Robert Hollingworth

Robert Hollingworth directed a performance of such vitality, resonance and immediacy that it scarcely seemed to matter who the music was by...

The Telegraph

an impressive tapestry of sound, full of breathtaking beauty and smooth tone colours... [NDR Choir]

Winsener Anzeiger

Robert Hollingworth


Robert has spent much of his life looking for ways to share his love of Renaissance and 20th/21st century music, often by creating ground-breaking projects which present music to audiences in innovative ways. He founded I Fagiolini in 1986; with them he has presented their signature projects including Simunye, The Full Monteverdi, Tallis in Wonderland, and How Like An Angel (with Australian contemporary circus group C!RCA), and Betrayal: a polyphonic crime drama (for singers and dancers based on the music of Gesualdo), which premiered at the Barbican in May 2015.

Robert has directed the English Concert (Purcell), the Academy of Ancient Music (Bach), Accentus (France), Norddeutscher Rundfunk Chor, Nederlands Kamerkoor, Narodowe Forum Muzyki, Wrocław (Acis & Galatea), Symphonieorchester Wuppertal (Judas Maccabeus) and Monteverdi L’Orfeo in Venice. In 2016 he conducted the Danish National Vocal Ensemble in a new conceptual project, Angels and Demons, and makes his debut with RIAS Kammerkoor in 2018. 

In 2011, his world premiere recording of Striggio Mass in 40 Parts was released on Decca with an all-star UK line-up, remaining at the top of the specialist classical chart for nearly four months and winning the 2011 Gramophone Early Music Award and a Diapason d’or de l’année. 1612 Italian Vespers was released on Decca in June 2012 and was chosen as Gramophone CD of the Month and was performed live in the 2012 BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Robert arranged the music for the album Shakespeare: The Sonnets and appeared extensively on BBC TV and radio discussing the disc. Amuse-Bouche (French Choral Delicacies) was released on Decca Classics in April 2016, was CD of the Month for Gramophone Magazine, and shortlisted for a 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Award. It includes the world premiere and film of Jean Françaix 12-voice Ode à la gastronomie: “entirely fresh and unexpected, a recording that’s a bit sexy, a bit silly and absolutely, unmissably superb.” (Gramophone) 2017 album releases include Peerson Grave Chamber Music with Fretwork and Monteverdi: The Other Vespers, in collaboration with Monteverdi's 450th anniversary and the 2017 tour, 'Living Monteverdi'.

Robert has worked on a number of films and writes and presents for BBC Radio 3 (CD Review, The Early Music Show, The Choir and Discovering Music). In 2012 he ran a conducting masterclass and lecture for the American Choral Directors’ Association conference and was the Special Guest Director & speaker at the Association of British Choral Director’s 30th annual convention (2015). His MA in solo-voice-ensemble singing at the University of York (where he is a Reader in Music) is now in its fourth year. 

This biography is for information only, and should not be re-printed. Please use the link below to download the version for concert programmes.

Download 2016-17 Biography (.docx)

Download 2017-18 Publicity Photo (.jpg) - Credit: Keith Saunders