SUMMER SCHOOL OF EARLY IRISH HARP
Tutor, Scoil na gCláirseach
Lawrence-King, baroque-harp virtuoso and imaginative continuo-player,
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 &
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, whence 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,
and was immediately signed up by Deutsche Harmonia Mundi for a
seven-year series of solo and ensemble recordings: Luz y Norte [Diapason d’Or & Amadeus magazine’s CD of the year]; the medieval 'opera' Ludus Danielis; Italian Concerto, on which he is both conductor and concerto soloist [Best Early Music CD, German Phonographic Academy]; La púrpura de la rosa, the first New World opera [Noah Greenberg Award]. His recital CDs include The Harp of Luduvico (Spanish & Italian renaissance) La Harpe Royale (French Baroque), His Majesty’s Harper (Dowland & Byrd) and The Secret of the Semitones (Bach), and he has also recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons & Handel's first opera, Almira, [American Handel Society CD of the Year].
Andrew has made three CDs which prominently feature early Irish harp. His solo recording His Majesty's Harper features music from the royal courts of 17th century England, played on Italian arpa doppia as well as early Irish harp. The Harp Consort CDs Carolan's Harp and Exquisite Consorts cover 18th century Irish and 17th century English repertory respectively.
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 this season will direct Handel’s Almira
for the Helsinki Stadia. 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), the Florentine ensemble, L'Homme
Armé (specialising in baroque opera and oratorio) and the new
Portuguese ensemble, La Portingaloise. He teaches at the 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. His first solo
recital for Harmonia Mundi USA is Chorégraphie: Music for Louis XIV’s Dancing Masters.
A keen sailor, Andrew holds the Royal Yachting Association's coveted
Ocean Yachtmaster certificate, and spends most of his free time aboard
his boat, ‘Continuo’. This passion for the sea is expressed
in his revival of Guernesiais traditional music, Les Travailleurs de la Mer: Ancient Songs from a Small Island.