Most recent reviews of David Bates – conductor

Vivaldi Farnace at Spoleto Festival USA  

The modern Spoleto orchestra, buttressed by a theorbo and a pair of harpsichords, was led by David Peter Bates, an experienced early-music conductor. His style tended toward the robust…. Mr. Bates and the orchestra were excellent (when accompanying Gelido in ogni Vena), exploring a wide dynamic range that drew the listeners into an intimate moment.
— Wall Street Journal
Leading the dynamic ensemble in the pit, DPB set the emotional temperature at the outset with bold strokes and driving momentum.
The biggest star of the show, though, is the early 18th-century music itself. Vivaldi wrote a dramatic and exciting score which, alone, keeps the listener on the edge of his seat. In the pit are young players culled from the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, expertly led by conductor and harpischordist David Peter Bates. He knows what he wants — quick tempi, vigorous articulation, sweeping dynamics — and he gets it all from his team.
— Post and Courier

31st Christmas Festival, St John’s Smith Square, London

Bach BWV 61, 51, Mozart Exultate Jubilate, Haydn Missa Sancti Nicolai, 19 December 2016

Bates is an energetic stage presence. He conveys, reassuringly, a persuasive conviction: one immediately senses that when he sets off, Bates knows exactly where he is heading and how he plans to get there.
— Opera Today
...Bates conducted with a theatrical flourish, but rhythms were crisp and buoyant
— Evening Standard
Bates’s uptempo Brandenburgian approach gave a lift that continued in Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate, written for the castrato Venanzio Rauzzini. Crowe and Bates feminised the motet with playful cadenzas that hinted at The Marriage of Figaro and the C minor Mass.
— The Times

Salzburger Festspiele, Austria: Cantata recital with Bejun Mehta, 03 August 2016

Das Klangrednerische und die Spieldisziplin des Kammerorchesters entspricht heutigem Standard. David Bates, der die Gruppe vom Tasteninstrument (Cembalo oder Orgel) aus leitet, bringt in die Interaktion mit dem Sänger viel eigenständige Gestaltung ein.
— Wiener Zeitung
Sein Kantatenprogramm, bei dem sich Mehta von La Nuova Musica, einem jungen britischen Ensemble für Alte Musik unter dem aufstrebenden Originalklangdirigenten David Bates, begleiten lässt, hat sich dem Lamento verschrieben. Eine eigene barocke Ariengattung, die religiöse Jenseitsmystik, wie in Bachs bekannter Kantate „Ich habe genug“, ebenso miteinschließt wie liebestraurige Klagegesänge, etwa Händels „Mi palpita il cor“ oder Vivaldis „Pianti, sospiri e dimandar mercede
— Tiroler Tageszeitung

Goettingen International Festival, Germany: Handel’s Berenice, 7 May 2016

Praise be, then, for a return to true directness of feeling and brilliance of musical execution from a team very welcome to the Stadthalle fresh from London success on the Sunday night, David Bates’s La Nuova Musica.
— The Arts Desk
David Bates, der neben der musikalischen Leitung auch die Rezitative am Cembalo begleitet, fasziniert mit dem Ensemble La Nuova Musica durch einen transparenten Klang und arbeitet die Vielschichtigkeit der Partitur emotional und ausdrucksstark heraus. Dabei gelingt den Streichern ein subtiler Klang, der die Stimmungen der Charaktere differenziert aufdeckt.

Wigmore Hall, London: Cesti’s L’Orontea 14 December 2015

London Handel Festival 2016: Handel’s Berenice, 17 May 2016

La Nuova Musica’s concert performance under David Bates at this year’s London Handel festival gave us a rare opportunity to hear it live. Bates, a stylish and committed Handel interpreter, made the strongest case for the piece.
— The Guardian
La Nuova Musica did it wonderfully well. Bates’s conducting had superb poise, and the cast was impeccable, with not a weak link anywhere.
— The Guardian

Spitalfields Summer Festival: Handel's Israel in Egypt, June 2015

Spitalfields Summer Festival: Couperin's   Leçons de ténèbres, June 2015

David Bates, the director and founder of LNM made two astute decisions in this intense an intensely rewarding performance. First, he separated each Lecon with palate cleansing instrumental music from Sebastien de Brossard, stylishly done.. Secondly, in Lucy Crowe and Elizabeth Watts, he fielded two sopranos with voices far from the milky sound much loved by today’s early-music gurus.
— Neil Fisher, The Times
Bates and his musicians were constantly alive to the dramatic details of Handel’s setting […] Bates’ approach was consistency, successfully sustaining drive and élan, and enthralling us as a result. Bates also brought out a range of colours from the chorus and orchestra […] rare and impressive combination of technical accomplishment and vigorous inspiration in this interpretation overall. If only all Handel performances were this engaging.
— Curtis Rogers, Classical Source

