Harpsichord & Conductor

Trevor Pinnock

Principal Guest Conductor, RAM Chamber Orchestra

© Gerard Collett


Trevor Pinnock is renowned world-wide as a harpsichordist and conductor who pioneered the modern revival of early music performance.

In 1972 he founded the English Concert whose reputation for ground-breaking performances on period instruments led to an extensive contract with Deutsche Grammophon and world-wide tours which included major orchestral works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn and others, along with choral projects and chamber music. In addition, Pinnock recorded solo works including Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Partitas. He remained Artistic Director of the English Concert until 2003 and since that time he has divided his work between conducting, solo and chamber music engagements and educational projects at the Royal Academy of Music where he is Principal Guest Conductor of the Chamber Orchestra.

He regularly works with Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, Deutsche Kammerphiharmonie Bremen and Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg. Frequent chamber music partners include flautist Emmanuel Pahud, viola da gamba player Jonathan Manson and violinists Sophie Gent and Matthew Truscott.

In the 20/21 season, Trevor returns to Mozarteum Orchester and Concertgebouworkest. With Orchestre National de France he performs B minor Mass and directs Weinachtsoratorium with L’Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He visits San Diego Symphony for a programme of Gabrieli, Dvorak, Mozart and Stravinsky. Trevor is joined by Emmanuel Pahud for concerts with Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and with Maria João Pires he visits Gulbenkian Orchestra. His love of educational work continues with Royal Conservatory Orchestra Toronto and RAM Chamber Orchestra and he enjoys chamber music with Emmanuel Pahud and Jonathan Manson in Amsterdam, Paris and London.

His recent recordings include Book One of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier and a unique arrangement of the Goldberg Variations by Józef Koffler with Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble.

Trevor Pinnock was awarded a CBE in 1992 and an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998. He is also a recipient of the Wigmore Medal, the York Early Music Centre Lifetime Achievement Award and honorary doctorates from the universities of London, Ottawa, Sheffield and Canterbury.


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    The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One

    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 27 Mar 20

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    Pièces de Clavecin

    Label: Plectra

    Release Date: 02 May 18

    A selection of Louis Couperin’s solo works for harpsichord, played on an original instrument from 1627 by Ioannes Ruckers.

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    CPE Bach Flute Concertos

    Release Date: 04 Nov 16

    Emmanuel Pahud
    Kammerakademie Potsdam

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    Mozart: Gran Partita

    Release Date: 08 Apr 16

    Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble

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    Journey - Two hundred years of Harpsichord Music

    Label: Linn Records

    Release Date: 19 Feb 16

    CKD 570

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    Mahler Symphonie No.4

    Label: Linn Records CKD 438

    Release Date: 08 Jul 13

    Chamber arrangement by Erwin Stein
    Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble

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    Label: EMI

    Release Date: 01 Dec 12

    With Alison Balsom & The English Concert
    EMI 40329

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    Label: EMI

    Release Date: 01 Nov 12

    Music from the Court of Frederick the Great
    With Emmanuel Pahud, flute
    EMI 84230

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    Label: Wigmore Hall Live Recording

    Release Date: 01 Oct 12

    Suites by Purcell and Handel, Sonatas by Haydn

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    J. S. BACH

    Release Date: 15 Jan 11

    Brandenburg Concertos
    Trevor Pinnock, Harpsichord
    The European Brandenburg Ensemble
    Avie. Catalogue: 2119.

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    J. S. BACH

    Release Date: 01 Jan 11

    Complete Flute Sonatas
    Emmanuel Pahud, flute
    Trevor Pinnock, harpsichord
    Jonathan Manson, cello
    EMI CD 2 17443 2

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    31 Oct 17 Kammerorchester Basel, Vilde Frang

    “Mit Beethovens Violinkonzert in D-Dur änderte sich der Charakter der Musik fundamental. Auch mit modernem Instrumentarium vermochte Trevor Pinnock als Experte historisch informierten Musizierens eine Klangsprache im Sinne des Komponisten umzusetzen, unauffällig in der Tempowahl. Die Ansprache war direkt, nie grob, die Artikulation leicht, die Dynamik sorgfältig.”


