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It’s old news, but his orchestra really is the finest (Baroque) band in the land.” – Andrew Appel, IMBY

McGegan had his period-instrument orchestra playing with impressive unanimity and spirit.” – Andrew L. Pincus, The Berkshire Eagle


…what a joy, what enthusiasm he [Nicholas McGegan] exudes.” Jacques Leclerc – Info-Culture

As far as I could tell, McGegan never stopped smiling, clearly relishing every moment of music making.” Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque supported in glowing hues and lyrical lines, the rhythm driven from the bottom of the orchestra (as in a good jazz band) and the violins gamboling ebulliently.” – Timothy Mangan, Orange County Register

The tenor Mr. Phan, in particular, is becoming a star of the American early-music scene, a status that Philharmonia Baroque has long enjoyed.” – James R. Oestreich, New York Times

CD RELEASE: Scarlatti’s La Gloria di Primavera

The singing and the orchestral playing on this CD are splendid…” – Hans de Groot, The Whole Note Magazine 

Nicholas McGegan is an excellent guide to this paean on a prince’s birth; his players and singers are excellent throughout this work by the elder Scarlatti.” – David Vickers, Gramophone Magazine, Editor’s Choice Recording, July 2017 

Several invocations of nature – pastoral images, a tempest, the flowing Danube – were all beautifully rendered.” – Von Edward Sava-Segal, BachTrack

Turn off the lights, put on this recording, and revel in bliss.” – Jason Victor Serinus, SF Classical Voice

…all vocal and instrumental work was consistently engaging..” – Stephen Smoliar, SF Examiner

McGegan’s brisk leadership gives the whole thing some welcome vitality.” — Joshua KosmanSF Chronicle

April: Hymns of Praise

McGegan led the combined forces of his responsive band, an augmented Philharmonia Chorale, and three soloists on a musical and dramatic spirit quest.” – Steven Winn, SF Classical Voice

McGegan and his crew of musicians — including the excellent Philharmonia Chorale and a lineup of first-rate vocal soloists — unveiled an expansive and eloquent masterpiece.” – Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle

[McGegan] could not have delivered a more energetic performance, given more clarity than one usually experiences thanks to the PBO instrumental resources.” – Stephen Smoliar, SF Examiner

McGegan…brought it all together in a flowing, rhythmically exuberant performance.” – Georgia Rowe, the Daily Democrat

March: Explore Baroque Europe

Philharmonia Baroque tours Baroque Europe with delightfully diverse programming.” – Stephen Smoliar, SF Examiner

February: Baroque Fireworks Gala, Concert and Tour

an irresistible onslaught of gleaming trumpets and thwacking drums, and those sonorities returned in full Technicolor for the “Fireworks” music.” – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

the music performed offered far more than razzle-dazzle spectacle…” Stephen Smoliar, SF Examiner

…in terms of enjoyable after-parties, PBO nailed it.” – Beth Spotswood, SFGate

McGegan’s forte is rhythmic vitality, and these mostly dance tunes by Handel sparkled with fresh allure.” – John Frayne, The News Gazette – Urbanna Illinois

February: All Mozart

“Mozart’s concerto and symphonies dazzle under Philharmonia Baroque playing” – Stephen Smoliar, SF Examiner

“…the conducting of Nicholas McGegan was outstanding in its combination of taut structures and delicate passagework.” – James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet 

2015 Year in Review

4. “The Marriage Contract” (April 15): The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera Center joined forces for an uproarious and beautifully sung production of Rossini’s comic one-acter.” – Joshua Kosman, SF Gate

Best of 2015

9. Baroque treasures at American Bach and Philharmonia Baroque: It’s hard to believe, but the Baroque era continues to yield new musical treasures. — In October, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra treated Bay Area audiences to “La gloria di primavera” (The Glory of Spring), a gorgeous evening-length work by Scarlatti making its long overdue U.S. premiere.” – Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News

November. Richard Egarr’s Bach “jam session.” Egarr paid a return visit to Philhamonia Baroque to present a program of three of Bach’s “Brandenburg” concertosEgarr is always a lively conductor, but there was an exciting air of spontaneity in his approach to Bach that will make his performances hard to forget.” – Stephen Smoliar, SF Examiner

Top 10 Classical Music Events of 2015

10. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Sherezade Panthaki (Dec. 2): Panthaki has been a regular and welcome visitor in recent years, but the soprano outdid even her earlier appearances with an exquisite solo turn in music of Handel.” – Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle

December 2015: Hail, Bright Cecilia

…This one-act oratorio amounts to an elaborate assertion that music is totally awesome, and the performance, in Palo Alto’s First United Methodist Church, could not have been more persuasive on that point.” – Joshua Kosman, SFGate

If ever a competition were held to demonstrate that classical does not equal stodgy, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Music Director Nicholas McGegan would sail through the challenge with ease.” – Jason Victor Serinus, SFCV

November 2015: Bach’s Brandenburgs with Richard Egarr

The entire program dazzled under Egarr’s proclivity for lively interpretations…” Stephen Smoliar, SF Examiner

November 2015: PBO SESSIONS The Royal Brandenburgs

Egarr romanced his audience with infectious enthusiasm and knowing impishness…”Cy Ashley Webb at StarkInsider 

October 2015: Scarlatti’s The Glory of Spring

McGegan…conducted brilliantly…. and the Philharmonia players delivered each episode with clarity and precision.”– Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News

The Glory of Spring” is a feast of vocal invention, supplemented by wondrous instrumental writing for a strikingly large orchestra.” – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

…[the orchestra] made the Danube River ripple in beguiling legatos, caught the shiny flow of that silver-footed brook, and rallied with declarative trumpets and piping reeds for the more military flourishes.” – Steve Winn, SFCV

McGegan’s selection was thus entirely appropriate for this particular occasion, and the signs could not be better that this will be a delightfully engaging Philharmonia Baroque season.” – Stephen Smoliar, San Francisco Examiner

Nicholas McGegan’s 30th Anniversary  Season

The child of a painter and an architectural historian who were very happy to let him go off and do music, he grew up moving between disciplines…” – Jason Victor Serinus for SFCV

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