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Geoffrey Paterson


"It’s fascinating to discover the subtleties and sophistication of this music" – Geoffrey Paterson discusses Philip Glass' 'Orphée'

15 November 2019

Related profiles:
Anthony Gregory
Simon Shibambu

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Orphée at ENO

Tonight, Philip Glass’ Orphée opens at English National Opera, with Geoffrey Paterson conducting and singers Anthony Gregory and Simon Shibambu in the roles of Cégeste and Poet, respectively. We asked Geoffrey for his take on the work, and how it relates to other interpretations of the Orpheus myth.

On Friday 15 November I’ll be conducting the first performance of Netia Jones’ new production of Philip Glass’ Orphée for English National Opera.

This is an exciting moment for me, a house debut with a company that I’ve known as an audience member since childhood, and it’s particularly special to be part of the Orpheus-themed opening to ENO’s season, of which our production is the fourth and final opera.

The centrepiece of ENO’s Orpheus series is Harrison Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus, a gigantic masterpiece that’s been a totemic work for me since my teenage years, and I’ve had to pinch myself that I’ve been working in the company while this long-awaited new production (the opera’s first since its première over three decades ago) has been on stage.

The Mask of Orpheus is my personal reference point for epic treatment of the Orpheus myth in opera, and the contrast with Jean Cocteau’s eccentric cinematic interpretation of the story, adapted practically verbatim by Glass, couldn’t be more stark; likewise, Birtwistle and Glass, born three years apart in the mid-1930s, and whose operatic careers developed in parallel over the last half-century, would seem to represent two polarised aesthetic viewpoints on the role of music in drama.

I think, however, there is more to this than first meets the eye.

In a sense, Cocteau’s Orphée is not the Orpheus myth at all, but rather a hook on which he hangs an elaborately self-referential narrative concerning the poet’s quest for immortality. Apart from the updated setting in mid-century Paris, the deviations from the traditional myth are both comic – Eurydice may only return if Orphée never looks at her (cue farcical ducking and diving around furniture) – and grandiose – Orphée finally achieves immortality as well as apparent domestic harmony through the loving self-sacrifice of Death herself. Where Glass expands on Cocteau is in his sympathetic music for the long-suffering Eurydice, a character whose treatment by a bullying and egotistical husband is close to heart-breaking.

Birtwistle has returned numerous times to the Orpheus myth, and in his recent chamber opera The Corridor, which I conducted at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2015, he amplifies the dysfunctionality of Orpheus and Eurydice’s relationship already suggested in The Mask of Orpheus, now explicitly shifting the focus of the story to Eurydice. While Orpheus self-pityingly laments his loss, Eurydice considers whether her new life amongst the shades is in fact preferable to her former state of subservience to a self-obsessed husband. Even in the bittersweet final reconciliation of Glass’ opera, there is a palpable sense that this Eurydice too might find true happiness with Orphée out of reach.

Of course, these undertones are suggested in music as much as by words, and I have been reflecting over the past weeks of rehearsal of Glass, as well as attending performances of Birtwistle, on how these two composers create their very different expressive worlds from surprisingly similar musical fundamentals.

Pulse and repetition are the building blocks of Glass’ music, and his manipulation of these elements (taking the latter to some extreme, even in a relatively varied work like Orphée) is the direct means by which he generates energy, tension and atmosphere. The challenges for the conductor and orchestra should not be underestimated – the material may be simple, but these transparent layerings of patterns against a metronomic pulse leave nowhere to hide! The entirely non-repetitive sung lines against this orchestral tapestry are often strikingly dissonant and, despite the entirely syllabic, conversational word-setting, they consistently pack an emotional punch.

Not much in the paragraph above needs rephrasing to describe how Birtwistle constructs the astonishing musical universe of The Mask of Orpheus. Give or take a few words (‘transparency’ is not always the aim!), the obsessive use of repetition on a local and structural level is also central to the enormous power of Birtwistle’s music, and as for pulse, the monstrous ‘Continuum of the Ensemble of Hell’ in the second act is illustration enough that ‘perpetuum mobile’ is not the preserve of the minimalists. And the question of dissonance and consonance in vocal writing is as pertinent to the atonal world of Birtwistle is as it is to the essentially diatonic music of Glass; the situation is simply inverted, with the emotional punch often delivered through disarming harmonic beauty and elaborate melisma.

I’ve perhaps taken the comparison as far as it ought to go! But it’s a fascinating experience, conducting an opera by Glass for the first time, to discover the subtleties and sophistication of this music, and the extent to which the drama, suspense and comedy of Cocteau’s Orphée is embodied in “music with repetitive structures”, as the composer describes his work.

I hope our audiences take pleasure in a similar discovery!

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English National Opera announced their 2019/20 season on 3 April, and as ever there is a strong Intermusica presence at the house alongside Music Director Martyn Brabbins.

Alongside three revivals, the season features seven new productions, the most for five years. For the first time, four of the new productions present different versions of the same story as ENO presents four takes on the Orpheus myth. In keeping with the season’s theme of the rise of the feminine, more than half of the new productions are directed by women, with Tatjana Gürbaca, Emma Rice, Barbora Horáková and Netia Jones all helming productions.

Click here to see full details of ENO's 2019/20 season

Martyn Brabbins conducts two productions. On 18 October he opens Daniel Kramer’s production of Harrison Birtwistle The Mask of Orpheus. The production stars Marta Fontanals-Simmons as Eurydice the Woman and Susan Bickley as Eurydice the Myth and Persephone. Brabbins then returns on 26 February 2020 to conduct a revival of Anthony Minghella’s Olivier Award-winning production of Madam Butterfly, starring Natalya Romaniw in the title role. Brabbins will be assisted for the production by Adam Hickox.

Valentina Peleggi continues her Mackerras Fellowship with her first full production in the main house: a revival of Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen from 29 January 2020, which features a cast starring David Butt Philip as Don José and Nardus Williams as Micaela. Earlier in the season she conducts three performances of Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld on 1, 26 and 28 November. The new production from Emma Rice features Sir Willard White as Jupiter and Mary Bevan as Diana.

Geoffrey Paterson debuts on 15 November conducting a new production of Phillip Glass Orphée from Netia Jones. The cast features Anthony Gregory, who makes a return to ENO as Cégeste, and Simon Shibambu as the poet.

Alexander Joel returns to conduct Verdi Luisa Miller from 12 February 2020. This new production is directed by Barbora Horáková Joly and stars Elizabeth Llewellyn in the title role.

Susan Bickley appears in a second production when she returns in the role of Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro from 14 March 2020, in a new production directed by Joe Hill-Gibbons.

Antony Hermus makes his debut at ENO on 28 March 2020, conducting the premiere of Tatjana Gürbaca’s new production of Dvorák Rusalka, and taking it to Theatre du Luxembourg for additional performances after the London run. David Butt Philip takes the role of the Prince, while Patricia Bardon appears as Ježibaba.

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts UK premiere of Richard Ayres' The Garden at the Southbank Centre

03 April 2019

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London Sinfonietta

Geoffrey Paterson conducts the London Sinfonietta and bass Joshua Bloom in the UK premiere of Richard Ayres The Garden at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 17 April. Ayres’ new semi-staged work is an irreverent and darkly comic tale, inspired by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Paterson also conducted the Croatian premiere of the work at the 30th edition of Music Biennale Zagreb on 6 April. The Garden is commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Dutch ensemble Asko | Schönberg, with initial development funded by the Royal Opera.

Elsewhere this month Paterson conducts the Sydney Youth Orchestra on their UK tour, with concerts in Cardiff (13 April), London (18 April), Cambridge (20 April), and Oxford (23 April). He also travels to Germany to conduct regular collaborator Marius Neset in the German premiere of his work Viaduct at the Kempten Jazzfruhling on 27 April.

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The Southbank Centre announced its 2019/20 Classical Season on 18 February, and Intermusica artists appear throughout. In addition to the Southbank Centre's world class annual programming, the new season also marks the start of Beethoven 250, the venue's year-long celebration of the composer's birth.

