Barry Wordsworth

Principal Guest Conductor, Royal Ballet London
Conductor Laureate, BBC Concert Orchestra
Conductor Laureate, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director Laureate, Birmingham Royal Ballet

Biography

Barry Wordsworth is Principal Guest Conductor of The Royal Ballet, having previously served as the company’s Music Director from 1990 to 1995 and from 2007 to 2015.  He is also Conductor Laureate of the BBC Concert Orchestra, Conductor Laureate of the Brighton Philharmonic and Music Director Laureate of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

He has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras both in the UK and overseas, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Sydney Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Seoul Philharmonic.

In a long and distinguished career with the BBC, he has made many appearances at the BBC Proms, and in 1993 he conducted the Last Night of the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.  In his 17 years as Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, he toured extensively with the group, including to Japan, the United States and China.

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Reviews

“The first night of the season…marked the Australian Ballet’s 96th performance of the ballet, and one enhanced by the guest conductor, the empathetic, Barry Wordsworth”

Dancelines

“…the New York City Ballet orchestra, which under the British conductor Barry Wordsworth, one of the world’s most experienced ballet conductors, has been playing generally better than it does for its home company.”

The New York Times

More Reviews

“…a performance brimming with vigour, depth of tone, subtlety, colour, detail, dynamic range, flexibility, security of pitch and tempo, and a hugely touching sincerity.”

Birmingham Mail 

“The first night of the season…marked the Australian Ballet’s 96th performance of the ballet, and one enhanced by the guest conductor, the empathetic, Barry Wordsworth”

Dancelines 

“…the New York City Ballet orchestra, which under the British conductor Barry Wordsworth, one of the world’s most experienced ballet conductors, has been playing generally better than it does for its home company.”

The New York Times 

“Driving it all was Tchaikovsky’s marvellous music, given a bright and speedy performance by the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, directed by guest conductor Barry Wordsworth.”

The Sydney Morning Herald 

“As he did throughout, Barry Wordsworth conducted with fervour and dedication…”

The Times – Debra Craine 

“The brave orchestral playing under Barry Wordsworth, brought honour to the company.”

Financial Times – Review for Triple Bill, Royal Ballet 

“Pierrot of the Minute proved a charming and lucid concert opener… Wordsworth kept the textures light and the ending elusive… performed with verve and obvious enjoyment by Barry Wordsworth and the BBC Concert Orchestra… Gordon Langford’s Say it with Music, harnessing a bewildering number of theme- and show-tunes into a seven-minute medley that positively dripped with nostalgia but humour, too… The audience giggled when ‘The Archers’ turned up… and there was charm aplenty…It was a reminder that the best light music requires a very different skill on the part of the composer, and is deceptively difficult to bring off when performed. Barry Wordsworth and the BBC Concert Orchestra, well versed in this discipline, took to it naturally.”

Classical Source 

“But the real engine powering the show is Joby Talbot’s score, a storming piece of work spiced with exotic woodwind, James Bond brass, and an ironmongers-worth of percussion, deployed with thrilling climactic control, wonderfully played under Barry Wordsworth.”

The Independent – Review for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet 

“The Royal Opera House orchestra under Barry Wordsworth also deserve bouquets for their infectiously bouncy delivery.”

The Arts Desk – Review for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet