Peter Whelan is among the most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance of his generation, with a remarkable career as a conductor, keyboardist and solo bassoonist. He is Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and founding Artistic Director of Ensemble Marsyas.
Olivier award-winner Peter Whelan is among the most dynamic and versatile exponents of historical performance of his generation, with a remarkable career as a conductor and director. He is Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra as well as Curator for Early Music of Norwegian Wind Ensemble. Whelan is an acclaimed solo artist with an extensive and award winning discography as a solo bassoonist.
As conductor, Whelan has a particular passion for exploring and championing neglected music from the Baroque and Classical eras. Recent orchestral highlights include the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Irish National Opera for Così fan tutte.
Opera productions have included The Marriage of Figaro and Magic Flute and Acis and Galatea with Irish National Opera and Handel’s Radamisto with English Touring Opera. At the beginning of 2022, Whelan conducted Bajazet, a co-production by the Royal Opera House and Irish National Opera, which was met with outstanding reviews and for which he won an Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’. In 2022, he made his debut at San Francisco Opera with Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.
Whelan’s artistic direction in live performance and the recording studio has been widely praised for its ‘rich insight, style and charisma’ (The Guardian), its ‘stylish verve’ (BBC Music Magazine) and ‘phenomenally energetic direction’ (The Arts Desk). As a champion of early music, Whelan represents ‘the very best of contemporary trends in bringing this music to life: flex and zest with tempi, lithe and vigorous … an incredible alertness to colors and moods summoned by the cut-and-thrust harmonic footwork of this music’ (OperaWire).