“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 currently Artistic Director of Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Chief Conductor of the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie.
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 has held positions as Permanent Guest Conductor of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Principal Conductor of Paragon 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, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Orchestra della Toscana. Further afield, he has often conducted the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, 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, and Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine at the Linbury Studio. Most recently he made his debut with Opera North conducting Britten’s Billy Budd.
Outside the UK he has conducted Curlew River for Lyon Opera and a new production by Calixto Bieito of Hosokawa’s Hanjo at the Ruhr Triennale.
In addition to his concerts with the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie he returns to Garsington for the world premiere of David Sawer’s The Skating Rink, to Opera North for symphonic concerts and a new opera production, and will make his debut with the Ashville Symphony Orchestra in 2018.
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.