Sir Mark Elder CBE has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera between 1979 and 1993, Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1992 – 1995, and Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the USA from 1989 – 1994. He has also held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
He works regularly with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including, in 2006/7, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony and the Munich Philharmonic. In the UK he enjoys close associations with both the London Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and in 2007 returned to the London Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim. Sir Mark Elder has appeared annually at the Proms in London 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, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Opéra National de Paris, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, and other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Amsterdam, Geneva, Berlin, and Sydney.
During his years at ENO he brought international acclaim to the company for its work in London, as well as leading tours to the USA (including the Met in New York) and Russia (including the Bolshoi in Moscow and the Mariinsky in St Petersburg).
Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and the Rochester Philharmonic, as well as with English National Opera, in repertoire ranging from Verdi, Strauss and Wagner to contemporary music. In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label and the first releases, under Mark Elder’s direction, have met with universal critical acclaim, most recently Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. In collaboration with the director Barrie Gavin, he made a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for BBC TV in 1994, which was followed by a similar project on Donizetti for German television in 1996. Recent opera recordings include Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien and Imelda di Lambertazzi for Opera Rara
Forthcoming symphonic engagements, apart from his commitment to the Hallé, include the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, London Symphony and the OAE. Recent operatic engagements have included Tannhäuser, Mefistofele, Otello, Samson and Madam Butterfly for the Metropolitan Opera New York, Pelléas et Mélisande, Turandot, and Berlioz La damnation de Faust for the Opéra National de Paris, The Rake’s Progress, Euryanthe and Fidelio for Glyndebourne, Bataglia di Legnano, La Cenerentola, Attila, Lohengrin, Simon Boccanegra, Turandot, La bohème, Il barbiere di Siviglia, concert performances of Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien (also recorded for Opera Rara), Cyrano de Bergerac by Alfano, Stiffelio and Ariadne auf Naxos and Elektra for Covent Garden, Don Carlo in Genova, and Hänsel und Gretel, Un ballo in maschera, Gounod Faust for the Lyric Opera Chicago and Il trovatore in Florence. Future operatic engagements include I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, Linda di Chamounix and Adriana Lecouvreur for Covent Garden, and Billy Budd at Glyndebourne.
Sir Mark Elder was knighted in 2008, and was awarded the CBE in 1989. 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.