Handel Prize winner 2021

Andrea Marcon

Andrea Marcon (c) Marco Borggrefe

The Italian conductor, harpsichordist and organist Andrea Marcon is to receive the Handel Prize of the City of Halle an der Saale, awarded by the Handel House Foundation in 2021. With this award, the Handel House Foundation Board of Trustees, chaired by the Mayor of Halle, Dr. Bernd Wiegand, is following the vote of the Advisory Board and honouring his outstanding services to the preservation of Handel’s music. The City of Halle Handel Prize is awarded to individuals or ensembles for special artistic, academic or cultural achievements which correspond to Halle’s efforts to preserve Handel’s musical heritage at the international level. It is an honorary award with no monetary value.

The Handel House Board of Trustees and Advisory Board are honouring Andrea Marcon as a prominent figure of the early music scene. Besides his outstanding musicality, his reputation, his Handel interpretations and not least his close connections to Handel research are what picked him out for the Handel Prize. For example, for his performance of Handel’s Parnasso in festa in Halle, Andrea Marcon made use for the first time of material from the Halle Handel Edition. The performance of Giulio Cesare in the 1725 version, which Andrea Marcon will be conducting at the 2021 Handel Festival in Halle in its first modern-day performance, is based on the findings and scores of the Halle Handel Edition.

Andrea Marcon is one of the most acknowledged and sought-after early music musicians and experts. He was born in Treviso, Italy, and from 1983 to 1987 studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. His teachers included Jean-Claude Zehnder (organ and harpsichord), Hans Martin Linde (conducting) and Jordi Savall (chamber music). Other influential teachers were Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Hans van Nieuwkoop, Ton Koopman and Harald Vogel. In 1986 he won first prize in the Paul Hofhaimer organ competition in Innsbruck, and in 1991 first prize in the harpsichord competition in Bologna. In 1997 he founded the Venice Baroque Orchestra, today one of the world’s leading Baroque music ensembles. Since 2009 Andrea Marcon is also musical director of the La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel. Marcon is a regular guest conductor at the Frankfurt Opera, Theater Basel and the Aix-en-Provence Festival and has been invited by numerous national radio orchestras throughout Europe and prestigious orchestra as Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bamberger Philharmoniker and others. In 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 he conducted the first "Alcina" production at the Bolshoi Theater Moscow. As well the first fully stage production of “Siroe” in Venice and New York, “Ariodante” in Frankfurt, Oviedo, Aix en Provence, Basel, Valencia, “Rodelinda” in Frankfurt. The conductor has appeared several times in Halle, including in 2014 with the performance of Handel's "Parnasso in festa", in 2018 he conducted the "Messiah" and the festive concert with the soprano and Handel Prize winner Magdalena Kožená. 

Andrea Marcon has made more than 75 CD recordings. For his CD recordings as an organist and harpsichordist, he has won the German Record Critics Award four times. His recordings as a conductor have also received awards including the Diapason d'or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Vivaldi Award of the Cini Foundation and the Edison Prize.

Today, Andrea Marcon is also an acknowledged international leader of Classical and Early Romantic music.

I am deeply honoured to be awarded with the Handel Prize 2021 from the city of Halle an der Saale. My thanks goes to the Handel House Foundation and the Advisory Board as well to the Mayor of Halle Dr. Bernd Wiegand.

Together with Bach Handel’s music has always been part of my musical life since the very beginning and still enlightens it every day with the same power and passion. This prestigious acknowledgment I want to join as well with all soloists, orchestras, opera houses with whom I happily worked sharing the always enriching music of our beloved Handel: thanks Caro Sassone, thanks Halle!

Andrea Marcon, designated laureate of the 2021 Handel Prize

List of the Handel Prize winner: https://www.haendelhaus.de/de/directory/32/82.