“Presiding musically over the show is conductor Garry Walker, who shows a profound understanding of the colours and textures of Janacek's idiosyncratic writing, and draws exceptional playing from the Garsington Opera orchestra.”
Winner of the 1999 Leeds Conductor’s Competition, Scottish-born Garry Walker studied cello (with Ralph Kirshbaum) and conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is now Artistic Director of Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and takes up the position of Chief Conductor of the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz from September 2017.
Recent and future highlights include:
- Opera North; Aldeburgh Festival – Britten Billy Budd
- Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra – Tchaikovsky/Chopin/Prokofiev
- Orchestra della Toscana – Ibert/Mozart/Schubert
- Teatro dell’Opera Roma – Berio/Bartok/Brahms
- Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra – MacCunn/Mendelssohn/Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2
- Asheville Symphony Orchestra – Malcolm Arnold/Debussy/Bruch/Mendelssohn
- Garsington Opera; The Linbury Studio Theatre – David Sawer The Skating Rink
Garry Walker was Permanent Guest Conductor of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Principal Conductor of Paragon Ensemble and now enjoys a close association with Red Note Ensemble Scotland’s première contemporary music ensemble.
In the UK Garry Walker has worked with all the BBC orchestras, Hallé, London Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony and National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Chamber orchestras have included the Britten Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata the Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and Academy of St Martin in the Fields. With the SCO he has appeared at the St Magnus Festival and the Edinburgh Festival, with the ECO in Lisbon and the City of London Festival and with ASMF at the Barbican’s Mostly Mozart Festival. His regular appearances at the Edinburgh International Festival have included notable performances of Mahler’s Second Symphony, Kurtag Stele, and MacMillan’s The Quickening, all with the RSNO.
Orchestras that he has worked with outside of the UK include the Gothenburg Symphony, Dortmund Philharmoniker, Orchestra dell’Opera Roma, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Collegium Musicum Copenhagen, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Orchestra della Toscana. Further afield, he has often conducted the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and has had further re-invitations to the Melbourne Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia, as well as making his US debut with the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
An experienced opera conductor, Garry Walker conducted Janacek’s’ The Cunning Little Vixen for Garsington Opera in July 2014. He has conducted both Britten’s Curlew River and the world première of Stuart MacRae’s opera The Assassin Tree at the Edinburgh International Festival. He also conducted the MacRae at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio, David McVicar’s much acclaimed new production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Raskatov’s A Dog’s Heart for English National Opera, Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage for Scottish Opera, Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at the Royal Northern College of Music and Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine at the Linbury Studio.
Outside the UK he has conducted Curlew River for Lyon Opera and a new production by Calixto Bieito of Hosakawa’s Hanjo at the Ruhr Triennale.
Recent and future highlights include a return to the Auckland Philharmonia and Orchestra della Toscana as well as concerts with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Teatro dell’Opera Roma, Aberdeen Sinfonietta and Philharmonie Zuidnederland. The beginning of the 16/17 season also sees his debut with Opera North conducting Britten’s Billy Budd.
Amongst the many international soloists with whom Garry Walker has collaborated are Maxim Vengerov, Sarah Chang, Jonas Kaufmann, Truls Mørk, Mischa Maisky, James Ehnes, David Geringas and Branford Marsalis.
Recordings have included works by Havergal Brian and Matthew Taylor on Toccata Classics, Edward Harper on Delphian and Dvorak on Sony.