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    16 Dec 16 70th Birthday Concert
    Wigmore Hall

    “Katy Bircher was the fluent soloist in Bach’s second Orchestral Suite – a flute concerto in all but name – while Rachel Podger’s violin and Jonathan Manson’s cello graced a Handel sonata, and Pinnock’s own virtuosity lit up the fifth Brandenburg. Then it was the turn of the Royal Academy of Music’s Alumni Ensemble – which Pinnock guest-conducts – to give a performance, with soprano Lauryna Bendziunaite, of Erwin Stein’s chamber arrangement of Mahler’s fourth symphony. It didn’t take long for the initial shock of this unfamiliar reduction to wear off: replacing orchestral padding with chamber electricity, this was a revelatory account.”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 19 December 2016 

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    11 Dec 16 70th Birthday Concert
    National Centre for Early Music

    “The remarkable aspect was not how small the ensemble sounded, but how large: as Pinnock built up the momentum of the fifth Brandenburg’s famous, extended cadenza you were put in mind that Bach treated the harpsichord the way Jimi Hendrix treated amplifiers, as if willing them to explode.”
    Alfred Hickling, The Guardian, 12 December 2016

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    22 Apr 16 Mozart: Gran Partita
    Linn Records CKD 516

    “And from their glowing first chord to the extravagantly mellow colours of
    the variations to the deft fizz of the finale, this is seriously
    impressive playing from students of the Royal Academy of Music under Trevor Pinnock”
    Kate Molleson, The Guardian,5 May 2016 

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    19 Feb 16 Journey - Linn Records
    Two Hundred Years of Harpsichord Music

    “Inspired by the journey of the Spanish composer Antonio de Cabezón around Europe, Trevor Pinnock has assembled a quirky and intensely personal collection spanning two centuries of music and revisiting his career…”
    Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian 14 February 2015 

    “The compositions featured here run the gamut from 16th century creations by the likes of Byrd, Tallis and the blind Spanish composer Antonio de Cabezon to the Baroque delights of Scarlatti and Handel, and Pinnock’s consumate keyboard artistry breathes new life into them all.”

    Kevin Bryan, Chad, 4 February 2016 
    “I can recommend this birthday disc with wholehearted enthusiasm.” Instrumental Choice ★★★★★ Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine, April 2016 

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    10 Mar 12 Concert March 2012
    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    “The joy of Trevor Pinnock lies foremost in the energy and dynamic contrasts, as seen in Haydn Symphony No.83.  After the first movement, where there was much noise from the timpani, the music entered calmer waters, with more space and depth.”
    Frits van der Waa, De Volkskrant, 24 March 2012

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    06 Mar 12 Concert March 2012
    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    “From Pinnock’s last visit 4 years ago, we already know he’s an expert. His learning was shown foremost in Haydn Symphony No.83. Pinnock exerted a healthy dose of energy through the ranks and made a careful balance between the crisp lightness and extreme expressiveness of Haydn’s brilliant music.”
    Frederike Berntsen, Trouw, 24 March 2012

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    01 Jul 11 Concert July 2011
    Trevor Pinnock & Friends, Istanbul

    “In the famous long solo in the first movement of the Brandenburg, he drew out the instrument’s depth, color and charisma in his execution of what this instrument — whose strings are plucked rather than struck — is capable of.”
    Today’s Zaman Istanbul, July 2011

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    01 Mar 11 Recital March 2011

    “He made an eloquent case for Handel’s skill as a composer for harpsichord with a chaconne in G and variations, his fingers needling the keys like a sewing machine, Pinnock made beautiful pictures with the means at hand.”
    The Washington Post, March 2011

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    01 Jul 10 Wigmore Hall Live CD
    Recording 2010

    “Pinnock’s playing in these works is fluent, modestly extrovert and fun-loving. It is without silly gestures or empty rhetoric.”
    BBC Music Magazine, July 2010


Sandy Burnett talks to Trevor Pinnock about his new album “Jouney – Two Hundred Years of Harpsichord Music” released on Linn Records