Leo Hussain, Conductor

Leo Hussain received his training at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and has since built up close working relationships with some of the world’s finest conductors – Rattle, Gergiev and Muti chief among them

From 2003-6 he was Principal Conductor of the University of London Symphony Orchestra, with whom projects included Mahler Fifth Symphony and Shostakovich Eighth; other orchestras with which he has appeared include Hamburger Symphoniker, City of London Sinfonia, Southbank Sinfonia, Southern Sinfonia, Salomon Orchestra and London Concertante. Since 2003 he has been Music Director of Newbury Choral Society, which he has transformed into a leading amateur choir – recent projects include Tippett’s A Child of Our Time and Bach’s Johannes- and Matth‰us-Passion. Reflecting his interest in contemporary music (he founded the Kettle’s Yard Ensemble with the composer John Woolrich), he recently collaborated with composers including Colin Matthews and Mark-Anthony Turnage on a concert with the London Contemporary Music Group, and received great acclaim when he conducted Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy for English National Opera at the Young Vic Theatre, London. Following on from this, he will work on Ligeti Le Grand Macabre at Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels, in 2009. 

In 2004 and 2005, Leo was Head of Music for English Touring Opera’s Spring tours, for whom he conducted Figaro, The Magic Flute, Cosi fan Tutte and Donizetti’s Mary Queen of Scots. He has conducted at the Batignano Festival, and for Glyndebourne on Tour (PellÈas et MÈlisande and La Cenerentola), Aberdeen International Youth Festival (Falstaff), ROH2 at the Royal Opera House (McNeff Gentle Giant), Opera Holland Park (Cosi fan Tutte), and Opera North (Rigoletto). In Europe, he has worked for the OpÈra de Paris (The Rake's Progress), and is a regular visitor to the Salzburg Festival, where he has conducted PellÈas et MÈlisande with the Berliner Philharmoniker as Sir Simon Rattle’s assistant; Benvenuto Cellini with the Wiener Philharmoniker as assistant to Valery Gergiev; Otello and Die Zauberflˆte as assistant to Riccardo Muti; and RomÈo et Juliette with Rolando Villazon as assistant to Yannick NÈzet-SÈguin. These have led to invitations to conduct at the ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, where he conducted Les PÍcheurs de Perles, La Damnation de Faust, Simon Boccanegra and Benvenuto Cellini; to give concerts with the Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal; and to assist Rattle at the Aix-en-Provence Festival on Wagner Gˆtterdmmerung in 2009.

Other future plans include: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Newbury; David Sawer Skin Deep for Opera North; Aida for ENO; Prokofiev L’Amour de Trois Oranges for Grange Park Opera. Notable orchestral debuts next season include the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester, Berlin, and a Japan debut with the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra.