by Daniel Hathaway
This week’s Cleveland Orchestra concerts will feature Baroque music by Handel, Rameau, and Purcell, led by British guest conductor Harry Bicket, who has established a distinguished operatic career at Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, The Met, and Santa Fe. Since 2007, he has served as artistic director of The English Concert, an early music ensemble founded by Trevor Pinnock, who led the group for 30 years.
Bicket’s career trajectory might have gone in quite a different direction. After posts as organ scholar of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and Christ Church Oxford, he was appointed sub-organist at Westminster Abbey at the age of 23. Well on his way to becoming organist at a major English cathedral, Bicket had doubts. “I thought, OK, I could stay at the Abbey for the next 40 years, considering it’s just about the best job ever,” Bicket said by telephone from his home in London, “but is that really what I want to do?”
He left Westminster Abbey without any real plan in mind. [Read more…]