Paul Goodwin
Paul Goodwin
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
One of Europe’s most versatile and creative conductors, Paul Goodwin is in his 11th season as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival. He is the fourth maestro to hold this position in the organization’s distinguished 81-year history and succeeded the extraordinary Bruno Weil. The 2021 Festival will be Goodwin's final season in this role.

Based in a leafy village near London, Goodwin’s career has taken many twists and turns. Like many British musicians, he was involved in music from an early age as a boy soprano (in the renowned Temple Church Choir in central London) and then oboist. He went to University in Nottingham where he studied composition, analysis and contemporary music, while nurturing his love of conducting and early music. Paul eventually decided to focus on modern and baroque oboe, studying in London, Vienna and Salzburg (with Nicolas Harnoncourt). He became known throughout the world as one of the players in the forefront of the Early Music revival, pushing forward playing standards and researching early music techniques on the oboe from early baroque repertoire to Wagner and beyond. He still has a collection of 22 diverse oboes and countless reeds!

In his years as a professional oboist, Paul played for most of the great directors in the early music world, performed concertos in the finest concert halls of the world and made many solo and obbligato recordings. All this came to an end when he was offered a number of prestigious conducting engagements and decided to jump fully into his other love, conducting, traveling to Finland to study with the great conducting teacher

Jorma Panula. Subsequently, Christopher Hogwood asked him to be the Associate Conductor of the Academy of Ancient Music, a post he held for 11 years and with whom three recordings were nominated for a GRAMMY in the US and a Gramophone award in Britain. The English Chamber Orchestra offered him the position of Principal Guest Conductor, a post he held for six years. He also came to the world's attention through masterminding the first-ever staged performances of the St. Matthew Passion by Bach with director Jonathan Miller.

Among his many acclaimed recordings as a conductor one could point out his CDs featuring the music of Edward Elgar with the English Chamber Orchestra, Mozart's one act opera Zaide with the Academy of Ancient Music, his Handel opera and oratorio recordings with Kammerorchester Basel and several atmospheric CDs of John Tavener's music. He has performed with many exciting luminaries in his career such as Kiri Te Kanawa, Joshua Bell, Maria João Pires, Mstislav Rostropovich and Magdelena Kozena.

Paul has a strong association with many orchestras and opera houses in Germany and particularly its fine radio symphony orchestras with whom he is able to indulge his passion for unusual repertoire, interesting juxtapositions of composers, and pairings of old and new music. He has a particularly strong relationship with the Munich Radio Orchestra with whom he has recently recorded two unusual discs, one, of the famous children's pieces - Peter and the Wolf and Paddington Bear, and the other of virtuosic violin music from Brahms to Shostakovich with the emerging star, Charlie Siem.

Elsewhere he has conducted many national orchestras including those of Spain, Belgium, France, Scotland, Poland, Taiwan, Sweden and Finland, plus many national chamber orchestras. In the United States, his credits include guest conducting appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the National Symphony in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, The Utah Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. In the UK, he has conducted the BBC Symphony, the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, The Scottish National and the Scottish Chamber orchestras and many others.

In recognition of his exceptional artistic service to the performance works by Handel, Goodwin was awarded the prestigious Handel Prize in 2007 from the city of Hallé in Germany (Handel’s birthplace). His dedication to education and outreach has inspired him to work with the National Youth Orchestras of the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain, the Britten-Pears Orchestra, the European Union Baroque Orchestra and the orchestras of the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music in London as well as the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

Paul loves to conduct opera, but because of family commitments he only takes occasional offers. He has worked in the Royal Opera houses in Spain and Portugal, the Hungarian National Opera, and the National Opera houses in Scotland, Wales and Belgium, the National Theatre in England, the Komische Oper in Berlin, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, as well as at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. This year he was in the Stadt Theatre in Karlsruhe, Germany, performing Handel's Riccardo Primo, having recorded it for Harmonia Mundi.

Paul resides in Surrey, to the west of London, with his wife, Helen (a former professional cellist, now an architect), and their three children: Holly, Tom, and Barnaby.

"JS Bach is the most timeless of composers and the least egotistical. His music has always been influential throughout the world and continues to be today. The combination of simplicity and great depth appeals to everybody whatever creed or musical taste.”