Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera between 1979 and 1993, Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1992 to 1995 and Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the USA from 1989 to 1994. He has also held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
He has worked with many of the world's leading symphony orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra. In the UK he enjoys close associations with both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, of which he is a Principal Artist. Sir Mark Elder has appeared annually at the BBC Proms in London for many years, including the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms in 1987 and 2006, and annually with the Hallé from 2003. In 2012 he conducted at four Proms, including the First Night, with the Hallé, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Aldeburgh World Orchestra.
He works regularly in the most prominent international opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera Chicago and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, while other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Munich, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, Berlin and the Bregenz Festival.
During his years at ENO he brought international acclaim to the company for its work in London, as well as leading tours to the USA (including the Metropolitan Opera House in New York) and Russia (including the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg).
Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Rochester Philharmonic, as well as with English National Opera, in repertoire ranging from Verdi, Strauss and Wagner to contemporary music. In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label and releases have met with universal critical acclaim, culminating in Gramophone Awards for Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius in 2009, Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Elgar's Violin Concerto in 2010 and Elgar's The Kingdom in 2011.
In collaboration with the director Barrie Gavin, Sir Mark Elder made a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for BBC TV in 1994, which was followed by a similar project on Donizetti for German television in 1996. In November 2011 he co-presented BBC Four's four-part series Symphony and in 2012 fronted BBC Two's TV series Maestro at the Opera.
Recent opera recordings include Donizetti's Dom Sébastien, Imelda de' Lambertazzi, Linda di Chamounix and most recently Maria di Rohan for Opera Rara, and Die Walküre with the Hallé. In April 2011, he took up the position of Artistic Director of Opera Rara, with whom he is planning several recording projects over the next five years.
Recent and forthcoming symphonic engagements, apart from his commitment to the Hallé, include appearances with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Britten Sinfonia and the OAE. Future operatic engagements include Covent Garden, Paris and Glyndebourne.
Sir Mark Elder was knighted in 2008, and was awarded the CBE in 1989. He won an Olivier Award in 1991 for his outstanding work at ENO and in May 2006 he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society. He was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2011.