Rory MACDONALD, Conductor
“Rory Macdonald’s conducting was admirably muscular and wholehearted, drawing fiercely impassioned playing from the orchestra.”The Telegraph
Scottish-born Rory Macdonald has rapidly established himself as one of Britain’s most talented, dynamic young conductors. Equally at home on the concert platform and in the opera house, he leads distinctive interpretations of classical and romantic repertoire, and brings passion and intellectual insight to contemporary scores.
Since serving for two years as its Assistant Conductor, he has returned regularly to the Hallé Orchestra, with whom he has conducted over 50 concerts. Other recent guest conducting engagements have included debuts with the Bergen Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Kammerphilharmonie, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Lahti Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, all of which resulted in re-invitations. In 2011/12, Macdonald makes debuts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican Hall and with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Future highlights also include his debuts with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia, and returns to the Hallé and Lahti Symphony orchestras. His first recording, with the BBC Scottish SO, is released on Hyperion in April 2012.
Macdonald has also built up an extensive operatic repertoire and is now in demand in some of the world’s leading opera houses. Following his highly successful North American debut, conducting Carmen for the Canadian Opera Company in January 2010, Macdonald made his US debut that autumn at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducting a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. 2012 debuts in the United States include new productions of The Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera (where he will return for Carmen in 2014) and Die Zauberflöte at San Francisco Opera. In the 2010-11 Season he conducted Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Hänsel und Gretel at the Royal Opera House in London. Other repertoire he has conducted at Covent Garden includes Fidelio, Das Rheingold, Owen Wingrave, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Orphée (Philip Glass). Following productions of The Barber of Seville and The Pearl Fishers at English National Opera he opens their 2011-12 Season with The Elixir of Love. He has conducted Idomeneo, Cosi fan tutte and Albert Herring for Glyndebourne on Tour, L’elisir d’amore for Welsh National Opera and The Abduction from the Seraglio for Opera North. In 2013 he will conduct The Cunning Little Vixen with the Bergen Philharmonic at Den Nye Opera in Bergen.
Rory Macdonald studied music at Cambridge University, and plays violin and piano. While at university he studied under David Zinman and Jorma Panula at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. After graduation from Cambridge he was appointed assistant conductor to Iván Fischer at the Budapest Festival Orchestra (2001-2003), and to Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra (2006-2008). He was also a member of the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House (2004-2006), where he worked closely with Antonio Pappano on major projects such as the complete Ring cycle, and conducted performances of several operas.