Garry Walker appointed Artistic Director of Conducting

Garry Walker appointed Artistic Director of Conducting

Published: 14/01/2016

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is delighted to announce the appointment of internationally-renowned musician Garry Walker as its first Artistic Director of Conducting.

Winner of the 1999 Leeds Conductor’s Competition, the Scot from Edinburgh studied cello with pre-eminent American cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. He also attended masterclasses with the great French composer and conductor, Pierre Boulez.

He has been Visiting Professor of Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for two years.

On announcing his appointment, Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland said:

“I am delighted to have Garry Walker appointed as Artistic Director of our conducting programme. We’ve long admired the quality of Garry’s teaching and his conducting and are tremendously excited about how this closer association with the RCS will elevate our programme into being among the finest internationally.”

Garry Walker said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining a fantastic staff and student team at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at such an exciting time for the institution. I look forward to further developing the Conducting programme at RCS and seeing the positive impact our students have in music both here in Scotland and internationally. It’s very much our aim to create an international centre of excellence for conducting here in Scotland.”

Garry Walker has been involved with the conducting programme at RCS for a number of years as visiting professor, and with our orchestral programme as guest conductor. This new position is a natural extension of Garry’s work with RCS, particularly in the area of contemporary music, and will enable him to contribute to the artistic programming and programme development, raising standards even higher.

Building on the success of our first Leverhulme Trust bid, the RCS has recently secured further funding from the Trust to continue its excellent Conducting Fellowship, to fund a MMus conducting studentship, and to support the on-going partnership with Red Note, our Associate Contemporary Ensemble. These developments and Garry’s appointment will establish RCS as one of the foremost providers of conductor training internationally.

Previous Leverhulme Conducting Fellows have achieved assistantships with prestigious international orchestras, an unprecedented outcome. Jessica Cottis (2010-12) Assistant Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2012 – 2014, Fergus McLeod (2012-14) is on the ENO Charles Mackerras Fellowship programme and Ciaran McAuley (2013-14) is resident Conductor to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

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