"Mr. Pearlman is an inventive conductor with an ear for color, balance and placement.”

—The New York Times

 
 

Boston Baroque founder, music director, and conductor Martin Pearlman is one of this country’s leading interpreters of Baroque and Classical music on period and modern instruments. In addition to Boston Baroque’s annual concert season, Mr. Pearlman tours in the United States and Europe and has produced twenty-six major recordings for Telarc and Linn Records. Mr. Pearlman’s completion and orchestration of music from Mozart’s Lo Sposo Deluso, his performing version of Purcell’s Comical History of Don Quixote, and his new orchestration of Cimarosa’s Il Maestro di Cappella were all premiered by Boston Baroque.

Highlights of his work include the complete Monteverdi opera cycle, with his own new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse; the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre; the Boston premiere of Rameau’s Pigmalion; the New England premieres of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and Alceste; and the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. Mr. Pearlman is also known for his internationally acclaimed series of Handel operas including Agrippina, Alcina, Giulio Cesare, and Semele. He made his Kennedy Center debut with The Washington National Opera in Handel’s Semele and has guest conducted the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa, Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony and the New World Symphony. Mr, Pearlman is the only conductor from the early music field to have performed live on the internationally televised GRAMMY® Awards show.

 
 
“Martin Pearlman led the remarkable Boston Baroque orchestra and chorus in a performance filled with energy and sparkling wit... [and] one could hardly ask for a better cast.”

—Opera News

 
 

Mr. Pearlman grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, where he received training in composition, violin, piano, and theory. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, where he studied composition with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer. In 1967–1968, he studied harpsichord in Amsterdam with Gustav Leonhardt on a Fulbright Grant, and in 1971 he received his Master of Music in composition from Yale University, studying composition with Yehudi Wyner and harpsichord with Ralph Kirkpatrick. In 1971, he moved to Boston and began performing widely in solo recitals and concertos. From 2002–2016, he was a Professor of Music at Boston University’s School of Music in the Historical Performance department.

Recent compositions by Martin Pearlman include his comic chamber opera Tristram Shandy, 3-act Finnegans Wake: an Operoar!, as well as The Creation According to Orpheus, for solo piano, harp, percussion and string orchestra. He has also composed music for three plays of Samuel Beckett, commissioned by and premiered at New York’s 92nd Street Y and performed at Harvard University in 2007.