The English harpsichordist and conductor, Laurence Cummings, was an organ scholar at Christ Church Oxford where he graduated with first class honours.
Laurence Cummings is one of Britain's most exciting and versatile young exponents of historical performance both as harpsichord player and conductor. In 1996, he was appointed Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music which has led to both Baroque and Classical orchestras forming part of the established curriculum. He is also Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Societyl and a trustee of Handel House London. Since 1999 he has been Music Director of the London Handel Festival where performances have included productions of Deborah, Athalia, Esther, Agrippina, Sorsame, Alexander Balus, Hercules, Samson, Ezio, Riccardo Primo and Tolomeo.
Opera productions include Semele and Orfeo for English National Opera, Giulio Cesare for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Ariodante and Tolomeo for English Touring Opera, Rodelinda for Opera Theatre Company in the UK, Ireland and New York, Alceste at the Linbury Theatre Covent Garden as part of the London Bach Festival, Time Flows (based on music by George Frideric Handel and Hendrix) for Streetwise Opera, Caverlieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo, Eccle’s The Judgement of Paris and King Arthur in Croatia, Francisco António de Almeida’s La Spinalba and La Guiditta at the Casa da Musica in Porto and L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Dardanus at the Royal Academy of Music. He recently made his USA debut conducting Orfeo with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston.
As a continuo player Laurence Cummings has worked regularly with such ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, The Sixteen, Gabrieli Consort, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and conductors William Christie, Paul McCreesh and Harry Christophers. He has collaborated with stage directors Graham Vick, Peter Sellars, Annabelle Arden, James Conway and Robert Carsen.
His orchestral engagements include concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music Baroque Orchestra (J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) at the London Bach Festival) and Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers at the Spitalfields Festival.
Laurence Cummings's numerous recordings include the first recording of G.F. Handel’s newly discovered Gloria with Emma Kirkby and the Royal Academy of Music on BIS and recital discs of solo harpsichord music (including music by Louis and François Couperin) for Naxos. He has recently completed a solo disc of G.F. Handel arias with Angelika Kirchschlager for BIS.
Future plans include performances of Orfeo for the English Bach Festival, L’Incoronazione di Poppea for English National Opera, Antonio Vivaldi's Olympiade for Garsington Opera and Poro at the London Handel Festival. He also gives concerts at the Casa da Musica and with The English Concert