Adrian Butterfield is a violinist, director, conductor and teacher who specialises in performing music from 1600-1900 on period instruments. He is Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Society and Associate Director of the London Handel Festival and regularly directs the London Handel Orchestra and Players as well as working as a guest soloist and director in Europe and North America with modern and period ensembles.
Born in London, he started playing the violin at the age of four, was a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral and went on to read music at Trinity College, Cambridge and study as a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music. He has worked with most of the period-instrument ensembles in London.
He is a founder-member of the London Handel Players who perform regularly at Wigmore Hall and throughout Europe and North America and who made their debut at Carnegie Hall in 2014. He also leads the Revolutionary Drawing Room, an ensemble which specialises in performing Classical and Romantic repertoire on period instruments. A recording of quartets by Haydn, Mozart, Vanhal and Dittersdorf, 'A Viennese Quartet Party', was released by RDR to coincide with their 25th anniversary in 2015. Recent other releases include Mozart's Clarinet Quintet with Colin Lawson on Clarinet Classics and Geminiani's complete Op.1 sonatas (SOMM) by LHP in 2012. He has taken part in numerous other recordings and his world premiere complete recordings of Leclair’s first two books of violin sonatas, which were released in 2009 and 2013, have been widely acclaimed.
He works annually with the Southbank Sinfonia, is Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music, gives masterclasses in Europe and North America and teaches on the Aestas Musica International Summer School of Baroque Music and Dance in Croatia.
He has conducted the major choral works of Bach as well as Handel's Israel in Egypt at St. George's, Hanover Square and La Resurrezione at Wigmore Hall and directed ensembles such as the Croatian Baroque Ensemble in Zagreb and the London Mozart Players.
Plans for the 16/17 season include conducting and directing the London Handel Orchestra in Mozart’s C minor Mass and D major Violin Concerto and Bach’s St. John Passion as well as performing and recording some of Handel's Chandos works, the making of a baroque dance video with the London Handel Players and a return with them to Wigmore Hall as well as the beginning of a complete Beethoven quartet cycle at St. John’s, Smith Square with the Revolutionary Drawing Room. He will also make his debut with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in November 2016 in a programme of Handel and Mozart.
“How does a critic begin to describe the most perfectly performed musical experience in many years? By listing, of course, in a roll of honour, those who created it, beginning with the masterly Adrian Butterfield, whose sure direction (from the violin) and complete immersion in the idiom was undoubtedly responsible for the exceptional quality of the performance.”
musicOMH St. Matthew Passion, St. John’s, Smith Square, London 17th June 2015
"Technically and musically, Butterfield is a marvel"
Gramophone Magazine, Leclair Book 2, Sept 2013
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© Adrian Butterfield 2016