Born in London, Adrian is a violinist, director and conductor who specialises in performing music from 1600-1900 on period instruments. A former chorister of St Paul’s Cathedral and a graduate of Trinity College Cambridge, he is Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Society and Associate Musical Director of the London Handel Festival. He regularly conducts and directs the London Handel Orchestra and Players and is increasingly invited as a guest director and soloist in Europe and North America. He has appeared on numerous recordings and with most of the period-instrument orchestras in London. His solo recordings include CPE Bach sonatas (ATMA), Bach’s Concerto for oboe and violin with John Abberger (Analekta), Handel’s complete Violin Sonatas (SOMM) and Geminiani’s op 1 sonatas. He has also made world premiere complete recordings of the first two books of Leclair's violin sonatas (Naxos). He leads two chamber ensembles in London. The London Handel Players perform regularly at the Wigmore Hall and at festivals throughout Europe and in the United States and Canada. Their recent Handel recordings, of his op 2 and op 5 trio sonatas, Handel at Home as well as the Violin Sonatas, all for SOMM, have received glowing reviews and were followed by the first complete recording of Geminiani's op 1 Sonatas in 2012. Their most recent recording is of Bach flute sonatas and arias. The Revolutionary Drawing Room specializes in classical and romantic music on period instruments, has recorded quartets by Boccherini and Donizetti for CPO and has performed in North America and across Europe. They have recorded Mozart's Clarinet Quintet with Colin Lawson (Director of the RCM) on Clarinet Classics and a double-CD of quartets by Haydn, Mozart, Vandal and Dittersdorf, with readings from Michael Kelly’s Reminiscences, read by Simon Russell Beale and entitled A Viennese Quartet Party was released in 2015 on Omnibus Classics. The flute quartets of Mozart and his contemporaries, with the flautist Rachel Brown, are due for release in the summer of 2016 on the Uppernote label. He has conducted the major choral works of Bach as well as Handel’s Israel in Egypt at St George’s, Hanover Square, Chandos Anthems at Canons Park and La Resurrezione at Wigmore Hall. Concerto appearances include numerous baroque works, Mozart's Violin Concertos and Sinfonia Concertante with the LHO and rare performances on period instruments of the Beethoven Concerto with the Hanover Band. He directs a baroque project annually with the Southbank Sinfonia, is Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music in London, gives masterclasses in Europe and North America and teaches on the Aestas Musica International Summer School of Baroque Music and Dance in Croatia and the Pro Corda Conservatoire Baroque course in Suffolk. Adrian is married to the period-instrument flautist and recorder player Rachel Brown and they have one daughter.
“How does a critic begin to describe the most perfectly performed musical experience in many years? By listing, of course, in a roll of honour, those who created it, beginning with the masterly Adrian Butterfield, whose sure direction (from the violin) and complete immersion in the idiom was undoubtedly responsible for the exceptional quality of the performance.” Barry Creasy, musicOMH St Matthew Passion, St John’s, Smith Square, London 17 June 2015
"Technically and musically, Butterfield is a marvel" Julie Anne Sadie, Gramophone Magazine, Leclair Book 2, Sept 2013