Described by The Independent as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation,” Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge, Oxford and RAM. In his capacity as Music Director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque he has established the group as the leading period band in America. He was artistic director at the International Handel Festival Göttingen 1991–2011.
Active in opera as well as the concert hall, he has been Principal Guest Conductor of Scottish Opera and Principal Conductor of Sweden’s 18th Century theatre in Drottingholm, running the annual festival there. He has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed practice beyond the world of period instruments to wider conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston, Concertgebouw, Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Montreal and Sydney. Opera companies he works with include Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington. He has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, notably at festivals like Edinburgh International and Ravinia.
His discography of over 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna, which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination. Among his other rediscoveries is the first performance in modern times of Handel’s masterly but mislaid Gloria.
Born in England, he was educated at Cambridge, Oxford and the Royal College of Music, London. His awards include an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Gottingen, and an official Nicholas McGeegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of two decades’ distinguished work with the Philharmonic Baroque.
He was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2012.
Future engagements include concerts with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.