John Eliot Gardiner aiming to return 'later in the year'

Hattie Butterworth
Thursday, February 8, 2024

Conductor of the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra extends his time away following assaulting a singer last summer

Sir John Eliot Gardiner stepped down from public music-making after an incident last summer
Sir John Eliot Gardiner stepped down from public music-making after an incident last summer

Liliya Olkhovaya

A joint statement has been issued today by the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras along with Sir John Eliot Gardiner confirming Gardiner's decision to extend his time away from public music-making, aiming to return later in the year.

Gardiner withdrew from public music-making following an assault on bass singer Will Thomas after a performance of Berlioz opera Les Troyens at the Berlioz Festival at La Côte-Saint-André in France last August.

The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras said in the statement: 'In an agreement between the board and management of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, we can confirm that John Eliot has decided to extend his time away from public music-making, and it is our shared aim that he will be in a position to return to conduct the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras later in the year.'

It added that the recent award of Best Choir at the 2024 Oper! Awards was a 'deserved tribute to John Eliot's lifetime work'.

Gardiner himself said in the statement: 'As announced by the board and management of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras today, I am extending my time away from public music-making until later in the year in the wake of last August’s incident - something for which I have accepted full responsibility and profoundly regret ... I would like to thank the Monteverdi family for their strenuous efforts, and I am confident they will continue to deliver their projects at an exceptional standard over the next few months...'

The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists have announced that Peter Whelan will conduct its forthcoming tour of Handel's Israel in Egypt with Assocaite Conductor Dinis Sousa conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir for the May 2024 Beethoven Symphonies in London and Paris.

 

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