Christian Curnyn, biography

Christian Curnyn has emerged as one of the UK’s leading conductors specialising in the Baroque and Classical repertoire. After reading Music at the University of York, he took postgraduate studies on the harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

In 1994 Christian Curnyn founded the Early Opera Company ( and early Handel performances included Ariodante for the BOC Covent Garden Festival, Orlando for the South Bank Centre Early Music Festival, Partenope for Buxton and Aldeburgh Festivals, and national tours of Flavio and Susanna. He has also given frequent recitals with EOC at Wigmore Hall and appeared in concert with the ensemble at Cheltenham Festival, Spitalfields Festival, York Early Music Festival, and Lufthansa Festival. Other engagements include Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the 2010 BBC Proms. in 2013 EOC were associate artists at Spitalfields Festival, and featured in concerts throughout the Festival.

In the UK Christian has conducted productions with Scottish Opera including Semele and a new production of Handel’s Tamerlano, Handel’s Saul for Opera North, Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera for The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Le nozze di FigaroSemele and Cavalli’s Eliogabalo for Grange Park Opera, Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Handel’s Orlando and Alcina for Opera Theatre Company, Dublin.

In 2008 Christian Curnyn made his hugely successful debut with English National Opera in a new production of Handel’s Partenope  (2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Opera)  Since then he has conducted a number of productions for the company; After Dido, a realization of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Rameau’s Castor and Pollux ( 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Opera) Handel’s Julius Caesar, Charpentier’s Medea, and Handel’s Rodelinda

In the USA Christian Curnyn has worked with New York City Opera conducting productions of Partenope and Cosi fan tutte, Glimmerglass Opera in Handel’sTolomeo and Chicago Opera Theater in Cavalli’s Giasone and Charpentier’s Medée.

Elsewhere he has conducted at Opera Australia (Partenope) Landestheater Salzburg (Vivaldi’s Farnace  and Handel’s Ariodante)  Frankfurt Opera (Cavalli’s La Calisto and Gluck”s Ezio) Stuttgart Opera (Rameau’s Platée) Halle Handel Festival (Jephtha) and Karslruhe Handel Festival (Susanna).

On the concert platform, Christian has conducted the Ulster Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, English Concert, Wroclaw Baroque orchestra, the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for a tour with Nicola Benedetti followed by a recording on the Decca label.

His recording of Partenope for Chandos won widespread critical acclaim and his recording of Semele was chosen as a Best Recording of 2008 by The Sunday Times, Editors Choice in Gramophone Magazine and was awarded the 2008 Stanley Sadie Handel Prize. Other Releases on the Chandos label include  Handel’s Flavio,  a finalist in the 2010 Gramophone Awards, Eccles’ The Judgement of Paris, awarded a Diapason D’Or, The Beggar’s Opera and Handel’s Alceste ,which recently won the Opera award in the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013.  The EOC performance of Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo at Wigmore Hall was released on the Wigmore Live Label. A new recording of Handel Serse was released in September 2013, which was a finalist in the 2014 Gramophone Awards,

Next season’s engagements include a return to the Sam Wanamaker Theatre for a Royal Opera House production of Luigi Rossi”s Orfeo, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Handel’s Alcina for Stuttgart Opera, A European Tour of Handel choral works with Collegium Vocale and AKAMUS, a Wigmore Hall concert with English Concert, and Handel’s Messiah for the Gottingen Handel Festival and in Wroclaw. For EOC, Christian will conduct Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and an orchestral programme at St John’s, Smith Square as part of a new relationship between EOC and St John’s. Later in the season EOC return to Wigmore Hall for Handel’s La resurrezione.

Christian Curnyn, biography

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