Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979–1993), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992–1995) and Music Director of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, USA (1989–1994). He has held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
He has worked with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, and London Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has appeared annually at the Proms for many years, including in 1987 and 2006, the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms and from 2003 with the Hallé Orchestra.
He works regularly in the most prominent international opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (where he made his debut in 1976), Metropolitan Opera New York, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Munich, Amsterdam, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, and the Bregenz Festival.
Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, the OAE, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and ENO, in repertoire ranging from Verdi, Strauss and Wagner to contemporary music. In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label and releases have met with universal critical acclaim culminating in Gramophone Awards for Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, The Kingdom and The Apostles. The recent release of Siegfried completes his Hallé RING Cycle, and other Wagner CDs include Parsifal with the Hallé and Lohengrin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
TV appearances include a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for BBC TV in 1994 and a similar project on Donizetti for German television in 1996. In November 2011 he co-presented BBCTV’s four part series Symphony, and in 2012 fronted BBC2’s TV series Maestro at the Opera. Sir Mark will present a series of TV programmes on BBC4 during the 2015 Proms in which he will talk about eight symphonies ranging from Beethoven to MacMillan featuring performances from the season’s concerts.
From 2011 to 2019 he was Artistic Director of Opera Rara, with whom he has made many award-winning recordings including Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien, Imelda di Lambertazzi, Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan, Les Martyrs and, most recently, Semiramide.
Recent and forthcoming concert engagements, as well as his commitment to the Hallé, include Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Gürzenich Orchester, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Symphony, the OAE, Australian Youth Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music and performances with National Youth Orchestra and the Hallé at the 2015 BBC Proms. Operatic engagements include a complete performance of Parsifal at the BBC Proms with the Hallé, Tannhäuser and La bohème at the Opéra National de Paris, Benvenuto Cellini for Netherlands Opera, Meistersinger for San Francisco Opera, Billy Budd, Falstaff and La Traviata for Glyndebourne, several productions for Covent Garden including Wozzeck, Fidelio, La bohème ,Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Etoile and concert performances of Lohengrin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Sir Mark Elder was knighted in 2008, was awarded the CBE in 1989 and created a Companion of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2017. He won an Olivier Award in 1991 for his outstanding work at ENO and in May 2006 he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society. He was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2011.