Robert Hollingworth

The group are musical shapeshifters, following Hollingworth's giddy, eclectic imagination wherever it leads.

The Spectator

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

The Telegraph

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

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Robert Hollingworth


Robert Hollingworth has spent much of his life thinking about how audiences receive music instead of just how performers are used to delivering it. He founded I Fagiolini in 1986; with them he has presented signature projects including Simunye, The Full Monteverdi, Tallis in Wonderland, How Like An Angel (with Australian contemporary circus group C!RCA) for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Betrayal: a polyphonic crime drama, and Leonardo: Shaping the Invisible with Professor Martin Kemp. Under Hollingworth’s expert direction, I Fagiolini has won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Ensemble Award, Gramophone Awards and the Diapason D'Or de l'Annee. In 2017 the group returned to the BBC Proms and gave their debut at the Edinburgh International Festival. Releases on Decca Classics include the multi-award winning Striggio Mass in 40 Parts, Amuse-Bouche and Monteverdi: The Other Vespers

Recent projects include multiple performances in The VOCES8 Foundation’s LIVE From London, featuring Monteverdi for which I Fagiolini is renowned, Long, Long, Ago - Messe De Minuit - a joyous Christmas Eve programme of Charpentier, Howells and Dylan Thomas, and Re-Wilding The Waste Land with Tamsin Greig narrating. A short series of three films for socially distanced chamber musicians, #NotInThisTogether, (Le Zoom, Phone-y Canzone-y, and Cake Mix), and also a weekly educational and outreach series Sing The Score (funded by ACE and University of York). New podcast ‘choral chat’ collaboration, Choral Chihuahua, with The Sixteen’s Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan has been winning admirers globally. Released on Boxing Day 2020, THE STAG HUNT a new short a cappella film by La Bouchardière, is a tongue-in-cheek parody with an environmental slant.

Sing The Score Official Trailer

Robert conducted the world premiere of Benji Merrison’s new piece, xoxvx ovoid, with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain for the Aldeburgh Proms. He made his Russian debut as part of the British Council’s ‘UK-Russia Year of Music’ conducting Blow Venus and Adonis featuring Anna Dennis and Jonathan Sells alongside Russian choir Intrada and Pratum Integrum. This season will feature a return to Russia, De Profundis, and a new collaboration with Shobana Jeyasingh dance at Sadler Wells.

Away from I Fagiolini, Robert has directed the English Concert, Academy of Ancient Music, Irish Baroque Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as some of the world’s finest chamber choirs including: Accentus, NDR Chor, the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, BBC Singers, Nederlands Kamerkoor, Capella Cracoviensis, VOCES8 and RIAS Kammerchor.

Robert is Artistic Director for Stour Music festival succeeding Mark Deller. An influential communicator, he was the Keynote Presenter at Australian National Choral Association’s ChoralFest in Perth and at the American Choral Directors Association with I Fagiolini. He writes and presents programmes for BBC Radio 3. He is Reader in Music at the University of York where he directs University Chamber Choir ‘The 24’ and runs an MA in Solo-Voice Ensemble Singing.

For further projects, please download Robert’s full biography.

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 2020-21 Full Biography (.docx)

Download 2020-21 Publicity Photo (.jpg) - Credit: Riccardo Cavallari