Director of Music for Shakespeare’s Globe, Bill Barclay’s original music has been performed across the United States, around the world, for President Obama, the British Royal Family, the Olympic Torch, at the UN, in Buckingham Palace, and in refugee camps in Jordan and Calais. He is the founder of the new label Globe Music recognized by the BBC, The Royal Philharmonic Society and Songlines (Top of the World, 2016), with releases featuring Ian Bostridge and Soumik Datta.
His association with the BSO began in 2014. He has directed Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy-winning Silk Road Ensemble on tour with Heroes Take Their Stands, and in May 2019 he will produce his original Antony & Cleopatra with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. He has written programs for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, and other orchestras around the world.
Barclay recently created a new Four Seasons Recomposed for Max Richter on period instruments with the puppetry masters Gyre & Gimble. This spring he composes four new productions for the Globe, directs his original concert theatre work for Washington National Cathedral, and conducts his new album King of Ghosts on tour with City of London Sinfonia.
Barclay curated the Candlelit Concerts series in the Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from its construction in 2014, featuring major collaborations including the Royal Opera House, The Sixteen, English Concert, Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment, Arcangelo, BBC Proms and London Jazz Festival, with guest curators including guitarist John Williams, Trevor Pinnock, Lauren Laverne, the Brodsky Quartet, and Anoushka Shankar.
A writer for The Guardian, Bill recently authored Shakespeare, Music, and Performance for Cambridge University Press, and The Jon Lipsky Play Anthology for Smith & Kraus. He is hard at work on another book, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2020. He lectures around the world on The Music of the Spheres and is a leading international voice on Shakespeare’s music.
Barclay is a lauded actor, having won a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship, the largest grant for actors in the U.S. Hailing from Boston, he was a member of the resident acting companies at Shakespeare & Company (10 years, Resident Music Director), the Actors Shakespeare Project (10 years, Artistic Associate), and The Mercury Theatre (Colchester, UK). He trained in Bali and at the National Theatre Institute, and earned his MFA at Boston University.