As he embarks on his sixth decade on the podium, Nicholas McGegan - long hailed as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (The Independent) and “an expert in 18th-century style” (The New Yorker) - is recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods.
The 2019/20 season marks the final year of his 34 year tenure as Music Director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale and he is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.
Best known as a baroque and classical specialist, McGegan’s approach - intelligent, infused with joy and never dogmatic - has led to appearances with many of the world’s major orchestras. At home in opera houses, McGegan shone new light on close to twenty Handel operas as the Artistic Director and conductor at the Göttingen Handel Festival for 20 years (1991-2001) and the Mozart canon as Principal Guest Conductor at Scottish Opera in the 1990’s. At the same time, he was principal conductor of the Drottningholm Opera in Sweden.
McGegan’s prolific discography includes more than 100 releases spanning five decades. Having recorded over 50 albums of of Handel, McGegan has explored the depths of the composer’s output with a dozen oratorios and close to twenty of his operas. Under its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP), Philharmonia has released almost a dozen acclaimed albums of Handel, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Brahms, Haydn, Beethoven, and more. Since the 1980s, Nic has released more than 20 recordings with Hungary’s Capella Savaria on the Hungaroton label, the latest being Haydn’s Symphonies 79, 80, and 81. McGegan has also released two recent albums with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra: Josef Mysliveček’s Complete Music for Keyboard with soloist Clare Hammond and an album of early horn concertos with soloist Alec Frank-Gemmill.
English-born Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford. He is an honorary professor at the Georg-August University in Göttingen and also was given an honorary Doctorate of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2010, he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to music overseas.” He also was awarded the Verdienstkreuz (am bande) from Niedersachsen (Germany) in 2011.
In 2016, he was the Christoph Wolff Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Harvard and is a frequent visitor to Yale.