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Geoffrey Paterson


  • British conductor Geoffrey Paterson is admired for his impressive grasp of detail, responsiveness to musicians, and his ability to shape and make music from the most complex scores with natural authority.  Paterson is praised for his ‘winning combination of assuredness, agility and enthusiasm’ (The Telegraph) as well as his ‘instinct for pace’ (The Spectator) in repertoire ranging from Bach to Birtwistle and beyond.

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  • Having built his early career in the opera house and in parallel as a contemporary music specialist, in recent years Paterson’s depth of knowledge and stylistic versatility have impressed musicians and audiences in a wide range of symphonic repertoire.

    Highlights of last season included his Japan debut with the Nagoya Philharmonic in Rachmaninov and Ravel prompting an immediate reinvitation, and his return to the BBC Proms with the London Sinfonietta (a long-standing relationship) in a new commission for jazz saxophonist Marius Neset, as well as concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur and at the Bergen Festival.  UK engagements included the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, Red Note Ensemble, London Mozart Players and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10:10 where he returns this season.  In 23/24 he also makes his Ulster Orchestra debut in Wagner and Sibelius, leads the Nash Ensemble in their Birtwistle Memorial Concert at the Wigmore Hall, and conducts a new production of Albert Herring with the pick of the Royal Academy of Music rising star vocalists.

    Opera has always formed a large part of Paterson’s activity; recent productions have included Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream in Frankfurt, Philip Glass’ Orphee at English National Opera and Willem Jeth’s Ritratto at the Dutch National Opera. He has previously conducted at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Menotti’s The Consul, Max Richter and Saariaho ballets), Royal Danish Opera (Die Fledermaus, Porgy and Bess, and Prokofiev’s Cinderella), Opera North (La bohème), Glyndebourne on Tour (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Music Theatre Wales (Dusapin’s Passion at the Southbank Centre, Eotvos’ The Golden Dragon on tour). He was a Jette Parker Young Artist at Covent Garden, subsequently conducting productions at the Royal Opera of HK Gruber’s Gloria von Jaxtberg (also at the Bregenz Festival), Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon (recorded for Opera Rara), Julian Philips’ How the Whale Became, Søren Nils Eichberg’s Glare, and the world premieres of Birtwistle’s chamber opera double-bill The Corridor and The Cure at the Aldeburgh Festival and Holland Festival, and of Tansy Davies’ Cave with the London Sinfonietta.

    Paterson studied at Cambridge University where he also took composition lessons with Alexander Goehr followed by studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Having won both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 Leeds Conductors Competition, he went on to participate in the Luzern Festival conducting masterclasses with Pierre Boulez. During his time on the Royal Opera House Young Artist Programme he assisted conductors including Antonio Pappano, Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons and Daniele Gatti on an extensive repertoire. For two seasons he worked in Bayreuth as musical assistant to Kirill Petrenko for Der Ring des Nibelungen. 

    2023-24 season / 502 words. Not to be reproduced without permission


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Livestreams & broadcasts

Danish National Symphony Orchestra | March 2022
Simon Steen-Andersen: TRIO
Click to listen on Danish Radio

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra | January 2022
Carl Nielsen: Symphony No.3 (Sinfonia Espansiva)
Click to listen on BBC Sounds from 1:03:55

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment | February 2021
Webern: Passacaglia
Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Pfitzner: Act 2 Vorspiel from Palestrina
Strauss, R: Salome (excerpt)
Wagner: Act 3 Vorspiel from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Click to watch on OAE website

BBC National Orchestra of Wales | November 2020
Schreker: Chamber Symphony
Click to watch on BBC NOW website

BBC National Orchestra of Wales | November 2020
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Click to watch on BBC NOW website

London Sinfonietta | November 2020
James Dillon: Pharmakeia
World premiere performance
Click to watch on YouTube

Britten Sinfonia | November 2020
Aaron Copland Appalachian Spring
Igor Stravinsky 3 pieces for solo clarinet
Aaron Copland Clarinet Concerto
Click to watch on Barbican website

Nash Ensemble | April 2021
Turnage: Owl Songs
Matthews: Seascapes
Click to watch on YouTube

