Portland Baroque Orchestra Selects Julian Perkins as Its New Artistic Director

“As artistic director, I eagerly anticipate our musical journey together, sharing our discoveries with as many people as possible.”

After an international search that lasted for years, Portland Baroque Orchestra has selected a new artistic director: Julian Perkins, a British harpsichordist whose impressive track record includes serving as artistic director of Cambridge Handel Opera and founder-director of Sounds Baroque.

“I am thrilled and honored to succeed Monica Huggett as artistic director of the Portland Baroque Orchestra,” Perkins stated in a press release. “As artistic director, I eagerly anticipate our musical journey together, sharing our discoveries with as many people as possible.”

Perkins has big shoes to fill. Huggett retired after holding the position of artistic director for 27 years. But he comes with an enviable reputation (BBC Radio 3 called him the “Indiana Jones of Early Music”), and William Willingham, president of the PBO board of directors, believes that Perkins will bring a fresh perspective to the organization.

“Julian is a great fit for PBO, bringing a breadth of experience in artistic creation, production, and direction,” Willingham said. “His passion, knowledge, and deep commitment to early music make him the ideal person to lead Portland Baroque Orchestra into a new era of excellence.”

PBO will next perform Handel’s Messiah with Cappella Romana. The three performances will be held at Portland’s First Baptist Church on Dec. 9-11.