Described as ‘exuberantly stylish’ by the Sunday Times, Julian Perkins enjoys a demanding career as a conductor and keyboard player. He is the Artistic Director of Cambridge Handel Opera and Founder Director of Sounds Baroque.
Julian has conducted opera productions for organisations including the Buxton International Festival, Cambridge Handel Opera, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Kings Place, Netherlands Opera Academy, New Chamber Opera, New Kent Opera and Snape Maltings, in addition to numerous concert performances. With Sounds Baroque, he has directed performances with singers including Rebecca Evans, Dame Emma Kirkby and Mark Padmore, and has conducted some eighteen Baroque projects with Southbank Sinfonia, in which modern string players experience performing earlier music on gut strings with Baroque bows. Forthcoming conducting projects include John Eccles's Semele with Cambridge Handel Opera and the Academy of Ancient Music (to be recorded on AAM Records), and the world première recording of Stephen Dodgson’s opera Margaret Catchpole for Naxos. Summer 2019 sees Julian performing at the Salzburg Festival, and his solo American début in Boston.
As a player, Julian has gained a wealth of experience performing with many leading period instrument ensembles and modern orchestras including concerto appearances with Florilegium, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of The Sixteen and Royal Northern Sinfonia. In addition to performing as the solo harpsichordist in productions at the Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera and Northern Ireland Opera, he has featured on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show and appeared at venues such as London's Wigmore Hall, New York's Lincoln Center and Sydney Opera House, as well as at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival. Solo recitals in the UK have included appearances for international festivals at St Albans, Buxton, Canterbury, Deal, Lammermuir, Northern Aldborough, Oundle, Petworth, Roman River, Ryedale, Swaledale and Two Moors that have included complete performances of J. S. Bach’s two books of Das wohltemperierte Klavier. His acclaimed discography includes opera, solo and chamber recordings for Avie, Chandos, Channel Classics, Coro, Hyperion, Opus Arte and Resonus Classics on a wide range of instruments, including the Royal Harpsichord at Kew Palace.
Julian read music at King’s College, Cambridge, before pursuing advanced studies at the Schola Cantorum, Basle and the Royal Academy of Music, London. Research is an essential element in Julian's performing career, and he has written articles that have been published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Rhinegold Publishing. This also inspires his work as a visiting coach at the Royal Opera House, and masterclasses that he gives for the National Opera Studio, music colleges and universities both in the UK and abroad.