click photo to enlarge Martyn Brabbins conductor

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Martyn Brabbins is one of Britain's leading and most versatile conducting talents. He has been Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of Sinfonia 21 since 1994. He is also Conducting Consultant at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Principal Conductor of the Huddersfield Choral Society and has been the Philharmonia Orchestra's Music of Today Series Conductor since autumn 1999.

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Susannah York Skinner

After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, he returned to the UK and, in 1988, won first prize at the Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then he has conducted most of the major symphony orchestras in Britain, including the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Hallé and London Sinfonietta. He is much in demand abroad with orchestras of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, St Petersburg, Lahti, Bergen, Montpellier, Gulbenkian Lisbon, Gran Canaria, NDR Hannover and Ensemble InterContemporain.

Brabbins also works regularly at many of the leading UK summer festivals; he has conducted in venues from St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney, to the Royal Albert Hall, where he conducts at the BBC Proms every year. At the Edinburgh International Festival he has conducted Boulez Pli selon Pli. Indeed contemporary music is a priority in Martyn Brabbins’ schedules and in recent years he has championed the music of composers as varied as James Dillon, Jonathan Lloyd, Harrison Birtwistle, Steve Reich, James MacMillan, Minna Keal, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Robin Holloway.

On the concert platform he is particularly admired for his performances of British music, especially that of Walton, Britten and Elgar, but he is equally at home in the opera house. He has conducted Mozart in productions at the Kirov Opera and for English National Opera; he conducted a concert performance of Gavin Bryars' Medea with the BBCSSO and Schreker's Der Ferne Klang for Opera North. He conducted a double-bill of L'enfant et les Sortilèges and Les Mamelles de Tiresias at Montpellier Opera, repeating their production of Les Mammelles with La voix humaine in Athens.

In recent seasons he has conducted Don Giovanni with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, David Sawer’s From Morning to Midnight at English National Opera, Der Prinz von Homburg for Deutsche Oper Berlin and the world premiere of Alexander Knaifel’s Alice in Wonderland with the Netherlands Opera.

Future plans include Troilus and Cressida for Opera North, and a double bill of Dallopicola operas, Prigioniero and Vollo di Notte, for Frankfurt Opera, as well as concerts throughout the UK, Europe and Canada, and recordings for Chandos, EMI and Hyperion Records.

As a recording artist he is also in great demand. His discography for the Hyperion label with the BBC Scottish continues to expand; they have over fifteen discs issued to date. He has also recorded works by Birtwistle, David Bedford and Finnissy for NMC; Rachmaninov and Scriabin for Collins Classics and a notable live recording of Britten's War Requiem for Naxos. His recording of Korngold's Die Kathrin with the BBC Concert Orchestra for CPO won the Opera Award at the Cannes International Music Festival.

January 2003

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