British conductor Nicholas Collon is recognized for his elegant conducting style,
searching musical intellect and inspirational music-making. He is Chief Conductor of
the Finnish Radio Symphony (the first non-Finnish conductor ever to hold this post),
Founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra; he will tour Europe with
both orchestras in the 23/24 season. From 2016-2021 he was Chief Conductor of the
Residentie Orkest in Den Haag (latterly also Artistic Advisor) and was Principal Guest
of Gürzenich-Orchester from 2017-2022.
Collon’s plans in Helsinki in 23/24 include a focus on Richard Strauss, a residency
with Sir George Benjamin, as well as plans to premiere an unprecedented 13 new
works. He also leads Aurora Orchestra in their residencies at Kings Place and at
the Southbank Centre, where they have reinvented the concert format with their ‘Orchestral
Theatre’ Series. Together they appear regularly at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw,
Cologne Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and festivals such as Bremen,
Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, Gstaad, and the BBC Proms where they perform
every year in their hugely popular memorised performances.
Collon returns this season to conduct the Orchestre National de France, Dresden
Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
He will also conduct the Barcelona Symphony and will make his debut with the
Munich Philharmonic in 2024 and WDR Symphony Orchestra in 2025.
Collon has conducted over 250 new works, including the UK or world premieres of
works by Unsuk Chin, Brett Dean, Phillip Glass, Colin Matthews, Anna Meredith, Nico
Muhly, Olivier Messiaen, Krzysztof Penderecki, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Judith Weir,
and Du Yun. He is a regular guest of the Bamberg Symphony and BBC Philharmonic
orchestras, and has also conducted DSO Berlin, ORF Radio-Symphnonieorchester
Wien, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, New
World Symphony, Minnesota Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony and
Chamber Orchestra of Europe amongst many others.
His first CD release with the Finnish Radio Symphony in Spring 2022 (Sibelius on
Ondine) received 5-star reviews in Finland and internationally; in Autumn 2022 they
released a CD of works by Thomas Adès which won a Diapason d’Or, and they have
since released two further CDs of works by Wennäkoski and Bacewicz. Past
recordings have included discs for Deutsche Grammophon and Warner with the
Aurora Orchestra, with whom he won the Echo Klassik Award for ‘Klassik Ohne
Grenzen’ in 2015; and discs with the Danish Radio Symphony, Philharmonia and Hallé
Opera productions have included Peter Grimes and Don Giovanni for Oper Koeln,
Magic Flute at English National Opera, Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream at Welsh
National Opera, Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Turn of the
Screw at the Aldeburgh Festival with Aurora Orchestra. Born in London, Nicholas is a
violist, pianist and organist by training, and studied as Organ Scholar at Clare College,
Intermusica represents Nicholas Collon Worldwide.
For a full biography visit the Intermusica website
An impossible task as there are so many to choose from! Here’s a top 5 in no particular order:
- BBC Proms 2014 – what an extraordinary feeling coming off stage after the whole orchestra had memorised Mozart’s 40th symphony; a first for any professional orchestra.
- The well-worn story of when our percussionist knocked over his entire percussion set-up in the middle of a new piece, mid-concert, nearly decapitating our bassoonist, and reducing most other players to tears.
- April 2005 – I will always remember the feeling of pride as I listened to the first notes these wonderful musicians ever played in concert, Hindemith’s Kammermusik No. 1.
- Aurora’s ‘Thriller’ project pushed so many boundaries – never before (and possibly never again) had I been carried around on the shoulders of six players.
- The ‘Horrible Histories’ Prom of 2012 was an extraordinary moment – the genuine feeling that we had probably given thousands (and millions on TV at home) teenagers their first glimpse into the excitement of orchestral music.
Mozart 40 from memory: Aurora Orchestra at the BBC Proms
As part of its performance at the BBC Proms in August 2014, Aurora Orchestra performed Mozart's Symphony No. 40 from memory under the direction of Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon. Footage used by kind permission of the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms