Audience Prize winner and finalist at the 2021 Donatella Flick-LSO Conducting Competition and Highly Commended in the Women of the Future Awards, Chloe Rooke (born 1996) is rapidly gaining attention for inspiring leadership and innovative performances across symphonic and operatic repertoire. In June 2021 she was selected Designate Winner in the first Rotterdam Conducting Competition, and later the same month attracted attention at the Malko Competition (their youngest competitor): “Many will leave Copenhagen with memories of Chloe Rooke, the young British conductor who lit the competition up with her sense of music’s joy and communicative potential” – Andrew Mellor, Gramophone. Shortly afterwards she joined Intermusica’s mentoring scheme, while continuing her studies with the Dutch National Master in Orchestral Conducting where she is mentored by Jac Van Steen, Kenneth Montgomery, Ed Spanjaard and Antony Hermus. Prior to that she studied under Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy in London, where she was awarded the Ernst Read Conducting prize and Fred Southall Memorial prize and an MA in Orchestral Conducting (Distinction).
Rooke has conducted orchestras across Europe in masterclasses, competitions and as an assistant conductor, including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Noord Nederlands Orkest and Britten-Pears Orchestra. She has assisted conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner and John Wilson, and received tuition from Martyn Brabbins, Marin Alsop and David Zinman. Rooke has conducted performances of Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress and Renard, Handel Acis and Galatea and The Choice of Hercules, and Walton The Bear; (New Chamber Opera) and assisted on productions of Rossini La Cenerentola (BYO/Southbank Sinfonia) Haydn Il Mondo Della Luna, Paisello The Barber of Seville, Purcell Dido and Aeneas and Cimarosa The Parisian Painter (New Chamber Opera).
Passionate about music’s role in bringing social transformation, Rooke is Assistant Conductor of Street Orchestra Live, the UK’s first street orchestra. It holds the mantra ‘Music for Everyone, Anywhere’, touring each year to parts of England with limited access to the arts. Each performance exudes the ensemble’s core ethos: to share the joy of music in the everyday, and invite unassuming passers-by to join in the party for a moment in time. Rooke was Musical Director for award-winning new musical STOP, both in its original Oxford run and on tour in 2017. Workshopped by Claude-Michel Schönberg and mental health charity Sane, the musical opened up conversations and criticised taboos around mental health. It received much critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, being shortlisted for 'Best Musical' and winning 'Best Score'.
Rooke began her conducting journey with a passion to bring people together to forge meaningful relationships and powerful performances, initially working with student and amateur orchestras at Oxford (where she graduated with First-Class Honours in 2018) and in London. She was the founder conductor of the NW1 Collective, Oxford University Press Orchestra, St Catherine’s College Orchestra, Wycombe Student Music, and was elected as the conductor of the Oxford University Wind Orchestra for two consecutive seasons. Under her baton the ensemble received a Gold Award at the National Concert Band Festival and undertook a tour to the East Coast of the USA.
“Many will leave Copenhagen with memories of Chloe Rooke, the young British conductor who lit the competition up with her sense of music’s joy and communicative potential.”