Paul McCreesh graduated from the University of Manchester in 1981 with a Bachelor’s Degree in music performance and musicology, he was a cellist. In 1982 he founded the Gabrieli Consort & Players specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music, often presenting little-known period repertoire. The ensemble released the Gramophone Award-winning album Venetian Coronation on Virgin Classics in 1990. McCreesh is also founder and Artistic Director of the Brinkburn Summer Music Festival, in England, which he began in 1994. He was Artistic Director of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival between 2006 and 2012, and in 2013 he became Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. McCreesh also enjoys conducting opera and has taken part in productions at the Teatro Real Madrid, Royal Danish Opera, Vlaamse Opera and the Verbier Festival. His album of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award in 2014, his recording of Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah won the Diapason d’Or Award, in 2013 and his rendition of Berlioz’s gargantuan Grande Messe des Morts received the BBC Award in 2012. McCreesh is especially passionate about working with young musicians and broadening access to classical music. The conductor works regularly with youth orchestras and choirs and is active in cultivating new educational initiatives.