Baroque-harp virtuoso and imaginative continuo-player, Andrew Lawrence-King is one of the world's leading performers of early music.
Baroque-harp virtuoso and imaginative continuo-player, Andrew Lawrence-King is one of the world's leading performers of early music. A creative and inspiring conductor who directs from one of several continuo instruments (including harp, organ, harpsichord and psaltery), he has led baroque operas and oratorios at La Scala, Milan; Sydney Opera House; Casals Hall, Tokyo; Berlin Philharmonie; Vienna Konzerthaus; New York's Carnegie Hall; and Mexico City's Palacio de Bellas Artes.
His musical career began as Head Chorister at the Cathedral and Parish Church of St Peter Port Guernsey, when he won an Organ Scholarship to Cambridge, completing his studies at the London Early Music Centre. He rapidly established himself as a versatile continuo-player with Europe's foremost specialist ensembles and in 1988 founded and co-directed the continuo-group, Tragicomedia. He joined Jordi Savall's Hesperion XX as harp soloist, and was appointed Professor of Harp and Continuo at the Akademie für Alte Musik, Bremen, and the Escuela Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona.
In 1994 Andrew Lawrence-King formed his own ensemble, The Harp Consort, with whom he has made an extensive collection of award-winning recordings, from medieval drama and O'Carolan, to Bach, Vivaldi, a Mexican mass and South American opera. His solo CDs include dances by Lully, suites by Bach and melancholy by Dowland. His direction of Handel's first opera, Almira, won the American Handel Society prize for CD of the year.
Andrew Lawrence-King conducted a staged production of Peri's Euridice at the Los Angeles Getty Centre for the 400th anniversary of the earliest opera, and in summer 2008 directed the first UK performance of Hidalgo's Celos aun del aire matan (1660). His work on 17th-century dances with Steven Player & The Harp Consort has won the ensemble an unparalleled reputation for stylish and entertaining stage shows, and his duo album with Paul Hillier was chosen by Elvis Costello as record of the year in Rolling Stone magazine. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Sheffield University for his achievements
in Baroque opera.
Andrew Lawrence-King now divides his time between solo recitals, tours with The Harp Consort, and appearances as guest director for orchestras, choirs and baroque operas in Europe, Scandinavia and the Americas, interspersed with worldwide performances of Luz y norte and Missa Mexicana. He is Principal Guest Director of Concerto Copenhagen (Scandinavia's leading baroque orchestra), and the Florentine ensemble, L'Homme Armé (specialising in baroque opera and oratorio). He is a regular guest teacher at Sibelius Academy & Helsinki Stadia (Finland) and has been awarded a three-year Research Fellowship by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council to research Spanish baroque music-drama.