The English conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner is considered a key figure in the early music revival. He is founder and artistic director of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, which was named best choir in the world by an international panel of critics in 2010.
He has made extensive tours with all these ensembles, performing Bach’s complete sacred cantatas in churches throughout Europe and the United States in 2000. His recording of the Bach cantatas won a Gramophone Special Achievement Award.
Gardiner has made regular guest appearances with such leading orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As music director of the Lyons Opéra, he led new productions of Chabrier’s L’Etoile, Bizet’s Carmen and Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the Opéra Comique in Paris. In 2012, he conducted Rigoletto at Covent Garden and Berlioz’s Grande messe des morts at the Festival de Saint-Denis with the Orchestre National de France and the Monteverdi Choir.
Gardiner is the recipient of various prizes and honorary doctorates from the University of Lyons, the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Cremona. He is an honorary member of King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music. Gardiner was knighted in 1998 and was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2010 for the exceptional service he has rendered to music in France.