Bridget Cunningham is a British-Irish prizewinning harpsichordist, conductor and musicologist, specialising in baroque repertoire. She trained at the Royal College of Music, London with a Fellowship and is currently undertaking her doctoral studies with a stipend through Oxford, Open and Cambridge Universities.
She directs as guest conductor for many different groups and is also the Artistic Director of London Early Opera. Cunningham has researched, edited and created new, scores and parts of many arias and a series of Handel recordings with Signum Classics. These albums have been released worldwide and include Handel in Italy, Caio Fabbricio, Handel at Vauxhall and Handel’s Queens, shortlisted for a Gramophone Award nomination 2020 ;
“Handel has never sounded better” ★★★★★ 5 Stars BBC Music Magazine 2020.
"Bridget Cunningham directs Caio Fabbricio brilliantly, leading from the harpsichord to energise the other players, and to give them space to exploit juicy passages. Caio Fabbricio contains much fine music and compels fresh admiration of Handel’s orchestral skills. Execution of this project is uniformly excellent” BBC Music Magazine, June 2022.
As well as her wide experience of directing baroque music with performances of Purcell's Fairy Queen and Handel's Semele and a vast range of music by Hasse, Handel, Telemann, Bach, Monteverdi, Lully and Rameau, Cunningham has musical experience conducting a range of recordings of music by Butterworth and Beethoven's Piano Concerto in C minor. She conducted London Early Opera’s world premiere BBC commission River, by Grace Evangeline Mason celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Handel's Water Music – broadcast live on the River Thames.
Cunningham has performed at venues and festivals across the world including the Teatro Petruzzelli Bari, Yale University, Britten Theatre, St John's Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Festi Classique France, Cork Festival, Innsbruck Festival and in Finland, Iceland and at the Victoria International Arts Festival for the Prime Minister of Malta. Broadcasts include BBC 2 Messiah, BBC 4 Vivaldi's Women, BBC Radio 3 In Tune, BBC Radio 4 Front Row.
Her solo harpsichord work includes recording the complete harpsichord works of Thomas Roseingrave and performances which include playing for the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, Maison Hine Cognac, Château de Hautefort, Oxford and Cambridge Club and the London Handel Festival. She also collaborates with baroque dance groups and gives lecture recitals at art galleries and opened the Watteau exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
PRIZES & AWARDS
Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Award
Open, Oxford and Cambridge University Doctoral Stipend
Finzi Trust Scholarship
Worshipful Company of Musicians Award for Fellowship at the Royal College of Music
Concordia Foundation Artist
Handel Institute Research Award
Tankard Harpsichord Intercollegiate Competition First Prize winner
Lofthouse Harpsichord and Clavichord Prize
Ruth Dyson Harpsichord and Harpsichord Continuo Prize
Gramophone Music Magazine – Conductor Podcast of the Year 2022
· 2022 Caio Fabbricio HWV A9 by G.F. Handel. Signum Records
· 2021 Handel’s Eight Great Harpsichord Suites. Signum Records
· 2019 Handel’s Queens. Signum Records
· 2017 Handel at Vauxhall Volume 2. Signum Records
· 2017 Handel in Ireland Volume 1. Signum Records
· 2016 Handel in Italy Volume 2. Signum Records
· 2016 Handel at Vauxhall Volume 1. Signum Records
· 2015 Handel in Italy Volume 1. Signum Records
· 2011 Thirty-odd feet below Belgium. Gloria Magnificat Recording Company
· 2010 Ireland’s Enchantment. Rose Street Records
· 2010 Venice Revealed. DVD Peter Ackroyd
· 2009 Vivaldi’s Women Gloria. DVD and BBC Four
· 2009 Thistle and the Rose. Rose Street Records
· 2006 Oxford’s Letters. Absolute Audio (Derek Jacobi with keyboard music by Bridget Cunningham)
" Bridget Cunningham is just such a player… Her feeling for dance rhythms is infectious and her ability to entertain unassailable" ★★★★★ 5 stars BBC Music Magazine, January 2022.
“Superb album - I never thought I could listen to more than 2 hours of such stuff at a stretch without a break, but that’s what I have done” David Mellor, Classic FM Album of the Month
“The playing is so beautifully focused. Splendid in every respect” BBC Radio 3 and Editor’s Pick, Gramophone Magazine