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John Wilson

Principal Conductor, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Dublin
Associate Guest Conductor, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

  • A charismatic figure on the concert stage, John Wilson is known for the vivid nature of his interpretations and is applauded repeatedly for the rich and colourful sounds that he draws from orchestras in repertoire ranging from the core classical through to the twentieth century. An outstanding communicator and a recognised builder of audiences, Wilson has developed long-term affiliations with many of the UK’s major orchestras and is working increasingly further afield, most recently with the Sydney Symphony. In 16/17 he takes up his new position as Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

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  • Highlights of Wilson’s 2016/17 season include debuts with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in an all-Bernstein programme and with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in a programme celebrating the great Hollywood classics. As Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony, Wilson will conduct Korngold’s Symphony in F sharp Major and Elgar/Payne Symphony No 3 amongst other works, with the BBC Philharmonic he returns to the recording studio to continue his series of critically acclaimed recordings for Chandos and he returns several times to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for various different programmes of British music. In London, Wilson continues his Vaughan Williams symphony cycle with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and returns to the Barbican Centre with the National Youth Orchestra of GB for a programme featuring Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony.

    In opera, Wilson makes his debut with Glyndebourne Festival Opera this season, conducting the theatre’s first ever Madama Butterfly for their autumn tour in a new production directed by Annilese Miskimmon. Previous opera productions include critically acclaimed concert performances of Léhar’s The Merry Widow and Strauss’s Die Fledermaus with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore at Opera North. Wilson has also collaborated with many of the world’s finest singers, including Sir Thomas Allen, Joyce DiDonato, Simon Keenlyside and Renée Fleming.

    In 1994, Wilson formed his own orchestra, the John Wilson Orchestra, dedicated to performing film music of Hollywood’s golden age. As well as making regular and extensive tours of the UK with them, he appears annually with the orchestra at the BBC Proms, in 2015 with a Bernstein retrospective and in 2016 celebrating the music of Gershwin. John Wilson and the John Wilson Orchestra record exclusively for Warner Classics (formerly EMI Classics) and their performances are broadcast regularly and radio and television.

    Wilson has a catalogue of over 40 recordings the most recent of which is a disc of ballet suites by Copland with the BBC Philharmonic on Chandos, released in February 2016, which received superb reviews. Born in Gateshead, England, John Wilson studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music, where he was taught by Joseph Horovitz and Neil Thomson and where he won all the major conducting prizes, and in 2011 was made a Fellow.

    2016/17 season / 475 words. Not to be altered without permission.


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The performances are superb. Wilson shows an instinctive flair for Copland's syncopated and changing rhythms, and brings out all the music's touches of broad humour and intimate poetry.

BBC Music Magazine

John Wilson conducted a fizzing, affectionate account of Vaughan Williams’ Wasps Overture. The strings sounded absolutely gorgeous inthe idyllic pastoral interlude and Wilson presided over a simply tremendous Elgar In the South Overture. He achieved heroics holding Belshazzar together and I heard him receiving plaudit after plaudit from orchestral players…

Birmingham Post

few conductors take more care than John Wilson over the sound they draw from an orchestra.... the wide-grained, flexible string tone; the glowing softness of the woodwinds; the brass by turns mellow and bandstand-brazen...

Arts Desk

Intermusica represents John Wilson worldwide

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+44 20 7608 9911

Leyla Güneş
+44 20 7608 9927

Julia Maynard
+44 20 7608 9902

Hannah Rawson
Associate Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9928

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