Day 341 - Garry Walker: One of Scotland's best musical exports

With the glaring exceptions of Alexander Gibson and Donald Runnicles, Scottish conductors have always had to look elsewhere for their major appointments, tending even to drop off the radar at home. One such is Garry Walker. A pupil of St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh he studied conducting and cello at the Royal Northern College in Manchester. He won the Leeds conductors competition in 1999 at the age of 25. Thereafter things happened fast, He became permanent guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was principal guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra between 2003 and 2007 and has worked with all the BBC orchestras, as well as the Hallé, London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Philharmonia and City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras. He has worked frequently with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He now holds three key permanent positions: Chief Conductor of the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, Artistic Director of Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and most recently has been appointed Music Director of Opera North. The reason for this, apart from terrific musicianship, is an ability to draw intimate and emotionally charged performances from both players and singers in a wonderfully collegiate way, unlike the dominating maestros of old. Let's hope one day he comes back to Scotland to lead one of our great musical institutions

Profile of Garry Walker click here

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