Innsbrucker Festwochen: Cesti's L'Orontea, August 2014

Die Partitur der „L’Orontea“, die in unterschiedlichen Abschriften vorliegt, muss für jede Aufführung eingerichtet werden. David Bates realisiert sie geschmackvoll mit La Nuova Musica, einem kleinen, wunderbaren Ensemble, das die zauberhafte Musik Cestis in eine zeitlose Gefühlswelt überträgt. Cembalo, Geigen, Gambe, Violone, Zinken, Blockflöte, Theorben, Barockgitarre, Tripelharfe und Lirone erzeugen fröhliche, melancholische, zärtliche, drastische, zauberische Klangbilder.
— Tiroler Tageszeitung
Das neunköpfige Orchester La Nuova Musica brachte unter der Leitung des britischen Dirigenten David Bates, der seine erfolgreiche Laufbahn als Countertenor begann, die von großem musikalischem Einfallsreichtum gespickte Partitur des Komponisten facettenreich zum Klingen. Das internationale Premierenpublikum der ausverkauften Vorstellung belohnte alle Mitwirkenden sowie das Regieteam mit lang anhaltendem Applaus und vielen lautstarken Bravo-, Brava- und Bravi-Rufen.
— Der neue-merker
Pour les représentations de L’Orontea cet été, le directeur du festival, Alessandro de Marchi, en a proposé la direction musicale a David Bates et à son ensemble musical et instrumental La Nuova Musica, un ensemble qu’il a fondé en 2007 et qui se consacre à la musique européenne de la Renaissance et de l’ère baroque. Un choix des plus heureux car cet ensemble et son directeur musical ont interprété l’oeuvre en lui donnant une vie pleine d’esprit, d’humour et de joie, dans une interprétation pétillante, en donnant du sens à chaque phrase musicale selon l’évolution du texte, avec de beaux tempi. Voila une lecture brillante de l’oeuvre, qui rend parfaitement bien la théâtralité et le comique de l’oeuvre, avec une intelligence complice, aux antipodes de ces interprétations qui semblent ne voir dans le baroque que la répétition hiératique et, partant, ennuyeuse, de motifs pompeusement interprétés. Rien que du bonheur! David Bates et La Nuova Musica ont littéralement affolé le public. Exultation, bravi, applaudissements interminables et trépignements!
— Munich and Co

Cincinnati Opera: Cavalli'sLa Callisto,  June 2014

Under the period-authentic and strong leadership of David Bates, the continuo section of the orchestra faithfully plays all the crucially important accompanied recitatives following the complexities of the text, and the full ensemble proudly parades its Baroque stuff in the many ritornelli.
— Rafael de Acha, Seen And Heard International
Thanks to the inspired direction of David Bates, this was to be music-making of an undogmatic, long-pondered intelligence, generously yet undistractingly ornamented, and with the small band minutely sensitive to its interplay with the human voice.
— The Times
Thursday’s performance was conducted with exceptional sensitivity by David Bates. Accompanying ceaseless recitative and arioso securely with constantly moving singers must be a formidable challenge in putting across Baroque opera while incorporating contemporary standards of stagecraft. The orchestra was a smoothly working combination of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra players and members of the Catacoustic Consort, a local early-music ensemble.

The ceaseless flow of sweet, stirring sound from the stage was unerringly linked to the great variety of instrumental subtlety from the Corbett Theater’s pit. The result, linked to dramatic implausibilities that somehow hit home, was for the audience to be melodically amused and moved throughout.
— Jay Harvey – Jay Harvey Upstage, reviewing La Calisto, Cincinnati Opera
The musical direction and instrumental playing were a constant source of delight. Making his U.S. debut, David Bates led a propulsive performance that never lacked sensitivity or flexibility. Period and modern instruments blended seamlessly. The raport between the singers onstage and the instrumentalists in the pit was evident, and was their sheer pleasure in presenting this wonderful work. This production demonstrated the viability of early opera when presented in a suitable venue with the requiste careful preparation and committed execution. IT would be wonderful to see La Calisto become the first in a continuing series of such works presented at Cincinnati Opera.
— Joe Law,, October 2014

Wigmore Hall, London: Francesco Conti's L'Issipile, January 2014

From La Nuova Musica under David Bates’ direction it got the best conceivable revial… That a long evening literally flew by was thanks both to stunning performances and to the brilliance with which Bates marshaled his forces, letting each instrument sing out in high definition.
— Michael Church, The Independent
Bates unfailingly created forward motion and excitement in these exchanges, which the soloists delivered with naturalness and spontaneity. Sudden harmonic swerves and interruptions were emphasised but never mannered. Concert performance this may have been, but the drama was transfixing. The three hours whizzed by.
— Claire Seymour, Opera today

London Handel Festival: Handel's Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, 2013

Spitalfields Music Winter Festival: A Royal Trio Concert, Handel's Ariosti and Bononcini, 2013

The Musical director (Bates) and countertenor (Zazzo) are a pair made in Handel heaven. Zazzo and Bates work uncommonly well together. Both are enthusiasts, conveying tangible glee in what they do.
— Tim Ashley, The Guardian
Indispensable was Bates’ direction and the dynamic and warm playing of La Nuova Musica, as engaged with the music as the singers. Rarely can such moralizing have been so enchanting!
— Curtis Rogers, Classical Source

London Handel Festival: Handel's Acis and Galatea, 2011

Reviews from London Handel Festival: Handel's Il Pastor Fido, 2012

It was wonderfully done, Bates sustained the reflective mood without self indulgence or dawdling. The playing was exquisitely sensual, the singing immaculate and thrilling.
— Tim Ashley, The Guardian
He (Bates) breathed life, meaning and shape into every phrase; his speeds were properly brisk; and his little band responded with playing of robust vigour.
— Richard Morrison, The Times

Iford Arts: Handel's Xerxes, 2010

The lively score, regretfully drastically abridged, was offered in spicy miniature by the well-regarded players of La Nuova Musica directed from the harpsicord by David Bates who encouraged some really meaty, full-blooded playing from his 10 piece ensemble.
— Sue Loader, Opera Today, 2010 (Serses at Iford)