Christopher Warren-Green on Handel, period instruments, and telling a story

Posted on: December 17, 2014

“When George Frideric Handel led performances of his ‘Messiah,’ he cast opera singers in the solo parts. Today, conductor Christopher Warren-Green takes his cue from the 18th-century composer and organist,” writes Steven Brown in Monday’s (12/15) Houston Chronicle. “For this week’s Houston Symphony concerts, Warren-Green has brought in soloists such as bass-baritone Derek Welton, whose repertoire ranges from 18th-century sacred music to … opera…. Warren-Green thinks modern-instrument orchestras should emulate period-instrument groups’ agility and clarity…. ‘It’s all about telling the story,’ Warren-Green says. ‘Messiah’ has a larger purpose than just sounding nice, he adds…. In 1988, Warren-Green founded the London Chamber Orchestra, which he still leads. In 2010, North Carolina’s Charlotte Symphony offered him the job of music director…. He sold a 500-year-old house outside London and moved his family to Charlotte…. Thanks to audience-building and diligent fundraising, the orchestra ended the 2013-14 season with its first balanced budget since 2002…. ‘That orchestra can do things you wouldn’t think it could do.… I’m absolutely thrilled with them,’ Warren-Green says. The Briton also has a third, if unofficial, employer: He has been the royal family’s de facto conductor since 1980, when Prince Charles invited him to lead a concert in Buckingham Palace’s Throne Room.”

Posted December 17, 2014