Sir Mark Elder CH CBE

Music Director


Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979–93), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992–5) and Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (1989–94). He has also held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and 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 and Munich Philharmonic. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared annually at the BBC Proms for many years, including the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms in 1987 and 2006, and from 2003 with the Hallé.

He works regularly in the major international opera houses, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, New York, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (as the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Munich, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, Berlin and the Bregenz Festival.

Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, OAE, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, BBC Symphony, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Rochester Philharmonic, as well as with ENO, 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, including five Gramophone Awards and a BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year Award.

Television appearances include a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for the BBC and a similar project on Donizetti for German TV. He co-presented BBC Four’s four-part series Symphony, fronted BBC Two’s Maestro at the Opera and presented BBC Four’s Sunday-evening series of performances from the 2015 Proms, introducing eight symphonies ranging from Beethoven to Sir James MacMillan.

In 2011 he became Artistic Director of Opera Rara, with whom recordings include Donizetti’s Dom Sébastien, Imelda de’ Lambertazzi, Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan and a multi-award-winning release of Les Martyrs.

As well as his commitment to the Hallé, recent and forthcoming concert engagements include the OAE, the Boston, Chicago, Gothenburg, London and Vienna Symphony Orchestras, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), Bergen, London, Netherlands Radio and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras, Russian National Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Australian Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Operatic engagements include Parsifal with the Hallé at the 2013 BBC Proms, Tannhäuser and La bohème at the Paris Opéra, Benvenuto Cellini for Netherlands Opera, Die Meistersinger for San Francisco Opera, Billy Budd, Falstaff and La traviata for Glyndebourne, Wozzeck, Fidelio, Il barbiere di Siviglia and L’Étoile for Covent Garden and Lohengrin in concert with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

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 2006 was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society, of which he was awarded Honorary Membership in 2011. And in 2017, Sir Mark Elder was awarded the Companion of Honour.

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