Stephen Bell

Associate Conductor, Hallé Pops

Described in 2011 by International Record Review as “one of the most gifted younger British conductors”, Stephen Bell studied at the Royal College of Music under the renowned conductor Norman Del Mar, and now finds himself increasingly in demand with a wide variety of European orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, National Symphony Orchestra (RTÉ), Hallé, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, ERT National Symphonic Orchestra (Athens), Brighton Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestras. A progressively challenging conducting schedule now affords Stephen the opportunity to conduct both at home and abroad, in venues such as London, Istanbul, Toronto and Athens.

Stephen’s recent discography includes critically acclaimed CDs on ASV, Naxos and Dutton labels, including two with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and more recently, a disc of Gordon Jacob for Dutton Records and three world premiere recordings with violist Roger Chase and the BBC Concert Orchestra. 2016 saw three brand new releases with the Hallé on their own label, Dutton Records, and an exciting collaboration with award-winning vocalist Clare Teal on MUD Records. He also has extensive broadcasting experience, frequently appearing on BBC Radio, Classic FM and BBC television. In 2009, he was appointed Artistic Director of the City of Oxford Orchestra, and in 2013 was delighted to take up the post of Associate Conductor, Hallé Pops.

His diverse repertoire, versatility and aptitude for communication with audiences of all genres, has led to exciting conducting projects with an eclectic range of artists from instrumentalists Jack Liebeck, Guy Johnston, Xeufei Yang, Julian Lloyd Webber, Alan Opie, Peter Donohoe, Julian Bliss, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Mark Simpson, Joanna MacGregor, Stephen Hough, Amy Dickson and The Chieftains, to singers Katie Melua, Katherine Jenkins, Noah Stewart, Alfie Boe, KT Tunstall, John Barrowman, Tony Hadley, Natasha Marsh, Chris De Burgh, Hayley Westenra, Louise Dearman, Matt Ford, Alexandra Burke, Clare Teal and Michael Ball. Previous seasons’ highlights include the Queen’s Jubilee Concert at Chatsworth House, the Royal Festival Hall tribute concert for Stanley Black, conducting a gala event at Windsor Castle for Prince Charles, the Westminster Abbey Memorial Concert for Alastair Cooke, the award-winning Pitch Perfect at Wembley for BBCTV’s Children in Need with the BBC Singers, the televised Music Nation concert from the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow and, for BBC Music Day, Texas with the BBCSSO at the Barrowland Ballroom.

From 2005 to 2010, Stephen was invited to conduct the annual televised BBC Proms in the Park with the BBC Philharmonic, and since 2011, has appeared every year on the live TV broadcasts of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Last Night of the Proms celebrations. Back in 2008, the hugely successful Doctor Who Prom represented his Royal Albert Hall Proms début, and subsequently he has returned to the BBC Proms in 2012 conducting the Northern Sinfonia, in 2014 conducting the BBC Philharmonic for two televised Proms. The Folk Prom, broadcast on BBC4 in the 2018 season, marked his first Prom with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and returns to conduct them at the 2019 Proms later this year.

His 2018/2019 Season highlights include further engagements with the Hallé, Royal Philharmonic, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Brighton Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Jersey Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

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