Recognised internationally as a masterly interpreter, Mark Wigglesworth creates performances of great sophistication and rare beauty. His highly detailed readings always possess a controlled pacing and a finely considered architectural structure. He has forged enduring relationships with many top-level orchestras and opera houses across the world in repertoire ranging from Mozart to Tippett.
Born in Sussex, England, Mark Wigglesworth studied music at Manchester University and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. While still a student, he formed the Premiere Ensemble, an orchestra committed to performing a new piece in every programme. A few weeks after leaving the Academy, he won the Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in the Netherlands, and since then has worked with many of the leading orchestras and opera companies of the world.
In 1992 he became Associate Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and further appointments included Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Highlights of his time with BBC NOW included several visits to the BBC Proms, a performance of Mahler's tenth symphony at the prestigious Amsterdam Mahler Festival in 1995, and a six-part television series for the BBC entitled Everything To Play For.
In addition to working with most of the UK's orchestras, Mark Wigglesworth has guest conducted many of Europe's finest ensembles, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, La Scala Filarmonica, Milan, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Rome, Stockholm Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Salzburg Camerata and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
He has been just as busy in North America, having been invited to the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the Toronto Symphony, and the Boston Symphony. He regularly visits the Minnesota Orchestra and has an on-going relationship with the New World Symphony. In Australia he has worked regularly with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras and enjoys a special relationship with the Adelaide Symphony.
Equally at home in the opera house, Mark Wigglesworth started his operatic career with a period as Music Director of Opera Factory, London. Since then he has worked regularly at Glyndebourne (Peter Grimes, La bohème, Le nozze di Figaro), Welsh National Opera (Elektra, The Rake's Progress, Tristan und Isolde, Così fan tutte) and English National Opera (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Così fan tutte, Falstaff, Katya Kabanova, Parsifal). He has conducted at the Netherlands Opera (Peter Grimes); La Monnaie in Brussels (Mitridate, Wozzeck, Pelléas et Mélisande); the Sydney Opera House (Peter Grimes); the Metropolitan Opera, New York (Le nozze di Figaro); and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg).
In the studio, Wigglesworth's recordings have centred around a project with BIS Records to record all the symphonies of Shostakovich. This cycle has received critical acclaim throughout the world. Other recordings include live performances of Mahler's sixth and tenth symphonies issued by the Melbourne Symphony on the MSO Live label, Peter Grimes from the Glyndebourne Festival, Don Giovanni from the Sydney Opera House, a disc of English music with the Sydney Symphony, and most recently the two Brahms Piano Concertos, played by Stephen Hough and the Mozarteum Orchestra, Salzburg.
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
New World Symphony Orchestra
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny)
Metropolitan Opera (Le nozze di Figaro)
Glyndebourne (Peter Grimes, La bohème, Le nozze di Figaro)
Bavarian State Opera (Così fan tutte, Mitridate re di Ponto)
Netherlands Opera (Peter Grimes)
English National Opera (Jenůfa, Die Zauberflöte, Macbeth of Mtsensk, La forza del destino, Katya Kabanova, Parsifal)
Welsh National Opera (Elektra, The Rake’s Progress, Tristan und Isolde, Così fan tutte)
Mark Wigglesworth conducts [the ENO] in a masterly interpretation marked by extreme contrasts between silken sensuous pianissimi and boilingly thunderous fortissimi. The playing is as good as anything in London.
The Times, five stars
There are many big orchestral beasts still to appear in this Proms season, but when the summer’s highlights are recalled this superlative performance of Elgar’s First Symphony by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Mark Wigglesworth will surely be near the top. It had everything.
This is an exquisitely musical and splendidly atmospheric disc… his outstanding recording of the Mahler 10th Symphony… is my all-time favorite performance of that work. This is yet further proof that he is an exceptionally special talent… Wigglesworth draws such extraordinary playing out of the Sydney Symphony that one is left speechless in trying to describe its effect.