Tenor working with Les Arts Florissants since 1992, Paul Agnew has also served in the ensemble as assistant conductor and deputy music director, together with conductor William Christie.
Paul Agnew's music education began within the choir of the Birmingham cathedral before studying as a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford. Member of the Consort of Musicke, he was auditioned by William Christie in 1992, which is the year that marked the beginning of their collaboration. Joining the ensemble Les Arts Florissants, Paul Agnew has become the privileged performer for the countertenor roles of the French baroque repertoire.
Regularly invited by BBC Proms or the Lufthansa Festival, he has performed with the Berliner Philharmonie, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Komische Oper Berlin Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Gabrieli Consort & Players, under the direction of conductors such as Marc Minkowski, Ton Koopman, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Emmanuelle Haïm and William Christie.
In 2006, Christie asked him to conduct certain projects of the Arts Florissants and then appointed him deputy music director in 2013. Thus, Agnew has divided his time between singing and conducting: he is also co-director of the Jardin des Voix, the Arts Florissants' academy for young singers. In parallel, Paul conducts many baroque ensembles and orchestras, such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Concert d’Astrée or the Orchestre Français des Jeunes Baroque.
6 landmark dates in the life of Paul Agnew:
1992: he was auditioned by William Christie. Beginning of their collaboration.
2007: he conducted Les Arts Florissants for a whole year, at the request of William Christie.
2008: he sang the role of Renaud in Armide by Lully, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris, conducted by William Christie.
2010: he conducted Les Arts Florissants in The Indian Queen by Purcell.
2011: debut of the complete Madrigal Books by Monteverdi performed by les Arts Florissants, conducted by Paul Agnew, until 2014.
2013: he was appointed deputy music director of the Arts Florissants by William Christie