Southbank Centre Associate Artists Marin Alsop and Colin Currie both give multiple performances over the course of the season. On 9 November, Alsop conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Walton Belshazzar's Feast alongside Butterworth A Shropshire Lad and Elgar Enigma Variations. She then returns in April for Beyond Beethoven 9, in which she leads the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and a massed choir of 200 singers in two performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 together with four new commissions between the movements of the symphony. 

Beyond Beethoven 9 is part of All Together: A Global Ode to Joy, an initiative in conjunction with Carnegie Hall which take place on five continents with nine orchestras and sees the symphony reimagined as a “twenty-first century call for unity, justice and empowerment”. Read our full story on All Together here.

Currie first appears at the Southbank in the 2019/20 season at the International Chamber Music Series, recreating the premiere of Steve Reich Drumming at the Hayward Gallery with the Colin Currie Group on 6 and 7 December. He performs in the series again on 1 February 2020 alongside the JACK Quartet. Finally he joins the Philharmonia Orchestra for an Artist Portrait concert in their Music of Today series on 14 May.

Kirill Gerstein joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra in concert on 23 October to give the UK premiere of Thomas Adès Piano Concerto, performing under the baton of the composer himself. He then returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 13 February 2020 alongside Lahav Shani, who conducts Gerstein in Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as well as Prokofiev Overture to War and Peace and Romeo and Juliet.

Daniil Trifonov also gives two performances at the Southbank Centre. On 31 October, he performs a solo recital of Schumann, Beethoven and Prokofiev at the Royal Festival Hall. On 22 March 2020, he joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony as the soloist for Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4, part of Tilson Thomas' final season at the head of the orchestra.

In 2020 Lise Davidsen performs with the long-standing chiefs of both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Vladimir Jurowski. On 19 March, she joins Salonen and the Philharmonia to sing Mahler Humeresken, a collection of settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Then on 4 April she performs Beethoven Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II with Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, part of the Beethoven 250 series.

Also appearing in the Southbank Centre's 2019/20 season are conductors Charles Hazlewood (28 September), Geoffrey Paterson (21 November), Andrew Manze (7 December), Mark Wigglesworth (4 February 2020), Emmanuel Krivine (14 February 2020), John Wilson (27 February 2020), Thierry Fischer (10 March 2020) and Nicholas Collon (16 May 2020); violinists James Ehnes (9 October) and Leonidas Kavakos (27 February 2020); singers Sofia Fomina (19 October), Susan Bickley (30 November), Mary Bevan (15 December), Susanna Hurrell and Simon Shibambu (15 January 2020), Patricia Bardon (1 February 2020), Joélle Harvey (20 February 2020) and Wallis Giunta (11 June 2020); pianists Andreas Haefliger (15 March 2020) and George Li (3 May 2020); and cellist Kian Soltani (27 February 2020).

Intermusica is proud to co-promote the International Chamber Music Series with the Southbank Centre, a relationship which has lasted for almost 30 years. Click here to read our full summary of the series in the 2019/20 season.

Click here for complete details for Southbank Centre's 2019/20 classical season.

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Geoffrey Paterson makes debut with BBC National Orchestra of Wales

16 November 2018

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BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Geoffrey Paterson makes his debut with BBC National Orchestra of Wales this month, in a concert at Cardiff's Hoddinott Hall on 30 November 2018.

Paterson conducts the orchestra in the world premiere of Paul Mealor’s Symphony No.3 ‘Illumination’ and the UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Sunshine. The sun-themed programme is completed by Mathias’ Helios, Per Nørgård’s Iris, and Sibelius’ Night Ride and Sunrise.

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts UK premiere of Dusapin's Passion with Music Theatre Wales

27 September 2018

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Music Theatre Wales

On 11 October Geoffrey Paterson conducts the UK premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s opera Passion at The Anvil Theatre in Basingstoke. The performance is a co-production by Music Theatre Wales and National Dance Company Wales, in association with the London Sinfonietta and Exaudi. In this searingly beautiful and sensuous work for voice and body, Dusapin explores the pain and passion of two lovers who are forced apart to separate worlds.

