. King's BBC programs have proven immensely popular and his biography of Purcell has been described as definitive. Read less


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