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Artist Hyperion Records
Atherton, David (conductor)
© Ken Jacques

David Atherton (conductor)

David Atherton studied music at Cambridge University where his operatic conducting aroused much interest. After becoming the youngest conductor ever to appear at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, he spent twelve years there as Resident Conductor giving nearly 200 performances. He has also often appeared with the English National Opera, Glyndebourne and Canadian Opera, and has a particularly close relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

He co-founded the London Sinfonietta and gave the premieres of many important contemporary works. His recordings have gained an Edison Award, many Grammy Award nominations, the sought-after Grand Prix du Disque, the Serge Koussevitsky Critics’ Award and the Prix Caecilia. His recording of Tippett’s opera King Priam won the coveted International Record Critics’ Award, and the composer wrote in his autobiography: ‘Some artists will show insight into my vision: an example would be David Atherton’s conducting … But then, Atherton is a conductor of genius.’

David Atherton was the youngest conductor in the history of the BBC Promenade Concerts and subsequently appeared in thirty contiguous seasons. He has opened the Prague Spring Festival and the Berlin Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and travels widely, in particular to the USA where he regularly conducts the leading North American orchestras.

From 1980 to 1987 he was Music Director of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and he returns to California each summer to direct the Mainly Mozart Festival, which he founded in 1989. He has also held titled positions with the BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2000, after eleven years as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, he was awarded the OBE and made the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate.


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