About Pablo Heras-Casado
Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado has often conducted early music and contemporary opera, as well as many forms of music that fall chronologically in between. He became the conductor of the Freiburger Barockorchester in Germany in the late 2010s and has often recorded with that group.
Heras-Casado was born in Granada, Spain, on November 21, 1977. His father was a police officer. Heras-Casado sang with a school choir from age seven and took up the piano two years later. He studied music at the Granada Conservatory but switched to art history and theater as a student at the University of Granada. Then he took up conducting definitely as a career, studying at the University of Alcalá and taking further lessons with early music conductors Harry Christophers and Christopher Hogwood. Early in his career, Heras-Casado was a founder or co-founder of both the early music group Capella Exaudi and the avant-garde ensemble SONÓORA. In 2007, he formed La Compañía Teatro del Principe, which specializes in Spanish Baroque opera. Heras-Casado has continued to work with that group but has also conducted a wide variety of instrumental ensembles, including the Spanish National Youth Orchestra and the Baroque Orchestra of Granada. He made his U.S. debut in 2008 at Carnegie Hall in New York as the conductor of the Ensemble ACJW (now Ensemble Connect) and in Britain the same year with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Heras-Casado became the principal conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke's in London in 2011, remaining in that post until 2017, staying on as conductor laureate. He has conducted both opera and ballet, making his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 2013 in a production of Verdi's Rigoletto. He also spent three seasons as the principal guest conductor at the Teatro Real in Madrid and has maintained connections with his hometown as director of the Granada Festival since 2017. During this period, he was also active as the principal conductor of the Freiburger Barockorchester, broadening its repertory well into the Romantic era.
Heras-Casado has recorded mostly with the Freiburger Barockorchester on the Harmonia Mundi label, beginning with an album featuring Schubert's Symphony No. 3 in D major, D. 200, and Symphony No. 4 in C minor, D. 417, in 2013. He has also recorded with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, leading a performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1, Op. 13, the Balthasar Neumann Choir & Ensemble, in Monteverdi's Selva morale e spirituale, and other groups. In 2020, he and the Freiburger Barockorchester backed fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in a recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19, and Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73. Heras-Casado has earned many honors, including a Conductor of the Year nod in 2014 from Musical America, and designation in 2018 as a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France. ~ James Manheim