Paul McCreesh has been appointed principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Lisbon-based Gulbenkian Orchestra from July 2013 on a four-year contract. He succeeds Lawrence Foster, who has spent 11 years in the role. Working closely with Gulbenkian Foundation music director Risto Nieminen, McCreesh is set to build on the orchestra’s reputation and to expand its Classical and Romantic repertoire, while also including major works of the 20th century. He will also work with the Gulbenkian Choir, develop education and outreach programmes, and spearhead touring and recording plans.
‘I am both thrilled and honoured to be appointed to lead this fine orchestra,’ he said. ‘In our performances last season I very much enjoyed the warmth, skill and the imagination of the orchestra's musicians, alongside the great energy of the Gulbenkian's acclaimed choir. I look forward to an exciting and rewarding artistic collaboration over the next years.’
Founder and artistic director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players, McCreesh first conducted the Gulbenkian orchestra and choir in Haydn’s The Seasons in November 2011. He will conduct four Gulbenkian performances during the 2012-13 season, including music by Mozart, Stravinsky, Schubert, Strauss and Elgar.