Nicholas McGegan

Nicholas McGegan


Nicholas McGegan is "one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation" (The Independent) and "an expert in 18th century style" (The New Yorker). 


    In his capacity as Music Director of the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque, Nicholas McGegan has established the group as the leading period band in America.

    Active in opera as well as the concert hall, McGegan has been Principal Guest Conductor of Scottish Opera and Principal Conductor of Sweden's eighteenth-century theatre in Drottingholm, running the annual festival there. He has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed practice beyond the world of period instruments to wider conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston, Concertgebouw, Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish Symphony, Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hallé and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Montreal and Sydney. Opera companies he works with include the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington. He has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, most notably at festivals such as the Edinburgh International Festival and Ravinia.

    His discography of over 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel's Susanna, which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination. Recent issues of the same composer's works include Solomon, Samson and Acis and Galatea (a rarity which unearths the little-known version adapted by Felix Mendelssohn). Among his other rediscoveries is the first performance in modern times of Handel's masterly but mislaid Gloria.

    McGegan was born in England and was educated at Cambridge, Oxford and the Royal College of Music, London. His awards include an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen, and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of two decades' distinguished work with Philharmonia Baroque. He was made an OBE in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours List.