Meet The Performers

Conductor

Sir Mark Elder

Conductor

Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000.  He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979-1993), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992 – 1995) and Music Director of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, USA (1989 – 1994).  He has 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, Munich Philharmonic and London Symphony. 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 Proms for many years, including in 1987 and 2006, the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms and from 2003 with the Hallé 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, Glyndebourne Festival Opera.  Other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Munich, Amsterdam, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, and the Bregenz Festival.

Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, the OAE, 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 culminating in Gramophone Awards for The Dream of Gerontius in 2009 and Götterdämmerung and Elgar’s Violin Concerto in 2010. The most recent recording of The Apostles won Recording of the Year at the 2013 BBC Music Magazine Awards.  

TV appearances include a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for BBC TV in 1994 and a similar project on Donizetti for German television in 1996.  In November 2011 he co-presented BBCTV’s four part series Symphony, and in 2012 fronted BBC2’s TV series Maestro at the Opera.

Recent opera recordings include Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien, Imelda di Lambertazzi, Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan and Les Martyrs 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 has recorded several projects.  

Recent and forthcoming concert engagements, as well as his commitment to the Hallé, include Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Gürzenich Orchester, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Symphony, the OAE, Australian Youth Orchestra, National  Youth Orchestra and at the Royal Academy  of Music.  Operatic engagements include a complete performance of Parsifal at the BBC Proms with the Hallé, Tannhäuser and La bohème at the Opéra National de Paris, Benvenuto Cellini for Netherlands Opera, Meistersinger for San Francisco Opera, Billy Budd, Falstaff and La Traviata for Glyndebourne and several productions for Covent Garden including Wozzeck, Fidelio, La bohème and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. 

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. 

Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.