Holly Mathieson

Meet Holly Mathieson – Guest Conductor for September “Connections” Concert

Hollyforprint-8 - COurtesy Cathy PyleNew Zealand-born Holly Mathieson is based in the UK, with a growing portfolio of work in opera houses and on the concert platform.  In the forthcoming season she will take up the post of Assistant Conductor at the RSNO (2016-18), continues her role as Resident Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Junior Orchestra, and has guest engagements across NZ, the UK and America, including a trial as music director of the Illinois Philharmonic.  In the 15/16 season, she has worked as assistant conductor with Opera North (L’elisir d’amore) and Longborough Festival Opera (Tannhäuser), and enjoyed critical success in her debut with the Southbank Sinfonia.  During the summer months she returns to NZ for concerts with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the St Matthew Chamber Orchestra, Opus Orchestra and Dunedin Symphony Orchestra.

Previously, Holly was the Leverhulme Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, assisting Donald Runnicles at the BBCSSO.  She also debuted in London as the 2015 Christine Collins Young Artist Conductor in Associate at Opera Holland Park to critical acclaim.  She has assisted Marin Alsop, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Christoph von Dohnanyi, among others.  She is founder and Artistic Director of the Horizont Musik-Kollektiv, which aims to introduce works by NZ composers to European audiences, and she recently joined the performance faculty at Goldsmiths University, London.  In March 2016, Zonta New Zealand named her as one of NZ’s top 50 Women of Achievement.

My week with Opus Orchestra was one of the most enjoyable weeks of music making I’ve ever had in NZ. The players were – without reservation – open, collaborative, curious and supportive. I was blown away by the level of playing they achieved, especially in their flexibility in the Mozart symphony. By the third concert, we were experimenting with  phrasing and expression on the spot – the absolute best of what collaborative music making should be, and a hidden musical gem. I hope it won’t be the last time we work together.


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