Conductor and musical director

brian northcott

I have been the musical director of the ESO since 2005. My professional life has been shared equally between teaching and performing. I was head of music at the University of Plymouth on the Exmouth site between 1983 and 1996, whilst performing as a continuo player with varying groups. There was much solo work as a singer, and as an alto lay-clerk at St. Michael's Tenbury Wells, St. George's chapel Windsor, Guildford cathedral and most recently Exeter cathedral.

I am also an experienced conductor and have worked with a wide range of groups, including youth choirs, orchestras and choral societies, recently handing over the baton of the Exmouth Choral Society after 27 years in charge. Since going freelance I have had invitations from as far afield as Mallorca, Malaysia and India for choral and orchestral conducting. In April 2009 I conducted the Bombay chamber orchestra in India, in a concert in memory of the victims of the Mumbai bombings in 2008.

My conducting experience has been varied with both choirs and orchestras, and also as assistant to Brian Brockless - who himself studied with the great Sergiu Celibidache - at the University of Surrey in the early seventies. In 1979 I formed the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra which has gone from strength to strength and now has a visiting professional Conductor. I have had the great pleasure of working with and conducting International soloists including harpsichordist Ruth Dyson; singers Ian Caddy, Robert Tear and Martyn Hill, pianist Frank Wibaut. More recently, January 2010 with Evelyn Tubb and Michael Fields in a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; November 2010 and February 2011 with Tasmin Little, and from 2013 with Tamsin Waley-Cohen - now well known to Exeter audiences, and a rising international reputation.

Examining has taken me to the Caribbean, Thailand, Hong Kong, Egypt and Jordan, India and Malaysia on behalf of Trinity College London, and conducting here in England for early music groups including the Consort of Twelve. My wife, Alison, and I also formed the early music group in the Exeter area - Westbarok.  In my spare time my passions include gliding and rugby.