Jessica Cottis



The charismatic conductor Jessica Cottis, named as ‘2019 Classical “Face to Watch”’ (The Times) is known for her intellectual rigour, natural authority, and innate musicality. She brings dynamism, intensity and clarity of vision to her performances.

Frequently in demand as guest conductor, highlights of recent seasons include debuts with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Other engagements include return visits to Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Oulu Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous re-invitations annually to the prestigious BBC Proms.

Highlights of 19/20 season will mark debuts with Singapore Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Philharmonia Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Norrlands Opera to conduct Brahms’ Requiem. Noted increasingly for her interpretations of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Jessica will also continue her collaboration with the Royal Opera House, where after highly successful premieres of new operas by Gavin Higgins (The Monstrous Child, 2019) and Na’ama Zisser (Mamzer, 2017), she returns to conduct Gerald Barry’s virtuoso first opera The Intelligence Park, in association with Music Theatre Wales.

Read more


“Cottis led a select subset of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in considerable style, her every gesture sparking with energy. Conducting sans baton, her highly watchable physicality on the podium drew some finely crafted results, whether intent on unravelling Bach’s complex textures or conjuring some high-voltage playing and singing with an almost palpable strength of will.”

Clive Paget

Limelight Magazine

“…the performances themselves were a triumph, Jessica Cottis and the BBC Concert Orchestra tripping chameleon-like through a programme of musical costume-changes that would have had Mr Benn on his knees. Their pièce de résistance was the jump from the Tree Fu Tom’s frothy Big World Red Magic spell to a showstoppingly controlled and majestic Also sprach Zarathustra. Cottis dived in with equal aplomb to the interaction-with-the-presenters aspect of her job description, displaying a naturalness and confidence worlds away from the usual duck-out-of-water awkwardness we’ve come to brace ourselves for from conductors at such events.”

Charlotte Gardner


More Reviews

“Under the baton of charismatic conductor Jessica Cottis, the orchestra launched into a lively rendition of Anthony Ritchie’s brief, lyrical Albatross in Flight. […] The concert’s second half was dominated by Bruckner’s massive Symphony no. 4 in E-flat major – at 70 minutes in length. The time passed unnoticed, as Bruckner’s masterpiece unfolded under Cottis’ expert hand, transporting the listener from medieval hunting calls in dappled glades to glittering dance. “

Brenda Harwood, The Dunedin Star