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Philip Hesketh

Philip Hesketh

Philip Hesketh is Musical Director of Opéra de Baugé, Opera Vera, London Children’s Ballet, the West London Sinfonia, and the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra and makes regular guest appearances in Britain and abroad. He has a vast knowledge of the repertoire and gives concerts with many orchestras including the Belgrade Philharmonic, The Yuri Bashmet Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Moldova, the Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, the Orchestra of the Wiener Volksoper and the Wiener Residenz Orchester in Vienna, the and the Olsztyn State Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland.

In 2001 Philip made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, replacing the great Russian conductor Evgenii Svetlanov in the Royal Ballet’s season of The Nutcracker. Further invitations followed, in particular to the Royal Swedish Ballet to conduct their revival of Onegin. Philip has a talent for accompanying dance that is considered rare amongst conductors and has worked very successfully with directors, choreographers, and dancers including Sir Peter Wright, Wayne Sleep, Madeleine Onne, Harold King, William Tuckett, Cathy Marston, Christine Sundt, Matthew Hart, Morgann Runacre-Temple and David Fielding. In 2003 he collaborated with Irek Mukhamedov on a new ballet of The Prince and the Pauper for the London Children’s Ballet.

In 2004 Philip conducted a production of Flotow’s Martha for the festival Opéra de Baugé. This was followed, in 2005, by Handel’s Rodelinde and Dibdin’s The Widow of Ephasus and, as a result of these, he was invited to act as Musical Director of the festival from the 2006 season. Since then he has conducted Don Giovanni, Carmen, Idomeneo, Eugene Onegin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rigoletto, Fidelio, Tosca, Romeo et Juliette and Aida. The forthcoming season will see him performing Madame Butterfly. In 2013 he also conducted Don Giovanni in Opera Vera’s inaugural season. Philip is becoming highly sought after amongst singers as a performance coach.

Philip is very keen to break down the traditional barriers between performers and audiences and, where appropriate, will give spoken introductions to his concerts. As a result, he has become much in demand as a communicator on all aspects of classical music, developing a name as a witty, entertaining and informative speaker. He also teaches and coaches amateurs, students and professionals in all aspects of musical performance, appreciation and theory. He is enthusiastically involved in the more “popular” side of music making. Over several years he developed a close working relationship with the Salon Orchestra of the Wiener Volksoper, the home of Viennese Operetta. Performing with them in Vienna ‘s Kursalon he introduced and conducted many concerts, both in Summer and at New Year, of music by the Strauss Family and other popular Viennese composers. In Britain, he has arranged and conducted open-air “Promenade” concerts for large audiences and both of the orchestras of which he is Musical Director perform children’s concerts regularly.

Philip has a great commitment to bringing contemporary composers and audiences closer together and, whenever possible, he seeks to champion the work of today’s composers. In July 1999 he conducted the Swedish Premiere production of Thomas Ades’ opera Powder Her Face for Ystad Festival Opera and every year conducts a new full length ballet score for the London Children’s Ballet. He has given the first performances of works by many composers including Artem Vassiliev, Vilem Tausky, Elizabeth Lane, Raymond Warren, Lucy Mulgan and John Webb. In May 2012 he gave the World Premieres of Floreat Oriana by Cecilia MacDowell and a Violin/Viola Concerto by Ian Schofield.