nicholas mcgegan conductor

Conductor and Harpsichordist, Nicholas McGegan

Nicholas McGegan is considered to be one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation. Mr. McGegan is the Music Director Laureate of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, with whom he had a 34-year tenure as Music Director. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of Hungary’s Capella Savaria. Mr. McGegan is a popular guest conductor at major orchestras all over the world, featuring baroque repertoire alongside classical, romantic, and modern works. 

Nicholas McGegan was born in England and educated at Cambridge and Oxford. He served as Principal Guest Conductor at Scottish Opera in the 1990’s and Principal Conductor of Sweden’s Drottningholm Court Theatre from 1993-1996. He was Artistic Director and conductor at Germany’s Göttingen Handel Festival for 20 years (1991-2001), shining new light on close to twenty Handel operas. 

Mr. McGegan’s guest-conducting appearances have included the New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong Philharmonics, the Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, Toronto, Sydney, and New Zealand Symphonies, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. McGegan frequently collaborates with the Mark Morris Dance Group, including the premiere productions of Rameau’s Platée and Handel’s Acis and Galatea.

Mr. McGegan’s extensive discography includes over 50 albums of Handel, including a dozen oratorios and nearly twenty of his operas. More than twenty of his recordings have been with Hungary’s Capella Savaria on the Hungaroton label. These include groundbreaking opera and oratorio recordings of Handel, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Telemann, and Vivaldi and albums of Kraus, Mendelssohn, Schubert, a two-CD set of the complete Mozart violin concerti, and Haydn’s Symphonies 79, 80, and 81. McGegan has also released two recent albums with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under the BIS label: Josef Mysliveček’s Complete Music for Keyboard with soloist Clare Hammond and early horn concertos with soloist Alec Frank-Gemmill. His extensive discography with Philharmonia Baroque includes two Grammy nominees, Handel’s Susana and Haydn’s Symphonies 104, 88, and 101.

Recently named a Music Luminary with Guarneri Hall NFP, Nicholas McGegan is committed to the next generation of musicians. He frequently conducts and coaches students in residencies and engagements at Yale University, the Juilliard School, Harvard University, the Colburn School, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the Music Academy of the West. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music has awarded McGegan the honorary degree of Doctor of Music. He has been the recipient of an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen, and in 2016 was the Christoph Wolff Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Harvard. 

Mr. McGegan was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to music overseas.” Other awards include the Halle Handel Prize, the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany), the Medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen (Germany), and a proclamation of Nicholas McGegan Day by the Mayor of San Francisco, in recognition of his work with Philharmonia Baroque.

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