Robert Howarth has been the Director of Music at the University Church since September 2018. A Conductor and Harpsichordist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, he studied music at the University of York where he won the Paynter Prize for his “outstanding musical performance”. He conducts regularly for the Grange Festival (Handel’s Agrippina- 2018, Monteverdi’s Ulisse – 2017) and Opera North (Mozart’s Magic Flute – 2019). He has given Masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, and the Royal Northern College of Music. He is also a coach for the Jette-Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. He conducts regularly across Europe with both Modern and Period Instrument Ensembles. Robert was the Music Director of the play Farinelli and the King, written by Claire Van Kampen and starring Mark Rylance. Following its premiere in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the production transferred to the West End. In 2018, it had a three-month run on Broadway, to high critical acclaim. Robert's work in the UK has seen him conducting at Opera North (Handel’s Giulio Cesare), Welsh National Opera (Monteverdi’s Ulisse), Glyndebourne (Charpentier – Les descente d’Orphée aux enfers), The Halle Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, and The Academy of Ancient Music.
Robert’s work with choirs has seen him many times in Spain conducting their massed-choir Messiahs for the Obra Sociale, La Caixa Concerts Pariticipatius. These performances have been in Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Gran Canarias, Bilbao and Seville. Whilst usually taking the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Choir of the Enlightenment, he has also conducted the Bilbao Sinfonica and the Royal Orchestra of Seville.