Richard Armstrong

Biography

Born: January 7, 1943; Leicester, England  
Richard Armstrong is a noted English conductor particularly associated with opera.

His musical education is a product of the English college chapel chorus system, where scholarships including music training are given to talented student applicants for participation in daily chapel services through the school term. Armstrong was an "organ scholar" (student organist) for the Chorus of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

After
Read more graduating he took a job on the staff of Covent Garden (London's major opera house), where he assisted in the musical preparation of operas. There he was able to work with the conductors Georg Solti on Wagner's Ring cycle, Carlo Maria Giulini on Verdi's La traviata, and with Otto Klemperer on Beethoven's Fidelio.

In December 1968 he was engaged as assistant music director at the Welsh National Opera to James Lockhart. At this time the WNO was in the course of its remarkable transformation from a local part-time opera theater to a major year-round institution. Armstrong had the opportunity to preside over the major part of that process after he became music director in 1973. Under his tenure, the company performed the first Ring cycles in Wales, important Verdi productions, and a pioneering cycle of five of the operas of Czech composer Leos Janacek. In recognition of his services to the art of Janacek, the Janacek Society awarded him with their Janacek Medal in 1978.

In 1982, he made his conducting debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd, and there has also conducted Andrea Chénier, Un ballo in maschera, and Don Carlos. In 1986, Covent Garden invited him to bring his Welsh National Opera company to their stage to present two stagings of their acclaimed Ring cycle, making the WNO the first regional opera company to appear there.

He left the position of WNO Music Director in 1986, but has continued his ties with them. He is often invited back to guest conduct, and has taken the company on tour to New York and Milan (where they produced Falstaff) and to Japan (for Falstaff and Richard Strauss' Salome). In 1986, he became principal guest conductor of the Frankfurt Opera. He has guest conducted widely in the opera houses of Europe, including the leading opera houses of Geneva, the Théâtre de Champs-Elysées of Paris, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Amsterdam, Rome, Toulouse, Nice, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Brussels, as well as in Los Angeles, Australia, and Canada. In addition to conducting the Royal Opera, he has made appearances with the English National Opera.

Armstrong's important festival appearances include his BBC Promenade Concerts debut in 1989 and a 1992 Edinburgh International Festival production of Schoenberg's Moses und Aron.

In July 1993 he became music director of the Scottish Opera. Among the operas he has conducted there are Maria Stuarda, The Jacobin, La traviata, Il trovatore, Turandot, Peter Grimes, Salome, Verdi's lesser-known I due Foscari, the Janacek operas Kát'a Kabanová and From the House of the Dead, Fidelio, and Tristan und Isolde.

Armstrong has conducted some important premieres. In a co-production with the Scottish Opera and English National Opera he gave the United Kingdom premiere of Alfred Schnittke's Life with an Idiot and the world premieres of John Metcalf's Tornrak (1990, WNO), James MacMillan's Inés de Castro (Scottish Opera), and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' The Doctor of Myddfai.

Armstrong is also active as a concert conductor and has led virtually every major U.K. orchestra and such foreign orchestras as the Japan Philharmonic and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.

In 1997, Richard Armstrong received the United Kingdom Conductor of the Year Award from the Royal Philharmonic Music Society. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 32 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Britten: Vocal Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 151642 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Henry Purcell,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Heather Harper,  Neil Mackie,  Barry Tuckwell,  Roger Vignoles  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Steuart Bedford,  Richard Armstrong,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Welsh National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Thomas Hampson: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844232 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Daniil Shtoda,  Timothy Robinson,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong,  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Va Pensiero, Sullali Dorate - Verdi's Life Told by Thomas Hampson
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2051048 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 4.
    50 Best Verdi
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 338302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Rolando Villazón,  Renato Bruson,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Marcello Viotti,  Giuseppe Patané,  Julius Rudel  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 5.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40509 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Edita Gruberova,  Margherita Carosio,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Evelino Pidò  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Opera 2012
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 70954 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Damrau,  Joyce DiDonato,  Rolando Villazón,  Natalie Dessay  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano,  Dan Ettinger,  Kazushi Ono,  Marcello Viotti  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Essential Bernstein
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 78123 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Paul Turner,  Paul Searle-Barnes,  Lionel Blair,  Dennis Lotus  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Andrew Litton,  Geoff Love,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 9.
    Amadeus: Best Of Mozart
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82164 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emile Naoumoff,  Stephen Hough,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Sabine Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Bryden Thomson,  Hans Vonk,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
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  • 10.
    The Very Best Of Thomas Hampson
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94807 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Marc Barrard,  Martine Mahé,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Kohn,  Antonio de Almeida  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Classical 2011
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97577 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Placido Domingo,  Joyce DiDonato,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Kohn,  Eduardo Müller,  Robert Prizeman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble,  Quatuor Ebène
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  • 12.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 927175 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Nigel Hess,  Robert Prizeman,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Roberto Alagna,  Yundi Li,  Andrea Bocelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong,  Nigel Hess,  Robert Prizeman,  Sally Herbert  ... 
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  • 13.
    Opera In English - Strauss: Ariadne On Naxos / Armstrong, Brewer, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog:  3168 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Christine Brewer,  Gillian Keith,  Robert Dean Smith,  Alice Coote  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Best Verdi 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40878 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Richard Van Allan,  Keith Erwen,  Delia Wallis,  Ferruccio Mazzoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Tullio Serafin,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 15.
    Best Verdi 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40878 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Rolando Villazón,  Renato Bruson,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Marcello Viotti,  Giuseppe Patané,  Julius Rudel  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 16.
    Essential Mozart
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95457 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emile Naoumoff,  Stephen Hough,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Sabine Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Bryden Thomson,  Hans Vonk,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna String Sextet Members,  London Symphony Orchestra Wind and Brass Ensemble
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Best Tenor Voices 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06701 Release Date: 10/06/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Corinna Vozza,  Adriana Lazzarini,  Rolando Villazón  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Marcello Viotti,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 18.
    Opera 2009 / Pavarotti, Callas, Domingo, Brightman, Villazon, Gheorghiu, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64192 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jacques Offenbach,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Naouri,  José Carreras,  Teresa Berganza,  Sarah Brightman  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Michael Plasson,  Michel Plasson,  Paul Bateman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    100 Best Tenor Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 242720 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Peter Haage  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Delacôte,  Berislav Klobucar,  Bernard Haitink,  Heinz Wallberg  ... 
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  • 20.
    Angela Gheorghiu - My Puccini
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17441 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Roberto Alagna,  Monica Bacelli,  Patrizia Biccire  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Coppola,  Richard Armstrong,  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Angela & Roberto Forever / Gheorghiu, Alagna, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 14599 Release Date: 07/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Roberto Alagna
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano,  Claudio Abbado,  Michel Plasson,  Richard Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Tenor [2 Cds + Dvd]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 373383 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna,  Leontina Vaduva,  Enrico Fissore,  Angela Gheorghiu  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano,  Evelino Pidò,  Michel Plasson,  Richard Armstrong  ... 
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  • 23.
    Roberto Alagna  -  Tenor!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80793 Release Date: 01/16/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna,  Leontina Vaduva,  Enrico Fissore,  Angela Gheorghiu  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano,  Evelino Pidò,  Michel Plasson,  Richard Armstrong  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    Roberto Alagna - Opera Arias
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000680702 Release Date: 06/13/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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