Paterson conducts the full tour throughout October and into November, with further performances at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Snape Maltings, Salford’s The Lowry and Clwyd Theatr Cymru.

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Geoffrey Paterson makes debut with Danish National Symphony Orchestra

28 July 2018

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Danish National Symphony Orchestra

Geoffrey Paterson makes his debut with Danish National Symphony Orchestra on 11 August 2018, conducting a concert performance of West Side Story as part of the orchestra’s celebrations of Bernstein’s 100th anniversary. The concert is part of the orchestra’s castle concert series which take place each summer in Ledreborg Park.

In December 2017 Paterson also conducted Orchestre National de Lille’s Bernstein celebrations to critical acclaim:

“with conductor Geoffrey Paterson at the helm, this repertoire took on a sublime aspect… absolutely top-class”
La Voix du Nord

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts world premiere of Marius Neset Viaduct with London Sinfonietta

20 June 2018

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Kongsberg Jazz Festival

Geoffrey Paterson conducts the world premiere of Marius Neset Viaduct on 4 July 2018 at Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Paterson conducts London Sinfonietta and the Marius Neset Quintet in the premiere performance of the new work for Jazz quintet and saxophone. The concert comes immediately after Paterson conducted London Sinfonietta in the world premiere of Tansy Davies Cave to critical acclaim:

"Held together by conductor Geoffrey Paterson, the music is transparent, brazenly beautiful and much use is made of the Sinfonietta’s players as soloists, weaving elaborate individual lines alongside the vocalists."
The Guardian

Paterson and Neset are frequent collaborators, with Paterson conducting the premiere recording of Neset Snowmelt with London Sinfonietta in 2016. Listen to their recording of Snowmelt here.

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts world premiere of Tansy Davies' Cave at Printworks London with the Royal Opera

06 June 2018

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Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Geoffrey Paterson returns to the Royal Opera this month to conduct the world premiere of Tansy Davies Cave at Printworks London on 20 June 2018. Paterson conducts Mark Padmore, Elaine Mitchener and the London Sinfonietta in what is the second collaboration between Davies and librettist Nick Drake, following their critically acclaimed operatic debut with Between Worlds in 2015.

Davies and Drake’s new work follows a grieving man’s quest for survival and renewal, in a dystopian future of desert shopping malls and melting ancient glaciers. Desperate to connect one last time with his lost daughter, he enters a dark cave, and so begins his journey into the underworld of spirits.

There are subsequent performances of Cave on 21, 22 and 23 June.

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Geoffrey Paterson makes debut with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in concerts in the UK & Vienna

03 May 2018

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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Geoffrey Paterson makes his debut with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment this month, conducting a film score adaption of Strauss’ great comic opera Der Rosenkavalier alongside the silent film at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 17 May, St George’s Bristol on 18 May and Vienna Konzerthaus on 25 May 2018.

Paterson conducts the orchestra playing the music Strauss wrote to accompany the film, which has been painstakingly restored since Strauss himself conducted the adaption at the Tivoli Theatre on The Strand at the film’s London premiere in 1926.

Elsewhere this month Paterson and saxophonist Marius Neset join the Basel Sinfonietta to perform the Swiss premiere of Neset's Snowmelt on Sunday 6 May.

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts portrait of Wayne McGregor at Bayerische Staatsoper

27 April 2018

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Bayerische Staatsoper

Geoffrey Paterson returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper on 11 May and 12 June 2018 to conduct the orchestra in a ballet programme, Portrait Wayne McGregor, an all-McGregor programme with the first restagings of Borderlands (San Francisco Ballet, 2013) and Kairos (Ballett Zürich, 2014). The new production features Max Richter Four Seasons Recomposed and Kaija Saariaho Circle Map.

Last season Paterson conducted a critically acclaimed production of Menotti The Consul with Bavarian State Opera Opera Studio and Munich Chamber Orchestra:

"The Munich Chamber Orchestra played brilliantly under the young British conductor Geoffrey Paterson, making the most of Menotti’s glittering, caustic and stirring music."
BR Klassik

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts Marius Neset's Snowmelt in debut with the National Orchestra of Belgium

14 March 2018

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Geoffrey Paterson and saxophonist and composer Marius Neset bring their Snowmelt project to the National Orchestra of Belgium for two performances at BOZAR on 28 and 29 March 2018. The performances also mark Paterson's debut with the orchestra.

