The Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) has appointed Leo Duarte as Principal Oboe. Hailed by The Telegraph as “a fantastically accomplished communicator”, Duarte joins the orchestra following his standout performance in Handel’s Brockes Passion with AAM at the Barbican in April 2019.
Leo Duarte comments: “It is a great honour to join such a magnificent band of musicians. The AAM forged some of my most treasured musical memories; the early recordings which inspired me to pursue the baroque oboe; the exhilarating projects which I have been fortunate to be a part of; and the inspirational colleagues I have had the pleasure of working with. I look forward to making many more.”
AAM Chief Executive Alexander Van Ingen comments: “I am thrilled to welcome Leo to the AAM family as our Principal Oboe. Leo has frequently performed with the Academy of Ancient Music in recent years, and his spectacular playing in this season’s Brockes-Passion was a highlight of the year for many in the Barbican audience. Admired by his colleagues as a first-rate collaborator as well as soloist, I am delighted that Leo’s playing will be heard by AAM’s audiences over forthcoming seasons. Welcome, Leo!”
Leo Duarte, oboe
Always eager to challenge the status quo in search of new and overlooked aspects of performance practice, Leo is dedicated to research, particularly into primary musical sources. He has made editions of numerous seventeenth and eighteenth century works but is most passionate about getting these works out of the dry and dusty realm of libraries and into the public ear.
He is the musical director and conductor of Opera Settecento, with whom he has given many critically acclaimed performances of neglected gems from the opera seria repertoire. He has recently conducted the modern-day premières of Hasse’s Demetrio, and Handel’s pasticcio operas, Elpidia and Ormisda at the London and Halle Handel Festivals. He is performing the premiere of Handel’s Venceslao at both festivals in 2019.
Since graduating from the Historical Performance Department of the Royal Academy of Music in 2011, Leo has established a reputation as a “fantastically accomplished communicator who generates more personality than you tend to find in [Baroque] repertoire” (Website of the Telegraph Media Group). He is also a keen chamber musician and concerto soloist, having performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and live on BBC Radio 3.