Roger Hamilton was born in Ireland and his first professional musical experience was as a horn player and singer. Subsequently he studied at Clare College Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music (conducting and harpsichord) and the National Opera Studio. For two years he was in charge of Performance Practice at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and then in 1992 he was appointed Arts Council of Great Britain Young Conductor of the Year, spending a year as Assistant Conductor to Sir Roger Norrington and the London Classical Players. Since then he has worked as a conductor, harpsichordist and vocal coach with a wide variety of orchestras and opera companies. In the concert hall he has conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Südwestrundfunk Orchester Stuttgart, The English Concert, Orchestra of the National Arts Centre Ottawa, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, European Sinfonietta and the Fränkishces Kammerorchester, and he has been assistant conductor for, among others, the Berlin Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Salzburg Camerata, and Les Arts Florissants. In opera he has conducted for Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels, Opera Northern Ireland, Cambridge University Opera, Combe Opera and Midsummer Opera, and he has worked with many other companies including the Göttingen Handel Festival, Maggio Musicale Florence, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris, and Glyndebourne Touring Opera.
As a harpsichordist he has played continuo with most of the major ensembles in Britain, has given chamber concerts and made broadcasts and recordings in Britain, Europe and the United States. As a musicologist he has made editions of many works, including most notably Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria which has been performed in Athens and Florence.