At Magna Sinfonia we book professional conductors who can push and stretch us as musicians to put on fantastic performances. We use a range of different conductors as we know this provides a really valuable and enriching experience for us as musicians. Each season we have a combination of returning and new conductors for the orchestra.
Autumn: Natalia Luis-Bassa
Natalia is a dynamic conductor and a passionate advocate for young musicians’ education, forming partnerships with many institutions like the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Leeds Conservatoire, Oasby Music Group and most recently with the Benedetti Foundation amongst others. She is also a record breaker as the first person to obtain a degree in Orchestral Conducting in her native country of Venezuela.
After completing her postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London, she held the RCM Junior Fellowship in Opera Conducting for two years. Her relationship with the RCM continues to this day as she is a Professor of Conducting there.
Since 2020, she has been appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of the Oxford University Orchestra.
Natalia holds a Master’s degree from the University of Huddersfield where she is a part-time lecturer and has been appointed Elgar Ambassador.
Promoting the conducting craft for young people has been a highlight of her career and she has held many successful workshops around the country.
Maxime Tortelier is an exciting talent emerging onto the international conducting scene, having made his mark as the Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for two years until September 2014. With this orchestra he appeared regularly in concerts across the South and South West of England, and was reviewed as “outstanding” and “charismatic”.
Since then, Maxime has enjoyed invitations with other leading British ensembles, among which the Ulster Orchestra; the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, which led to an immediate re-invitation, at the BBC Proms; and presently the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. A Londoner at heart, Maxime now lives in Paris where he has appeared regularly with the Orchestre National de France. Other engagements in France
include the Orchestre de Bretagne, Orchestre de Normandie and Orchestre de Poitou-Charentes. The Operas of Montpellier, Toulon and Saint-Etienne have also invited him for symphony concerts. Elsewhere, he has made debuts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, and will soon make his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.
Ever eager to share his passion for music with the next generation of concertgoers and instrumentalists, Maxime frequently works with youngsters: besides numerous children’s concerts, he has had residencies with the South West Youth Orchestra (2013-2014) as well as the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (2017). He has had a successful debut with the young professionals of the Lausanne Sinfonietta and enjoys regular invitations with the Southbank Sinfonia with whom he has built a warm relationship. In France, he has just been appointed conductor of the Démos – Lyon Métropole orchestra, in partnership with the Orchestre National de Lyon. Démos is a nationwide music education project.
Maxime’s first steps on the rostrum were in 2009 with the Sofia Festival Orchestra, at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. Back then he was in Colin Metters’s conducting class at the Royal Academy of Music, where he received the additional guidance of such figures as George Hurst and Leif Segerstam. His MA at the Academy was generously supported by the Gordon Foundation. In 2012 he was a semi-finalist at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition and was singled out as the “outstanding participant” of a masterclass with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop.
Summer: pete Harrison
Pete Harrison is a busy freelance conductor and presenter. He is a regular guest conductor with many orchestras including Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Ulster Orchestra, The Philharmonia, the Russian State Symphony Orchestra (Novaya Rossiya) and for Raymond Gubbay Ltd with the London Concert Orchestra, the Manchester Concert Orchestra & the Scottish Concert Orchestra.
He has recently been appointed as the Musical Director of the Brent Youth Concert Pops Orchestra in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Pete studied at the Royal College of Music going on to be a busy freelance player, including work in the West End where he started his conducting career.
Pete is the Musical Director for the BSO Voices Choir in Southampton partnered with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra who give 3 main concerts a year, all sung from memory.
Studio work includes regular sessions for film, television and library sessions including visits to Prague to work with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra at Smecky Music Studios.
Education work includes the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble at Wells Cathedral School in Somerset, the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales and various guest sessions with schools and orchestras throughout the UK.
We are fortunate to also work with the following conductors: