10 September 1941 – 24 September 2014
Keyboard player
BBC Radio 3’s top choice Dido and Aeneas
March 23, 2009
Jeremy Summerly’s top recommendation for a recording of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Building a Library (BBC Radio 3, 20 March 2009) is Christopher’s “carefully fashioned, modern classic on Decca” (L’Oiseau-Lyre 436 992-2OHO).

Cover of Christopher’s 1994 recording of Dido and Aeneas: Catherine Bott (Dido), Emma Kirkby (Belinda), John Mark Ainsley (Aeneas), David Thomas (Sorceress), Michael Chance (Spirit), Julianne Baird (Second Woman), Elizabeth Priday (First Witch), Sara Stowe (Second Witch) and Daniel Lochmann (First Sailor)

“The choral singing is of the highest standard all the way through. The suave Academy of Ancient music is tidy and refined under the direction of Christopher Hogwood.

“The singers and players of the Academy of Ancient Music respond willingly to Christopher Hogwood’s sensitive direction. John Mark Ainsley is a romantic, valiant and heroic Aeneas, Emma Kirkby’s Belinda is exquisite, and Catherine Bott is a riveting Dido.

“During my initial, blind listening, I made copious notes on each track of each recording, mainly so that I wouldn’t change my mind once I had revealed to myself who I’d been listening to. While revelling in Christopher Hogwood’s version, or recording V as I knew it then, I simply resorted to larger and larger ticks when Dido started to sing.”

Hear the complete BBC programme:

Christopher will be conducting Dido and Aeneas in a double bill with Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, opening next week (March 31); for this production (by Wayne McGregor) he will be conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with Sarah Connolly as Dido. See the Calendar for fuller details. Previews of the production recently appeared in The Times and on the reviews and features website musicOHM.