Conductor Profiles

Rory Macdonald

RORY MACDONALD is one of the most engaging British conductors of his generation, leading stylish performances of a notably wide range of operatic and symphonic repertoire.

Rory made his debut with Oper Frankfurt in 2018/19 with Così fan tutte and has conducted new productions of Die Zauberflöte for Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Danish Opera and Opera Australia. Other highlights include Hänsel und Gretel; Il barbiere di Siviglia (Royal Opera House); Fra Diavolo (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma); Carmen (Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera, Teatro São Carlos); Ariadne aux Naxos (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); The Cunning Little Vixen (Bergen National Opera); La Fanciulla del West (Grange Park Opera); A Village Romeo and Juliet (Wexford Festival).

On the concert podium, Rory’s recent engagements include his debut with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and a return to conduct the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2018/19, he worked with the London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal and returned to the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Ulster, and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras. He also performed in Japan with the Nagoya Philharmonic and Kanagawa Philharmonic orchestras.

He recently conducted the première performances of Carl Vine’s Double Piano Concerto with Kathryn Stott and Piers Lane with both the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted the premieres of works by notable composers such as Sir James Macmillan, Sally Beamish and Geoffrey Gordon.

Rory’s discography with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra includes an album with Danny Driver for Hyperion, and with Nicola Benedetti for Decca. His recording of symphonies no. 3 and 4 by Thomas Wilson with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was released in 2019 on Linn Records to critical acclaim, and similarly with symphonies no. 2 and 5 in 2020.

Simon Crawford-Phillips

SIMON CRAWFORD-PHILLIPS is a multi-festival director, renowned pianist, creative programmer with a passion for championing contemporary repertoire, and a chamber musician who regularly collaborates with artists such as Daniel Hope and Lawrence Power in repertoire from Haydn and Schumann to Adès, Byström, Dean and Reich.

His own ensembles include The Kungsbacka Piano Trio, and Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble (resident artists at Stockholm Konzerthus). Simon is the Artistic Adviser and Chief Conductor of Västerås Sinfonietta as well as the Artistic Director of the Change Music Festival in Norra Halland, Västerås Music Festival and Co-Artistic Director of the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival.

Simon is Conductor Fellow of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra working alongside chief conductor Alan Gilbert. Simon’s spicy and eclectic programming is reflected in an extraordinarily varied career as a conductor/ director alongside his solo collaborations.

Highlights have included debuts with Zurich Chamber Orchestra for an extensive European tour alongside Daniel Hope, directing Sinfonia Varsovia in Warsaw’s Lutosławski Chain Festival, and debuting Wild Waves and Woods at Kings Place with Västerås Sinfonietta, Paul Watkins and Lawrence Power. As a pianist The Guardian says Simon has “profound sensitivity and technical brilliance, achieving an expressive intensity that made for compelling listening.”

He performs in premiere festivals and concert halls across Europe including Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Edinburgh, and at Wigmore Hall where he will appear as the regular pianist with Chamber Ensemble in Residence, the acclaimed Nash Ensemble. Notable concerto debuts include the NHK Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra directing from the keyboard.

Simon Crawford-Phillips is managed worldwide by Percius