The young British conductor Nicholas Collon is “a born communicator as well as an innovative programmer, and high-calibre interpreter of a wide range of repertoire” - London Evening Standard. He is Founder and Principal Conductor of the ground-breaking Aurora Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Guerzenich Orchester in Cologne.
His elegant conducting style, searching musical intellect and inspirational music-making have prompted guest invitations from orchestras such as the DSO Berlin, Finnish Radio Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Les Siecles, and many of the leading British orchestras including the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic.
In 2017/18 Collon conducts subscription weeks for the first time with the Bamberg Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony and Salzburg Mozarteumorchester, and returns to the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and CBSO. He conducts the Guerzenich Orchester in his first concerts as Principal Guest at the Cologne Philharmonie and in the pit at Oper Koeln (Don Giovanni). His plans with the Residentie Orkest this season include concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and at Rotterdam De Doelen, a televised concert from The Hague, and a tour of Germany. In December 2017 he made his debut with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, jumping in at short notice to conduct them at the Paris Philharmonie.
Under Collon’s artistic direction, Aurora Orchestra have forged an enviable reputation in the UK and increasingly abroad. As Resident Orchestra at Kings Place they are midway through a five-year cycle of the complete Mozart Piano Concertos, and as Associate Orchestra at the South Bank Centre they are reinventing the concert format with their ‘Orchestral Theatre’ Series. They have appeared at the BBC Proms every year since 2010, often performing entire symphonies from memory. They increasingly tour internationally, giving concerts in summer 2017 at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (Robeco festival), Berlioz Festival Cote St Andre and Ascona Festival, with main season appearances at the Cologne Philharmonie and in the new hall on Ile Seguin in Paris.
Collon has recorded two critically acclaimed recordings with Aurora for Warner Classics: Road Trip featuring music by Ives, Copland, Adams and Nico Muhly (winning the prestigious 2015 Echo Klassik Award for ‘Klassik Ohne Grenzen’) and Insomnia with music by Britten, Brett Dean, Ligeti, Gurney and Lennon & McCartney. He has also recorded Haydn and Ligeti with the Danish Radio Symphony, Britten and Delius with the Philharmonia, and several discs of contemporary repertoire with the Hallé Orchestra.
He has conducted over 200 new works, including the UK or world premieres of works by Unsuk Chin, Phillip Glass, Colin Matthews, Nico Muhly, Olivier Messiaen, Krzysztof Penderecki and Judith Weir.
Opera productions have included The Magic Flute at English National Opera, Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream at Welsh National Opera, and Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, as well as Turn of the Screw at the Aldeburgh Festival with the Aurora Orchestra.
Born in London, Nicholas is a violist, pianist and organist by training, and studied as Organ Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge.
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Guest conducting engagements
Academy of Ancient Music
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse
Orchestre National de Lyon
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Spanish National Orchestra
A brilliant success… another breath-taking and intoxicating experience thanks to Collon
La Dépêche du Midi
Yet another outstanding concert for the Orchestre du Capitole du Toulouse. Collon brings out the best in the orchestral players, dazzling with orchestral virtuosity and intensity of expression.
A superb achievement from the Guerzenich Orchester under their Principal Guest Nicholas Collon …… the young Brit showed a persuasive synthesis of warmth and precision, confidently marshalling and blending his forces