Andrew Lawrence-King Director from the Continuo

His 'swing', his rubato - almost "Chopinesque"(!!!) - 
his love of improvisation 
and of constantly amazing tone- colours
continue to be unmistakeable and admirable.

CD Review (Spain)

ALK directs harpsichord & harp.jpg
Missa Mexicana 2.jpg

Andrew Lawrence-King’s approach to directing, in his work with The Harp Consort and as guest director for ensembles in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, USA & South America, has been hailed by performers, audiences and critics all over the world as “the most creative, warmest and most liberated path in modern-day authenticity”, “assured, crackling with energy and style”,  “fascinatingly vivid and imaginatively varied”.

 

His prize-winning recordings and enthusiastically received live performances have received particular praise for their well-researched, creatively innovative, and intelligently presented programme planning: “Lawrence-King’s scholarly, yet vastly entertaining … blend of music, history and sociology was so seamless that a listener could sit back and absorb the avalanche of influences and idioms without feeling as if trapped in a lecture. That was the beauty of the concept - and of the artistry.

 

Nevertheless, historical detail and intellectual constructs are matched by deeply felt instinctive musicianship:   “Andrew Lawrence-King and his musicians are certainly not presenting a skeletal attempt to revive long-lost scores, but rather they have brought to life a Gesamtkunstwerk (complete art work), in the very best sense. One has seldom before heard this music sound so lively, so playful and yet so serious all at the same time.

 

Even familiar repertoires are heard in fresh colours, with his unique  combination of deep-rooted sensitivity to period performance practice and lively adoption of authentic liberties: “Andrew Lawrence-King’s fascinating Bach programme… can ‘cross over’ to a mainstream platform without surrendering or diluting any of its own musical point, purpose or integrity. Academic arguments aside, this is music of beguiling, filigree beauty, performed with a quiet, intoxicating virtuosity and an all too rare sensitivity.

 

Andrew Lawrence-King’s concept of continuo is characterised by thrilling rhythm, whether the elegant swing of court ballet, the visceral grind of popular dances  - “energy, passion and undisguised joie de vivre explode from the CD (helped by the muscular percussion and guitar contributions). The result is a sound that is vividly ebullient.”  - or the more subtle ebb and flow of abstract music: "He has a very natural and relaxed approach to rhythm, one that allows for considerable elasticity without sacrificing the integrity of the line or indulging in wanton license. Even with some give and take, ornaments are played crisply and in tempo, and faster notes are played articulately and absolutely even. He can make the most stunning gradations of dynamic, with phrases contoured to near perfect taper, but always vital and directed."

 

As director, Andrew Lawrence-King’s “total technical command and inspired imagination” is grounded in old-fashioned virtues: conscientious preparation, careful rehearsal planning, attention to budget constraints, sharply analytical hearing (and perfect pitch) to identify and solve ensemble problems, subtle awareness of psychological dynamics amongst ensemble members. He can direct rehearsals in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French, and coaches  pronunciation in English, Spanish, Italian and German. He understands and reads Dutch, Catalan, Finnish, Guernesiais and Latin. 

 

Above all, Andrew seeks to draw out the best from each individual performer, empowering them with improvisatory freedom, giving them confidence with reliable direction, and  enthusing them with persuasive musicality, to create an ensemble performance that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Press quotes: CD Review Magazine, Spain; Early Music Review, UK; Gramophone Magazine, UK; Cleveland Plain Dealer, USA;  Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany; Gramophone Early Music Quarterly, UK; Radio Network Magazine, Holland; Boston Globe, USA; BBC Music Magazine, UK

ALK directs LHA.jpg
ALK directs Rovaniemi Orchestra.jpg
ALK directs.jpg

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS

*Cavalieri Anima & Corpo

  • Golden Mask Theatrical Award

  • In repertoire at Theatre Sats, Moscow

  • Durham University (historical staging)

  • Helsinki 

  • in concert on tour of Italy

  • Moscow House of Music

Bach Brandenburg Concertos

  • 6-year project & all 6 in one concert with Kymi Sinfonietta, Finland

Padilla Missa Mexicana

  • Recording & international tours with

        THE HARP CONSORT

*Florentine (1589) Intermedi

  • Teatro la Pergola, Florence

  • First perfomance in modern times at the original venue, in concert at Palazzo Medici, Florence

  • Helsinki in concert

  • Tallinn in concert with narration

Padilla, Fernandes Fiesta Mexicana

  • Florence, Pisa, Italy tours

  • Cantemus, Hungary

  • Lodz Philharmonic

  • Helsinki, Sastamala Gregoriana

  • Riga Radio Choir

*Landi La Morte d'Orfeo

  • First performance in modern times in concert at Bruges Festival

  • First recording

  • First production in modern times at St Petersburg Philharmonic OPERA OMNIA (historical staging)

  • Royal Danish Academy of Music

Lully Choregraphie

  • Portland Baroque Orchestra

  • Ostrabothnian Chamber Orchestra

  • Lapland Chamber Orchestra

  • Concerto Copenhagen

  • Tallinn Chamber Orchestra

Vivaldi Four Seasons

  • Recording with Freiburg Baroque

  • Kymi Sinfonietta

*Hidalgo Celos

  • First performances in UK, Ireland & Russia

  • In repertoire at Theatre Sats, Moscow

  • St Petersburg Hermitage

  • Moscow House of Music

Monteverdi Vespers 

  • First performance in Russia

  • EBU broadcast & tour of Finland

  • Florence, Pisa & tour of Italy

*Handel Almira

  • Bremen & Halle

  • Helsinki Metropolia

  • Amherst Festival, USA

  • First recording

  • USA Handel Society Prize

Purcell Chapel Royal Anthems

  • Tallinn, Philharmonic Chamber Choir

  • Copenhagen, Rotterdam (Ars Nova & Concerto Copenhagen)

*Monteverdi Ulisse

  • Malmo Festival, Sweden

*Handel Orlando

  • Helikon Theatre, Moscow

*Purcell Dido

  • Helsinki

  • Copenhagen Opera Festival              (historical staging with Concerto Copenhagen)

*Monteverdi Orfeo

  • Vaasa & Helsinki

  • in repertoire at Moscow Theatre Sats

  • Royal Danish Academy of Music      (including documentary film)

*Purcell King Arthur

  • Poznan (historical staging)

  • OPERA OMNIA (historical staging)

*Peri Euridice

  • Los Angeles, Getty Museum

  • London (semi-staged with baroque gesture)

*Landi Il Sant' Alessio

  • OPERA OMNIA (historical staging)

Medieval Ludus Danielis

  • Kings College, Cambridge & London

  • York Minster (historical staging)

  • Copenhagen with Ars Nova (including documentary film - historical staging)

  • Galway Early Music Festival
    (historical staging)

*Hidalgo Púrpura 

  • Utrecht Festival & CD recording

  • Noah Greenberg Award

  • Sheffield University

  • Swedish Early Music Festival

*Monteverdi Combattimento

  • with historical swordplay at the Wallace Collection (London Olympics)

*Handel Acis & Galatea

  • Bremen, Gothenburg

*Staged Productions
Historical Stagings directed by ALK 

Dance to the Music of Time detail Time.p