Sir John Eliot Gardiner, an Artistic Director of his Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, has been marked out as a central figure in the early music revival and a pioneer of historically informed performance. As a regular guest of the worldʼs leading symphony orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic, Gardiner conducts repertoire from the 17th to the 20th century.
The extent of Gardinerʼs repertoire is illustrated in the extensive catalogue of award winning recordings with his own ensembles and leading orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic or LSO on major labels, as wide-ranging as Mozart, Schumann, Berlioz, Elgar and Kurt Weill, in addition to works by Renaissance and Baroque composers. His many recording accolades include two GRAMMY awards, Diapason dʼor and he has received more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist.
Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras perform regularly at the worldʼs major venues and festivals, including Salzburg, Berlin and Lucerne festivals, the Lincoln Center, and the Royal Albert Hall; in 2021, Gardiner made his 60th appearance at the BBC Proms conducting works by Handel and Bach. In 2017, they celebrated the 450th anniversary of the birth of Monteverdi, for which they were awarded the RPS Music Award and Gardiner named Conductor of the Year at the Opernwelt Awards.
Gardiner has conducted opera productions at the Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Opéra national de Paris, Royal Opera House or Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. From 1983 to 1988 he was artistic director of Opéra de Lyon, where he founded its new orchestra.
Gardinerʼs book, Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach led to the Prix des Muses award (Singer-Polignac). From 2014 to 2017 he was the first ever President of the BachArchiv Leipzig.
Among numerous awards in recognition of his work, Sir John Eliot Gardiner holds honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, the universities of Lyon, Cremona, St Andrews and King’s College, Cambridge where he himself studied and is now an Honorary Fellow; he is also an Honorary Fellow of Kingʼs College, London and the British Academy, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, who awarded him their prestigious Bach Prize in 2008. Gardiner was made Chevalier de la Légion dʼhonneur in 2011 and was given the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2005. In the UK, he was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1990 and awarded a knighthood for his services to music in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.