Sir John Eliot Gardiner has been named the recipient of this year’s award for outstanding musician at the Critics’ Circle Music Awards. The award celebrates an individual musician’s ‘continuing career of international significance and exceptional artistic achievements’.

Chair of the Critics’ Circle music section Guy Dammann described Gardiner as a ‘rare figure among musicians in being both a household name and an artist of uncompromising vision’.

Dammann continued: ‘His exceptional creative energy and drive is as immediately palpable today as it was when he founded the Monteverdi Choir almost 50 years ago, and is equally evident in his live music making as it is in the stream of new projects on which he embarks every year. It is hard to think of a musician in our lifetime who has done more to shape and change the way we listen to music, both directly through his own creative work and also indirectly, through the generations of musicians he has guided and inspired. ’

This year has been especially significant for Gardiner, as it saw the conductor celebrate his seventieth birthday and marked the final instalment of the Monteverdi Choir’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage.

Gardiner will be presented with the outstanding musician accolade during an awards ceremony later this month at the Royal Opera House, where he is currently conducting Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

(Image credit: Tony Buckingham)


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