Sir John Eliot Gardiner is revered as one of the world’s most innovative and dynamic musicians, constantly in the vanguard of enlightened interpretation and standing as a leader in contemporary musical life. His work, as founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, has marked him out as a key figure both in the early music revival and as a pioneer of historically informed performances.
As a regular guest of the world's leading symphony orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Gardiner conducts repertoire from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The extent of his repertoire is illustrated in the extensive catalogue of award-winning recordings with his own ensembles and leading orchestras, incorporating such composers as Mozart, Schumann, Berlioz, Elgar and Kurt Weill, in addition to works by Renaissance and Baroque composers. His many recording accolades include two GRAMMY awards and he has received more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist.
Gardiner has also conducted opera productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; at the Vienna State Opera; and at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. From 1983 to 1988, he was Artistic Director of Opéra de Lyon, where he founded its new orchestra. He is an authority on the music of J. S. Bach, and his book, Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, was published in 2013. He was awarded a knighthood for his services to music in the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours List.