BCMG | June 2021
Birtwistle: Cantus Iambeus
Click to watch on YouTube

BBC National Orchestra of Wales | September 2021
Pēteris Vasks: Cantabile
Guto Puw: Utrasonic
Sarah Jenkins: Trallali, Trallaley, Trallalera
Judith Weir: I Give You the End of a Golden String
John Metcalf: Dances From Forgotten Places
Click to watch on YouTube

Orchestral programmes

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Bartók: Divertimento Sz.113, BB.118
Erika Fox: Piano Concerto
Nielsen: Symphony No.3, Op.27 'Sinfonia espansiva'

Hamburg Philharmoniker
Bach: Orchestral Suite No.3 BWV.1068
Stravinsky: Concerto in E-flat 'Dumbarton Oaks'
R. Strauss: Le bourgeois gentilhomme Op.60

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Webern: Passacaglia
Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Pfitzner: Act 2 Vorspiel from Palestrina
Strauss, R: Salome (excerpt)
Wagner: Act 3 Vorspiel from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Aurora Orchestra
Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin, M.68
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1
Schrecker Chamber Symphony

City of London Sinfonia
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op.35

Nagoya Philharmonic
Ravel: Rapsodie espagnole 
Cañizares: Concierto Mediterráneo in memory of Joaquin Rodrigo
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.44

Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Bernstein: West Side Story (concert)

Philharmonia Orchestra* 
Liszt: Piano Concerto No.2 in A major, S.125
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No.2 in E minor, Op.27

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment*
R. Strauss: Capriccio, TrV.279a, Op.85: Sextet
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor, Op.35
R. Strauss: Le bourgeois gentilhomme, TrV.228, Op.60

*engagement cancelled due to COVID-19

Contemporary Highlights

Opera premieres include

Dutch National Opera
Willem Jeths Ritratto (World premiere 2020)

Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh Festival, Holland Festival
Harrison Birtwistle The Cure (World premiere)
Harrison Birtwistle The Corridor

Royal Opera House/London Sinfonietta/Mark Padmore
Tansy Davies Cave (World premiere)

Paterson has conducted symphonic and ensemble works by a wide range of contemporary composers including Agata Zubel, Toshio Hosokawa, Christian Jost, Ana Sokolović, Samy Moussa, Tania Leon, James Dillon, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Cassie Kinoshi, Harrison Birtwistle, Erika Fox, Param Vir, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Peter Maxwell Davies, Peteris Vasks, Judith Weir, Jay Capperauld, Nico Muhly, Cheryl-France Hoad, Simon Steen-Anderson and many more. 


Opera Highlights

Royal Opera House (including Massenet Le Portrait de Manon; Birtwistle The Corridor and The Cure, Tansy Davies The Cave)

Bayerische Staatsoper (Menotti The Consul;)

Bregenz Festival (HK Gruber Gloria von Jaxtberg)

Glyndebourne Touring Opera (Mozart Die Entführung
aus dem Serail)

Royal Danish Opera (Gershwin Porgy and Bess)

Opera North (Puccini La bohème)

Buxton Festival (Péter Eötvös The Golden Dragon)

English National Opera (Glass Orphée)

"Geoffrey Paterson conducted and it was gorgeous, with huge curving lines, russet and silver hues and a real sense of something awful looming in the twilight."

The Spectator , February 2021

"Conducted with impeccable grace by Geoffrey Paterson…wonderful clarity and warmth."

The Guardian, November 2019

"He generally had an extremely dense, sometimes dramatic structure in the other works of the evening, which released an enormous wealth of contrast and didn't let the tension break anywhere….Paterson encouraged the musicians to achieve even greater waves of expression and powerful climaxes in Rachmaninoff's last symphony... He also took every opportunity to create breaks or minimal pauses and to surprise the audience with unexpected changes in mood."

Hamburger Abendblatt, April 2024


Intermusica represents Geoffrey Paterson worldwide

Susie McLeod
Director, Artist Management
+44 20 7608 9920

Laura Mayo
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9906

All artists


HK Gruber


Tim Mead


Richard Egarr

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles


Jess Gillam


Avery Amereau