Our President

brabbinsThe President of Salomon Orchestra is Martyn Brabbins. 

Martyn Brabbins was appointed Music Director of the English National Opera in October 2016. An inspirational force in British music, Brabbins has had a busy opera career since his early days at the Kirov and more recently at La Scala, the Bayerische Staatsoper, and regularly in Lyon, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Antwerp. He is a popular figure at the BBC Proms and with most of the leading British orchestras, and regularly conducts top international orchestras, returning to the Royal Concertgebouw, Tokyo Metropolitan and Deutsche Sinfonieorchester Berlin this season. Known for his advocacy of British composers, he has conducted hundreds of world premieres across the globe. He has recorded over 120 CDs to date, including prize-winning discs of operas by Korngold, Birtwistle and Harvey. He was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005, Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic 2009-2015, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic 2012-2016, and Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, and has this season taken up a new position as Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music.

Brabbins is known for his affinity with music of the late 19th/early 20th centuries, to which he brings a Romantic sensibility, unerring sense of pace and an extraordinary ear for detail. He has conducted hundreds of world premieres by leading international composers, and has championed British music at home and abroad. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors’ Competition. Since then he has become a frequent guest with leading orchestras across the globe,

Last season’s highlights included his Rotterdam Philharmonic debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and debuts with WDR Cologne and Russian National Opera, both conducting Britten War Requiem. Brabbins led a series of high-profile opera engagements including his debut at Hungarian State Opera with The Rake’s Progress, a Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky Peter Sellars double-bill with Opéra de Lyon, Tristan and Isolde at Grange Park Opera, and Andriessen’s rarely-heard La Commedia in-concert with BBC Symphony.

2016 /17 highlights include re-invitations to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and performances of A Dog’s Heart with Dutch National Opera. He returns to Royal Flemish Philharmonic for the world premiere of an Aho concerto, and concerts with the BBC Scottish include the beginning of a Tippett Symphony cycle and a concert performance of Birtwistle’s A Last Supper.

Martyn Brabbins has recorded around 120 CDs to date, his extensive discography ranges from Romantic to contemporary repertoire. He won the Gramophone Award for Birtwistle’s Mask of Orpheus with the BBC Symphony (NMC), the Cannes Opera Award for Korngold’s Die Kathrin with the BBC Concert Orchestra (CPO), and the Grand Prix du Disque in the 2013 opera category for his recording of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream.

Brabbins is an inspirational force in British music, and has contributed significantly over the years, conducting almost all the major UK orchestras and appearing at the major British festivals on many occasions. He was Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, and is currently Music Director to the Huddersfield Choral Society with whom he has had a long association – one of the many ways in which he supports both professional and amateur music-making at the highest level in the UK. He is a leading advocate of British composers across the globe, and an inspiration to young conductors in his annual course at the St Magnus Festival on Orkney. This season, Brabbins takes up a new position as Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music.