“Musical director Diego Masson presides over all with keen attention, picking out all the details of Britten’s score, sculpting alternatively rich and sharp sounds from an orchestra in fine fettle.”
Widely recognised as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries French conductor Diego Masson completed his studies at the Paris Conservatoire before becoming percussionist in Domaine Musicale the contemporary music group founded by Pierre Boulez.
Recent and future highlights include:
- Philharmonia Orchestra – Taplin/Clarke/Jones
- Ensemble MusikFabrik – Stanczyk/Berio
- Finnish National Opera – Hosokawa The Raven
- Britten Sinfonia, Brighton Festival (closing concert) – Adams/Copland
- Die Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz
- Real Filharmonía de Galicia – Ibert/Franck
In 1966, following a period of study with Boulez, he formed Musique Vivante establishing a regular and notable series of concerts presenting important contemporary works. In 1973 they appeared at the Roundhouse in London in a production of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with the great French dancer Jean Babillé.
After considerable success as Music Director of the Marseille Opera in the 1970s Diego Masson went on to pursue an international conducting career which has taken him to the major musical centres of Europe, Scandinavia and the Antipodes.
A regular visitor to the UK, Masson has appeared with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, Hallé, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonic, Nash Ensemble, Opera Factory and Opera North with whom he gave the world première of Robert Saxton’s opera Caritas. With Scottish Opera he conducted the world première of Sally Beamish’s first opera Monster. He appears regularly with the Philharmonia Orchestra in their Music of Today series at the South Bank Centre and has made several appearances at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Diego Masson has a very long-standing and regular relationship with London Sinfonietta as well as regularly appearing with the world’s leading contemporary ensembles including Ensemble Modern, Musik Fabrik, Ensemble Alternance, Klangforum Wien, Xenakis Ensemble Composers Ensemble and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Diego Masson’s engagements in Europe have included appearances with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Avanti Chamber Orchestra in Helsinki, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra, BIT20 Ensemble Norway and Barcelona Ensemble 216. He made his debut at the Aspen Festival in 2000 conducting a much acclaimed performances of John Casken’s Golem resulting in an immediate invitation to return to conduct Gloria by H K Gruber.
Diego Masson works regularly in Asia and Australasia and has conducted the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. In 1998 he appeared at the New Zealand Festival and returned to New Zealand in 1999 to conduct a very successful series of concerts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted Schönberg’s Gurrelieder at the Perth International Arts Festival and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Adelaide Festival.
Major London events have included Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and the UK premiere of Luigi Nono’s massive and complex Prometeo at the South Bank Centre.
Over the years Diego Masson has made frequent appearances at the Aldeburgh Festival, Bath International Music Festival, BBC Proms and Wien Modern.
Diego Masson has many strong relationships with youth orchestras including the Australian Youth Orchestra, the orchestras of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Royal Northern College of Music, Juilliard School and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and for many years held regular conducting classes at the Dartington International Summer School.