A highly experienced musician, Stephen’s career encompasses that of conductor, cellist and music educator through his current role as Director of Music at Chetham’s.
As a conductor, Stephen has earned much acclaim for his performances, recordings and broadcasts which encompass a wide range of orchestral and choral repertoire. He has conducted at many major venues and festivals in the UK and with many international solo artists.
Engagements have taken him to the USA, Europe and Scandinavia, with regular visits to the Urals Philharmonic and Bach Orchestras in Yekaterinburg, the Royal Oman Symphony and Amman Symphony Orchestras. Other ensembles include Canzonetta, Leeds Festival, Chester Bach and Manchester Chamber Choirs; the Northern Ballet and Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has conducted a number of concerts broadcast on radio; for the BBC, Classic FM and Russian national Radio and TV. His repertoire includes many world premiers notably High on the Slopes of Terror by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Stephen has a passion for working with young people and has enjoyed successful collaborations with many student and youth orchestras both home and abroad. He has worked with the symphony and chamber orchestras at Trinity and Royal Northern Colleges, Birmingham Conservatoire, Vannersborg Orchestra Sweden, the Texas Music Festival in Houston, as well the National Children’s Orchestra on numerous occasions. Stephen made his Royal Festival Hall debut in February 2012 in an all Rachmaninov programme.
A consummate communicator, Stephen brings his experience, enthusiasm and creative vision to the artistic direction and programming of concerts, festivals and collaborative educational events.
He has created a number of arts and community projects involving an impressive number of guest musicians, artists and specialists. These have included the award-nominated Antarctica (2001), Brundibár (2002/3) projects; A Child of Our Time (2005) and The Spirit of Norway Festival (2007); the Leonard Bernstein Celebration. In Autumn 2012, Stephen’s 4-day celebration, marking the 150th anniversary of Frederick Delius, included concerts with the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra and cellist Raphael Wallfisch, broadcast by Classic FM.
In 2013, Stephen devised a major project marking the centenary of Benjamin Britten. This included performances across all areas of Britten’s music with concerts in Manchester, Chester, London, Lichfield and Cheltenham Festivals, plus a national tour of Noye’s Fludde with performances at Manchester Cathedral and the Ryedale and Shaldon Festivals.
Recent performances have included a concert in Romania with the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, concerts in Melbourne, Australia, and two highly acclaimed performances of Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra in both Manchester and Cheltenham.