Born in Jamaica, with Russian ancestry, Andrew Gourlay grew up in the Bahamas, Philippines, Japan and England. A trombonist and pianist by training, he studied conducting at the Royal College of Music, where he prepared Bruckner symphonies for Bernard Haitink and Mozart symphonies for Sir Roger Norrington. He was selected by Gramophone magazine as their ‘One to Watch’, and by BBC Music Magazine as their ‘Rising Star: great artists of tomorrow’.
Andrew Gourlay won First Prize at the 2010 Cadaques International Conducting Competition, securing concerts with 29 orchestras around the world. For the next two years he was Assistant Conductor to Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra. In January 2016 Gourlay took up the position of Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (OSCYL), having been their Principal Guest Conductor since the 2014/15 season, and celebrated the orchestra’s 25th anniversary in 2016/17.
Recent and future guest engagements include conducting the Philharmonia, the BBC orchestras, RLPO, Hallé, CBSO, Opera North, RTÉ Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, Bremen Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony, Norrköpping Symphony, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, Australian Youth Orchestra, orchestras throughout Spain and the London Sinfonietta at the BBC Proms. He made his US debut in 2016/17 with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and returned to the USA in 2018 to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He returned to the Proms in 2018 to conduct a special concert in celebration of the 40th anniversary of BBC Young Musician.
Operatic engagements have included the UK premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett for the Royal Opera House. He has conducted Rusalka and La Tragédie de Carmen for English Touring Opera, and The Marriage of Figaro at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School. He has worked as Assistant Conductor for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In 2015 he conducted Tippett’s The Ice Break to great critical acclaim in a new production by Graham Vick for Birmingham Opera Company and the CBSO.
Andrew Gourlay has conducted recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. His debut disc of Rachmaninov with the OSCYL will be released in 2019.
A professional trombonist until his mid twenties, he played with the Philharmonia, Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta and Opera North, and toured South America and Europe as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester under Claudio Abbado