Snowmelt is an eleven-part jazz suite, in which Neset builds bridges between improvisation and symphonic music. In 2016 Neset and Paterson released the album Snowmelt on ACT in collaboration with the London Sinfonietta.

Paterson and Neset also bring the project to Basel Sinfonietta in May, and in June bring it to Neset's native Norway at Kongsberg Jazzfestival with the London Sinfonietta.

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in contemporary programme

24 February 2018

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BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Geoffrey Paterson returns to the BBC Scottish Orchestra at Glasgow City Halls on 10 March 2018. Paterson leads the orchestra in a contemporary programme that includes world premieres of Thomas Hyde Symphony and a reworked version of John Hopkins Double Concerto for Trumpet and Saxophone. The programme is completed by Charlotte Bray Stone Dancer and Diana Burrell Resurrection.

Paterson returns to the orchestra the following week for an ambitious large-scale performance and exhibition at Glasgow's Tramway on 18 March. The performance, entitled Last Futures, sees the BBC Scottish join forces with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow to exploe the impact of the social and political movements of 1968. The performance element of Last Futures explores how to action radical visions of the future by weaving music, design, drama and text in a contemporary revision on the experimental creative methodologies that emerged in the late 1960s. 

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra at Glasgow City Halls

04 February 2018

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Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Geoffrey Paterson joins the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra to lead them in concert at the Glasgow City Halls on 18 February 2018. Paterson is an alumnus of the Conservatoire, and he conducts a Russian programme of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Stravinsky The Firebird.

Most recently Paterson conducted the Orchestre National de Lille in their December tour to critical acclaim.

"... with conductor Geoffrey Paterson at the helm, this repertoire took on a sublime aspect… absolutely top-class…"
La Voix du Nord, December 2017

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The Southbank Centre launched its 2018/19 classical season on 30 January 2018, with Intermusica artists and performing throughout the year. Highlights include Marin Alsop continuing her relationship with the Southbank in concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continuing their residency, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos, John Wilson, Kian Soltani and George Li.

Another major highlight of the season is the International Chamber Music Series, which Intermusica co-promotes with the Southbank Centre. This year it opens with a concert from Jordi Savall and his Hesperion XXI and features a concert marking the centenary of author Muriel Spark from the Nash Ensemble, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, the Jerusalem, Artemis and Belcea quartets, and performances of Stockhausen by Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Pierre-Laurent Aimard.

Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continue as Associate Orchestra with three concerts in the new season. The first, on 16 September 2018, pairs a memorized performance of Beethoven Symphony No.5 with HK Gruber's Frankenstein!! in a concert conceived and directed by Jane Mitchell. Their second, on 20 January 2019, is titled Songs from the Road and features Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, arrangements of folk ballads and the world premiere of Du Yun Where we lost our shadows. Their final concert takes place on 5 June 2019 and features works by Beethoven, Thomas Adès, a Max Richter world premiere and Mozart's Symphony No.41.

Kirill Gerstein renews his partnership with Thomas Adès when he joins the composer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September to perform Adès' concerto for piano and orchestra, In Seven Days.

Geoffrey Paterson returns to the London Sinfonietta on 13 October to conduct them in a performance of Pascal Dusapin Passion, a collaboration with Music Theatre Wales.

Patricia Bardon returns to the role of Baba the Turk in a performance of Stravinsky The Rake's Progress with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 3 November.

Lahav Shani and Francesco Piemontesi join forces for a concert of Brahms and Beethoven with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 November. Shani conducts Weber Oberon Overture, Brahms Symphony No.1 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor', with himself as piano soloist.

Marin Alsop makes her first visit of the season on 11 November, conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a performance of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. She then returns on 16 January to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a contemporary programme with Colin Currie giving the world premiere of Helen Grime's Percussion Concerto.

John Wilson returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 15 November for a concert of Gershwin and Walton. He is joined by Louis Schwizgebel, who performs Gershwin Piano Concerto. Wilson then brings his John Wilson Orchestra to the Southbank Centre on 15 December, leading them in a characteristic programme of music from Hollywood and Broadway. He returns on 18 April to lead the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a special performance of Gilbert & Sullivan Trial by Jury.

Mary Bevan joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Brian Wright for a seasonal performance of Handel's Messiah on 16 December.

Leonidas Kavakos appears at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series on 18 January alongside Yuja Wang, performing a recital of Mozart, Prokofiev, Bartók and Strauss.

Martyn Brabbins joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 20 January 2019 to conduct an English programme of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and the London premiere of Geoffrey Gordon's Prometheus, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra.

Jacques Imbrailo joins the Mozartists and conductor Ian Page on 29 January for the next concert in their Mozart 250 series, which is themed around the year 1769. Imbrailo sings arias by Gluck, Haydn, Arne, Gréty and Paisiello.

Susan Bickley returns to the Southbank Centre to sing Beethoven Symphony No.9 alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Oliver Gooch on 16 March.

Kian Soltani returns on 23 March after his acclaimed debut at Southbank Centre with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. This time he joins Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play Elgar Cello Concerto.

George Li joins Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 27 March to perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, part of a programme that also features Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia and Walton Symphony No.1.

Following a critically acclaimed London conducting debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2017, Carlos Miguel Prieto returns to lead the young musicians in a concert on 12 April. Prieto conducts an exciting programme of Revueltas, Carlos Chávez and Copland.

Francesco Piemontesi returns to the International Piano Series on 2 May, performing a solo recital of works by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninov.

Martin James Bartlett joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 7 May to perform Ravel Piano Concerto in G, part of a programme that also features the world premiere of Cecilia McDowall Da Vinci Requiem.

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Geoffrey Paterson makes debut with Orchestre National de Lille on tour of France

30 November 2017

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Orchestre National de Lille

Geoffrey Paterson travels to France this month for his debut with the Orchestre National de Lille on 14 December 2017. Paterson's debut comes as part of an eight-concert tour of France celebrating the centenary of Leonard Bernstien beginning at Lille's Le Nouveau Siècle. He conducts extracts from On The Town, Candide, Wonderful Town and West Side Story.

Paterson and the orchestra perform at Le Nouveau Siècle on 14, 17, 19, 21 and 22 December and tour to Maubeuge (15 December), Carvin (16 December) and Pernes-en-Artois (21 December).

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts Red Note Ensemble in opening concert of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

03 November 2017

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Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Geoffrey Paterson joins the Red Note Ensemble on 17 November 2017 for the opening concert of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Paterson conducts the ensemble in the world premiere of a new work by James Dillon, Tanz/haus and the UK premieres of Stephanie Haensler Ganz Nah and Im Begriffe, alongside works by Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff.

Following the concert in Huddersfield, Paterson then travels to France in December for his debut with Orchestre National de Lille conducting eight concerts on an all-Bernstein tour.

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts Music Theatre Wales in UK tour of Eötvös The Golden Dragon

07 October 2017

External Links:
Snape Maltings

Geoffrey Paterson tours the UK this September and October in a revival of Peter Eötvös The Golden Dragon with Music Theatre Wales. The critically acclaimed production visits towns and cities across the country, with performances at the Shermann Theatre in Cardiff on 22 September, Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 3 October and at the Snape Maltings on 21 October.

"the superb Music Theatre Wales Ensemble, bristling with percussive, rasping, slip-sliding purpose under conductor Geoffrey Paterson."
The Stage, September 2017

Paterson conducted the UK premiere of The Golden Dragon at the 2016 Buxton Festival to widespread appraisal:

"Geoffrey Paterson’s conducting of a superb band is flawless."
Telegraph, July 2016

"... music that is largely declamatory and illustrative, and which uses the resources of the 16 players in the Music Theatre Wales Ensemble under Geoffrey Paterson with tremendous virtuosity and imagination..."
Guardian, July 2016

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“Making the most of Menotti’s glittering, caustic and stirring music”: Critical acclaim for Geoffrey Paterson’s Bayerische Staatsoper debut

12 May 2017

Geoffrey Paterson’s recent Bayerische Staatsoper debut has been greeted by widespread critical acclaim. Paterson conducted the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper in a new production of Menotti The Consul, directed by Christiane Lutz.

