Douglas Boyd



Helen Hogh
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Fiona Wells
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Groves Artists represents Douglas Boyd worldwide


Currently the Artistic Director of Garsington Opera Douglas Boyd has also held the positions of Music Director of L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Chief Conductor of the Musikkollegium Winterthur, Music Director of Manchester Camerata, Principal Guest Conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Partner of St Paul Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of City of London Sinfonia. In 2020 he received the highly prestigious Grand Vermeil Médaille de la Ville de Paris for services to music, in recognition of his work as Music Director of L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris.

Originally an oboist and one of the founding members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Douglas’s formative musical training was under musicians such as Abbado and Harnoncourt, who remain a significant influence on his style and approach to this day.

In the UK Douglas Boyd has conducted all the BBC Orchestras, the Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. On the continent he has worked with, amongst others, the Bergen Philharmonic, Basel Sinfoniieorchester, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, as well as Munich Chamber Orchestra and Kammerakademie Potsdam.

Further afield he has conducted the Nagoya Symphony Orchestra in Japan, Hong Kong Philharmonic and with many of the symphony orchestras in Australia including a complete cycle of Beethoven Symphonies with the Melbourne Symphony, returning for the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with Paul Lewis.  He returns to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in the 2022/23 season.

He appears regularly in North America where he has worked with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Baltimore, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Pacific, Sacramento, Seattle and Virginia Symphony Orchestras.  In Canada he has appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and National Arts Orchestra in Ottawa.

On the concert platform he enjoys a close working relationship with eminent soloists including Jonathan Biss, Steven Isserlis, Anthony Marwood, Viktoria Mulova, Fazil Say, András Schiff, Mark Padmore, Emmanuel Pahud and Alissa Weilerstein.

Operatic engagements have included Die Zauberflöte for Glyndebourne Opera on Tour, Salieri’s La Grotto di Tronfonio for Zürich Opera and Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito with Opera North.  Productions at Garsington Opera have included Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan Tutte, Eugene Onegin, Capriccio, Silver Birch (Roxanna Panufnik, world premiere) as well as concert performances of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Haydn’s The Creation with Ballet Rambert and concert performances of Fidelio. 

During his tenure as Artistic Director of Garsington Opera he has secured the Philharmonia Orchestra and English Concert as the resident orchestras, forged partnerships with Santa Fe Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is widely recognised for his leadership in shaping the company into a world-class, internationally renowned festival, reflected in their nomination in the 2019 international opera awards.

Douglas Boyd’s recording of the Bach Concerti for DG marked his recording debut as director/soloist and he has since gone on to build an extensive conducting discography.  His recordings with Manchester Camerata of the complete Beethoven Symphonies and Mahler Symphony No 4 (on Avie) and Das Lied von der Erde have received universal critical acclaim. He has also recorded Schubert Symphonies with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra on their own label as well as several recordings with Musikkollegium Winterthur. His recordings with L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris include ‘Intuition’ with Gautier Capucon for the Erato label, and a disc of Haydn Symphonies which was released in 2021.

Recent and future highlights include concerts with the Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Auckland Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, Philharmonic and National Orchesta of Wales Orchestras, Philharmonia Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Kammerakademie Potsdam and Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine.

The 21/22 season includes debuts with the Potsdam Winteroper conducting Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra and Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier as well as re-invitations to L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Musikkollegium Winterthur, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Slovenian Philharmonic as well as a new production of Rusalka for Garsington.

This biography is for website use only. For a full and updated biography, please email [email protected]


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  • Haydn “Paris ” symphonies recording, with L’orchestre de chambre de Paris

    Crowning a five-year collaboration, Douglas Boyd and the Paris Chamber Orchestra have nothing to hide.  On the contrary: their ribbed interpretation radiates finesse, transparency, frankness. The Allegros are transported by fast tempi and clear  impulsive vigour. The result is exhilarating!…. a sparkling double-album where the Scottish conductor instills a willingly athletic health-even intoxicating!

    Christophe Steyne Crescendoi Magazine 2021
  • Haydn “Paris ” symphonies recording, with L’orchestre de chambre de Paris

    He makes use of a large dynamic color chart to avoid what  Boyd describes as the risk of grayness, to which the simple opposition between forte and dolce would lead. The great differentiation of intensity is one of the keys to the success of the performance of these works. The pulse is energetic yet supple at the same time-the judicious choice of tempos, which breathe with the joy of life , the spirit in the fast movements, the flexibility in the slow passages. These are interpretations where everything seems to flow naturally, without falling into excessive historically informed research. And a beautiful souvenir album of the masterful work done by Douglas Boyd during his tenure at the head of the orchestra.

    Jean-Pierre Robert 2021
  • Haydn “Paris ” symphonies recording, with L’orchestre de chambre de Paris

    Boyd knows his Haydn symphonies inside out, having played and recorded many of the greatest as oboist of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. This release is a fitting summation of his five years at the head of the Parisian chamber orchestra. Boyd and his band prove utterly genial in these delectable works, each a masterpiece. Using modern instruments, he nevertheless encourages a transparent texture, giving Haydn’s innovative wind full measure. The oboist pecks and clucks insistently in the second subject of The Hen’s opening movement and Boyd relishes the village rusticity of the drone motif announcing the presence of a dancing bear in the finale of No 82 in C major. Neither of these symphonies’ nicknames derive from Haydn, but at least La Reine is aptly named, as it was Marie Antoinette’s favourite of the set at the first performances in 1787.

    Hugh Canning Sunday Times
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin

    Under the baton of Garsington’s music director Douglas Boyd, every one of those voices rang clearly and distinctly at just the right level of separation from the others, with a distinctive lilt that was always thrilling and never overblown.

    David Karlin Bach Track, June 2021
  • HAYDN Paris Symphonies (No Mad Music) L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris

    Without questioning the imagery, or heightening the mood, the result is exhilarating! Here is which closes a sparkling double-album where the Scottish conductor instils a willingly athletic health. Even intoxicating. The contagious ardour of this performance offers us a good-footed, good-natured portrait of Haydn […].

    Christophe Steyne Crescendo Magazine, March 2021
  • MENDELSSOHN Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música

    The direction of the now veteran British conductor Douglas Boyd, precise and efficient, but at the same time very intense, was reciprocated by an empathetic and attentive response from the musicians of Porto.

    […] Boyd was especially successful in giving the score a life of its own with his energetic and nuanced direction, but without making the mistake of accentuating tuttis or dynamics excessively.

    Pablo Sánchez Quinteiro, Bachtrack, September 2020
  • ELGAR Introduction and Allegro / BEETHOVEN Pastoral Symhony, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

    In music that was rugged and tender by turns, sometimes within the space of a bar, Boyd gave us bold striding lines and fierce tremolos exploding in cascading scales. […] one was transfixed from Boyd’s moulding of the very first phrase. There was shape and spring and, as the movement progressed, skilful foregrounding and backgrounding of divergent colours.

    William Dart The New Zealand Herald, October 2019
  • Haydn “Paris ” symphonies recording, with L’orchestre de chambre de Paris

    It may be just the very focused recording but the buzz in the air is almost palpable, along with Boyd’s audible enjoyment of the music…‘These symphonies are not museum pieces!’ proclaims Boyd, and demonstrates his point in performances that are confident, vivacious and captivating throughout.

    David Threasher Gramophone Magazine


  • Groves Artists sign Douglas Boyd

    Groves Artists sign Douglas Boyd