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 a number of summer courses including the Pro Corda Conservatoire Baroque Summer Course in the UK.
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 and Esther at Wigmore Hall and directed ensembles such as the Croatian Baroque Ensemble in Zagreb and the London Mozart Players.
Plans for the 18/19 season include conducting and directing the London Handel Orchestra in Bach’s Magnificat and some of his cantatas and Handel's Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Wigmore Hall), The Choice of Hercules and Chandos Anthems in appearances at the London Handel, Tilford Bach and Thaxted Festivals. The London Handel Players return to North America with their baroque dance programme and start a new series of intimate chamber concerts at The Charterhouse in London. And The Revolutionary Drawing Roomthe continues its complete Beethoven quartet cycle at St. John’s, Smith Square.
November 2018 saw the release of a new recording on the Onyx Classics label of Handel's Chandos Te Deum and Chandos Anthem No.8 with the LHO and soloists Grace Davidson, Charles Daniels, Nicholas Mulroy, Benedict Hymas and Edward Grint.
“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
VIOLINIST | DIRECTOR | CONDUCTOR
© Adrian Butterfield 2016