The six performances were greeted with widespread critical acclaim:

“The Munich Chamber Orchestra played brilliantly under the young British conductor Geoffrey Paterson, making the most of Menotti’s glittering, caustic and stirring music.”
BR-Klassik, March 2017

“Geoffrey Paterson revels again and again in the late romantic drama of the score.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 2017

“They are lucky to have in the pit the Munich Chamber Orchestra who, under the direction of the young Brit Geoffrey Paterson, unfailingly strike the right balance between dramatic tension and clarity of texture.”
Abendzeitung München, March 2017

Click here to watch a clip of Paterson’s performance.

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Geoffrey Paterson conducts Varèse as part of BBC Total Immersion

22 April 2017

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Barbican Centre

Geoffrey Paterson conducts the Guildhall New Music Ensemble on 6 May 2017 as part of the BBC's Varèse Total Immersion Day. Paterson conducts an all-Varèse programme which includes Hyperprism and Ionisation at Milton Court Concert Hall. The 2pm concert is preceded by a talk in the Barbican Fountain Room, and other events that evening include the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing Varèse’s orchestral works.

Paterson, who is admired for his impressive grasp of detail and his ability to shape and make music from the most complex scores, most recently conducted Menotti The Consul at Bayerische Staatsoper to widespread critical acclaim:

"The Munich Chamber Orchestra played brilliantly under the young British conductor Geoffrey Paterson, making the most of Menotti’s glittering, caustic and stirring music."
BR Klassik, March 2017

"They are lucky to have in the pit the Munich Chamber Orchestra who, under the direction of the young Brit Geoffrey Paterson, unfailingly strike the right balance between dramatic tension and clarity of texture."
Abendzeitung München, March 2017

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Geoffrey Paterson makes Bayerische Staatsoper debut conducting The Consul

14 March 2017

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Bayerische Staatsoper

Geoffrey Paterson makes his Bayerische Staatsoper debut on 28 March 2017 conducting Menotti The Consul. Paterson conducts the Munich Chamber Orchestra and Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper in a new production by Christiane Lutz, which features a cast including Selene Zanetti as Magda, Niamh O’Sullivan as Secretary and Helena Zubanovich as Mother.

The Consul was Menotti’s first full-length opera and was the recipient of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Further performances of The Consul are on 30 and 31 March and 2, 7 and 9 April.

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Geoffrey Paterson joins Intermusica for worldwide management

26 January 2017

We are delighted to announce that the outstanding young British conductor Geoffrey Paterson has joined Intermusica for general management.

Geoffrey Paterson ‎has made a name for himself in the field of opera, and as an incisive conductor of contemporary music. He has natural authority, and an ability to shape and make music from the most complex scores. Paterson makes his Bayerische Staatsoper debut in March with Menotti's The Consul, and returns regularly to the Royal Opera House where he was a Jette Parker Young Artist shortly after winning the Leeds Competition in 2009. He has conducted the premieres of Birtwistle’s The Corridor and The Cure at the Royal Opera House, the 2015 Aldeburgh Festival and 2016 Holland Festival, of HK Gruber’s Gloria von Jaxtberg at the Bregenz Festival and Royal Opera House, and most recently the UK premiere of Peter Eötvös’s The Golden Dragon at the Buxton Festival.

Other highlights have included Entführung with Glyndebourne Touring, La bohème at Opera North and Porgy and Bess at the Royal Danish Opera. Orchestral engagements past and future include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Basel Sinfonietta, BBC Scottish Symphony and the London Sinfonietta, with whom he has a close ongoing relationship.

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Intermusica represents Geoffrey Paterson worldwide

Catherine Gibbs
Associate Director
+44 20 7608 9946

Susie Mcleod
Director, Artist Management (Opera)
+44 20 7608 9920

Kimberley Bourlet
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9943

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists


Mark Simpson


HK Gruber


Tim Mead

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles