Harry Bicket

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Harry Bicket (born 1961) is a British conductor, harpsichordist and organist. He is particularly associated with the baroque and classical repertoire.

Bicket was educated at Radley College, Christ Church, Oxford, where he was an organ scholar, and the Royal College of Music. Before Oxford, he was an organ scholar at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Afterwards, he was sub-organist at Westminster Abbey, during which time he performed at the wedding of Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew. He first performed on the harpsichord in 1983 at The Proms as an emergency deputy, his first-ever public performance on harpsichord.[1]

As a conductor, Bicket became known when he stood in as a replacement to conduct Peter Sellars' production of Handel's opera Theodora with Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and David Daniels, at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1996. In 2003, Bicket made his Covent Garden debut conducting Handel's Orlando with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE).[2] In 2004, Bicket made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in a production of Rodelinda with Renée Fleming in the title role.[3] He returned to Handel and the Met in 2020, conducting a production new to that house of Agrippina.[4]

In October 2006, Bicket was named music director of The English Concert, and formally assumed the post in September 2007, his first orchestral directorship. He first worked with The English Concert as a harpsichordist in 1984. Bicket has conducted commercial recordings with The English Concert for Harmonia Mundi.[5]

Bicket first conducted at Santa Fe Opera (SFO) in 2004, in a production of Agrippina. He returned to SFO as conductor for subsequent productions of Platée (2007) and Radamisto (2008). In April 2013, SFO named Bicket its next chief conductor, effective 1 October 2013.[6] Although the formal press release did not indicate a specific time length of Bicket's initial contract, SFO general director Charles MacKay stated an informal duration of 4–5 years.[7] In November 2016, Santa Fe Opera announced the extension of Bicket's contract as chief conductor through 30 September 2020.[8] In February 2018, Santa Fe Opera announced the elevation of Bicket's title from chief conductor to music director of the company, effective 1 October 2018.[9] In October 2018, Santa Fe Opera announced the extension of Bicket's contract with the company, as music director, through the 2023 season.[10]

In addition to recording with The English Concert, Bicket has conducted commercial recordings with other ensembles for various labels, including Decca,[11][12] Avie,[13] and EMI.[14]

Bicket is married to the environmental scholar Audrey de Nazelle, of Imperial College London. The family resides in London.[6]


  1. ^ Harry Bicket (10 October 2018). "Celebrating The English Concert at 45". Gramophone. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  2. ^ Andrew Clements (8 October 2003). "Orlando (Royal Opera House, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  3. ^ Anthony Tommasini (4 December 2004). "Handel Discovers Big Home At the Met". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Metropolitan Opera Association". archives.metoperafamily.org. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  5. ^ Tim Ashley (10 March 2011). "Bach: Cantatas and Arias – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Chief Conductor Announced" (Press release). Santa Fe Opera. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  7. ^ Anne Constable (24 April 2013). "Harry Bicket named new chief conductor of Santa Fe Opera". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Santa Fe Opera 2016 Season in Review" (PDF) (Press release). Santa Fe Opera. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  9. ^ "SFO Names General Director" (Press release). Santa Fe Opera. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  10. ^ "The Santa Fe Opera's 2018 Season in Review" (Press release). Santa Fe Opera. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  11. ^ Anthony Holden (9 October 2004). "Handel, Arias". The Observer. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  12. ^ Edward Greenfield (11 November 2004). "Handel: Arias from Semele, Scipione, Orlando, Giulio Cesare, Lotario, Alexander Balus, etc, Fleming/ OAE/ Bicket". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  13. ^ Anthony Holden (29 May 2004). "Handel: Arias, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson". The Observer. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  14. ^ Tim Ashley (9 August 2007). "Handel: Arias; Bostridge/ OAE/ Bicket". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Andrew Manze
Music Director, The English Concert
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Frédéric Chaslin
Chief Conductor, Santa Fe Opera
Succeeded by
incumbent (as music director)
Preceded by
incumbent (as chief conductor)
Music Director, Santa Fe Opera
Succeeded by