Sian Edwards

Head of Conducting

Conducting - Head of Conducting

Has conducted most of the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies

Conductor of major operatic world premieres

Recordings with London Philharmonic Orchestra and English National Opera

Music Director of English National Opera 1993–95

Regular concerts with Ensemble Modern

Sian has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras including Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland, Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Berlin Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, MDR Leipzig, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and London Sinfonietta. She has a particularly close relationship with Ensemble Modern in Germany.

She made her operatic debut in 1986 conducting Weill’s Mahagonny for Scottish Opera and her Royal Opera House debut in 1988 with Tippett’s The Knot Garden. From 1993 to 1995 she was Music Director of English National Opera for whom her repertoire included Khovanshchina, Jenufa, Queen of Spades and Blond Eckbert (also recorded on Collins). For the Glyndebourne Festival she has conducted La Traviata and the Ravel Double Bill, and for Glyndebourne Touring Opera Katya Kabanova and Tippett’s New Year. She conducted the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek at the Munich Biennale in 1988, and other operatic engagements have included the world premiere of Hans Gefors’ Clara for the Opéra Comique in Paris, Così fan tutte in Aspen, her return to Eugene Onegin at English National Orchestra and Don Giovanni in Copenhagen.

Sian’s recordings include Peter and the Wolf, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide and Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, all with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert with English National Opera.

Recent concert engagements: performances with Ensemble Modern; Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich; SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg; Frankfurt Radio Symphony; Palestinian Youth Orchestra; London Sinfonietta; BBC National Orchestra of Wales; as well as performances at the Edinburgh International Festival and a tour of the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Recent operatic engagements: The Rape of Lucretia and La traviata for the Theater an der Wien; Orlando, a new ballet, for the Staatstheater Stuttgart; The Rake’s Progress for Scottish Opera; Ades’ The Tempest for Oper Frankfurt; and a concert performance of Tippett’s King Priam at the Brighton Festival.

She has also recently contributed to a new film by Tony Palmer on Holst.

Personal philosophy of teaching

I have responsibility for how the Conducting Course is designed and developed, and work with the students as the main teacher of the course. I set out the basic tenets of the course, but also enjoy the flexibility we have as a small department to make the course work for each student as an individual. The Academy offers huge potential for creating links with other departments, and I am working to make a wide and varied range of options open to conducting students.

Selected recordings

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet, Francesca da Rimini, Marche Slave and Overture 1812 (EMI)

Tchaikovsky: Symphony no.5 in E minor, Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin (EMI)

Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra; Ravel Ma Mere L’Oye (EMI)

Judith Weir: Blond Eckbert (Conifer Records)

Steve Reich: City Life (DVD)

John Adams: Chamber Symphony and Shaker Loops with Ensemble Modern

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