Harry Bicket

Internationally acclaimed as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of Baroque and Classical repertoire. Since 2007, he has been artistic director of the English Concert, one of Europe’s finest period orchestras.

In 2013, after regular guest appearances at the Santa Fe Opera, he became the company's chief conductor, and in 2018, assumed the role of music director. In Santa Fe, he has led productions of Fidelio, La Finta Giardiniera, Romeo et Juliette, Alcina, Candide and Cosí fan tutte. In summer 2022, he returned to Santa Fe to lead Bizet’s Carmen.

During the pandemic, the English Concert presented a series of small-scale, highly successful live-streamed concerts at historic venues in the London area. Following the success in earlier seasons of Rinaldo and Ariodante featuring Joyce DiDonato, the English Concert continued its Handel opera series with performances of Semele in Europe and the United States, which included Theatre des Champs-Elysées, Barbican Centre and Carnegie Hall.

Along with his Santa Fe productions, recent North American seasons have included assignments at the Metropolitan Opera (The Magic Flute, Le nozze di Figaro, Rodelinda, La clemenza di Tito, Giulio Cesare, Agrippina and Cosí fan tutte); Lyric Opera of Chicago (Ariodante, Orphée et Eurydice, Carmen, Rinaldo); Houston Grand Opera (Le nozze di Figaro, Rusalka) and Canadian Opera Company (Maometto II, Hercules).

As a guest conductor, Bicket has led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (including the Cincinnati May Festival), New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, NACO Ottawa, Indianapolis Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has also led master classes at the Juilliard School.

European podium assignments have ranged from opera for Liceu Barcelona (including Agrippina, Lucio Silla, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Opéra de Bordeaux (Alcina) and Theater an der Wien (Iphigenie en Tauride, Mitridate) to concert projects with Prague Philharmonia, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Bayerische Rundfunk, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

Bicket made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 1996 with Peter Sellars’ landmark production of Theodora and returned in 1999 and 2003. In 2004, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut with Rodelinda (featuring Renée Fleming and David Daniels); he returned for Giulio Cesare (2006-07) and La clemenza di Tito (2008) and is now a regular guest.

In 2001 for his first Barcelona production, Giulio Cesare, Bicket won the Opera Critics’ Prize for best conductor; in 2003, his debut production for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Handel’s Orlando), received an Olivier Award nomination for best new opera production. In the same year, he conducted Lyric Opera of Chicago for the first time and has since returned regularly.

Recordings with the English Concert include releases for Virgin Classics, Chandos and Harmonia Mundi. His discography also features five recordings with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, among them, a collection of Handel opera arias with Renée Fleming (Decca) and Ian Bostridge (EMI), as well as selections from Handel’s Theodora, Serse and the cantata La Lucrezia with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Avie), nominated for a Grammy Award.

Born in Liverpool, Bicket studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University. He is an accomplished harpsichordist. In 2022, he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to music.