Sir Colin Davis began his career as Assistant Conductor with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 1957, and moved to Sadlers Wells in 1959 as Principal Conductor and then Musical Director. In 1971, after four years as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, he became Musical Director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. From 1983 to 1992 he was Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, was Principal Guest Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1998 to 2003 and has been Honorary Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle since 1990. Sir Colin was Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1995 to 2006.
Sir Colin has recorded widely for Philips, BMG and Erato, but his most recent recordings have been on the LSO Live label including many works with The London Symphony Chorus Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's The Creation and Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini. His interpretation of Berlioz's The Trojans won two Grammy awards in 2001. Sir Colin's recording of Sibelius's Kullervo with the LSO and LSC received a BBC Music Magazine Award in April 2007.
Sir Colin Davis has been awarded international honours by Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Finland. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1965, he received a knighthood in 1980. He was named a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2001, and was given the Yehudi Menuhin Prize for working with young people by the Queen of Spain in 2003. He won the 2008 Classical Brit Award for Male Artist of the Year.
Claudio Abbado made his debut at La Scala in his native Milan in 1960 and served as Music Director there from 1968 to 1986. He was Director of the Vienna State Opera from 1986 to 1991 and of the Berlin Philharmonic from 1989. He was principal conductor, then Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1979 - 1988.
As founder and music director of the European Community Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, Abbado has also shown deep commitment to the development of young musicians, an interest which extends to his role of Artistic Advisor to the Chamber Orchestra of Europe as well. In 1986 The LSC toured with the ECYO, Karita Matila, Christa Ludwig and the Wiener Jugendchor performing Mahler's 2nd Symphony under Maestro Abbado.
André Previn is perhaps America's best-known and most versatile musician. A conductor of the world's most esteemed orchestras, award-winning composer of orchestral, chamber, stage and film scores, pianist in chamber music and jazz, a prolific recording artist, and author and television host, Previn is familiar to millions around the world.
A prolific recording artist with all major labels in symphonic, chamber music and jazz, Previn is especially well known for his interpretations of British and Russian symphonic repertoire - among them cycles of Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Prokofiev. Recordings with the London Symphony Chorus include Walton Belshazzar's Feast , Orff Carmina Burana, Ravel L'enfant et les sortileges and Brahms German Requiem.
Michael Tilson Thomas was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra In 1969 after winning the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood. That same year he made his New York début and gained international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg in mid-concert. He was later appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Boston Symphony, where he remained until 1974. From 1971 to 1977 he conducted the nationally televised New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts. He was Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 1971 to 1979 and was a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1981-1985. He became Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 1995 having been its Principal Conductor from 1988, having made his London début with the Orchestra in 1970. He joined the San Francisco Symphony as its music director back in 1995 and in the decade since has gathered around him a loyal audience who are prepared to be challenged by - and who positively respond to - his inspired programming policy.
Michael Tilson Thomas recorded extensively with the LSO, mostly on the Sony Classical label. Recordings with the London Symphony Chorus include Debussy Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien, Janácek Glagolitic Mass and Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms.
Simon Russell Beale is an actor at the top of his profession with a strong musical background and his biography follows.
Simon was born in Penang, Malalysia. He became a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, then went to Clifton College before going to Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, where he received a First in English. Simon was made a CBE in The Queen’s 2003 Birthday Honours List for his services to the arts. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Fellow of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and of the British Institute of Psychoanalysis. He holds honorary doctorates from Warwick University and City University, London. He is an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.
Theatre includes: for the RSC, Konstantin in The Seagull, Ariel in The Tempest, Edgar in King Lear, Oswald in Ghosts, Edward II and Richard II. NT: Iago in Othello, Mosca in Volpone, Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Alfred Evelyn in Money, Hamlet (Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards), the lead in Humble Boy (also West End), George in Jumpers (also West End and Broadway), Candide (Olivier Award), Face in The Alchemist, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Undershaft in Major Barbara, Edward in A Slight Ache, Sir Harcourt Courtly in London Assurance. Also, Vanya in Uncle Vanya and Malvolio in Twelfth Night (Donmar Warehouse and Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York – Olivier and Evening Standard Awards as well as a Village Voice Obie) and King Arthur in Spamalot (Broadway and West End). Simon was part of Sam Mendes’s first British/American theatre company, the Bridge Project, and appeared in A Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, on an international tour, at the old Vic and finally at Epidaurus, throughout 2009. Most recently Simon has been playing Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Television includes: A Dance to the Music of Time (Royal Television Society and BAFTA Awards), Persuasion, The Young Visitors, Dunkirk and Spooks. He has also presented two series and a Christmas Special of Sacred Music for BBC4.
Radio includes: George Smiley in The Complete Smiley (BBC Radio 4).