"We know Phillips to be one of the ablest up-and-coming conductors, but his account of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony was electrifying and won him a prolonged ovation, not least from the orchestra. He showed tremendous energy and very watchable athleticism, but also an eye for detail and certain discipline. He really had the Hallé playing superbly… With Phillips we have lift-off.”
The Arts Desk, March 2014
Jamie Phillips, Assistant Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra and their youngest ever assistant conductor at 22 years old, made his Salzburg Festival debut in August 2013, conducting the Camerata Salzburg in concert with tenor Ian Bostridge. This concert was offered following his success in the 2012 final of the Nestlé-Salzburg Festival Young Conductor’s Award.
Jamie Phillips first attracted international attention as the youngest competitor in the 2011 Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors when he reached the semi-finals whilst still a student at the University of Manchester and Royal Northern College of Music.
This season, Jamie Phillips made debuts with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Hamburger Symphoniker, and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne as part of their “Découvertes” Series. He also conducted the Brussels Philharmonic, firstly in a group of New Year concerts and then for his ballet debut with the Royal Ballet of Flanders in a new production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet by Slava Samodurov. Phillips’s future engagements include re-invitations to the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and debut concerts with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Ulster Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, and the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.
Jamie Phillips also conducts the Hallé in full subscription concerts at the Bridgewater Hall Manchester, in a programme including Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3 with soloist John Lill. Phillips is also Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra with whom he made both his and the orchestra’s debut at The Sage Gateshead in July 2013, and they will tour together to Germany in Summer 2014. He is also heavily involved in many of the Hallé’s education programmes and concerts; last season he conducted 14 schools concerts with the orchestra, seen by 20,000 children from across the North West. Phillips’s successful time with the Hallé Orchestra has resulted in his contract as Assistant Conductor being extended until the end of the 2014-15 season.
Jamie Phillips is a committed advocate of new music and recently recorded music by the Scottish composer Helen Grime jointly with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra for the NMC Label. He is also founder and principal conductor of the Birmingham Festival Orchestra, conducting concerts each season including repertoire such as Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldeneleben, and Mahler’s Sixth Symphony in August 2014.
Jamie Phillips is represented by Jessica Ford at Intermusica.
2013-14 season / 466 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.We update our biographies regularly. Please contact us if this biography is out of date.
Hallé Orchestra / Vaughan Williams, Britten, Elgar, Arnold, Delius & Holst
“An evening of magic and mystery filled the Bridgewater Hall as Jamie Phillips led the Hallé in a collection of English Classics.”
Bachtrack, July 2014
Hallé Orchestra / Berlioz, Beethoven & Tchaikovsky
“Jamie Phillips conducted the Hallé…with vivacity and profundity in front of a packed Bridgewater Hall. In Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique in particular, he drew from the string section [a] rich, soft-edged sound.”
Bachtrack, April 2014
Hallé Orchestra / Beethoven Symphony No.7
“We know Phillips to be one of the ablest up-and-coming conductors, but his account of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony was electrifying and won him a prolonged ovation, not least from the orchestra. He showed tremendous energy and very watchable athleticism, but also an eye for detail and certain discipline. He really had the Hallé playing superbly…With Phillips we have lift-off.”
The Arts Desk, March 2014
Camerata Salzburg – Salzburg Festival / Mozart, Britten, Haydn (with Ian Bostridge)
“A convincing performance, which was characterised above all by natural musicality and fresh, free and yet precise direction.”
Salzburger Nachrichten, August 2013
Birmingham Festival Orchestra / Britten, Mozart & R. Strauss
“Scratch orchestras don’t usually display unanimity of intonation, they don’t suffuse a bloom of tone, nor do they project any personality. But the Birmingham Festival Orchestra spectacularly does… And what a concert this was, beefy, ambitious, and brilliantly achieved. Keep reading for its highlight, which is an early entry for my highlight of the year...
…Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben was a brave choice. The BFO played out of its collective skin in this most self-indulgent of scores (only Wagner’s Tristan approaches it), and Phillips had a secure grip upon its rambling structure.
But the jewel in the crown was the concert-opener, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. This came across as no patronising warhorse, but as a genuine vehicle to display this ensemble’s dizzying array of talents. I don’t think I will ever forget the harp’s glittering contribution, but that was only part of the whole.
How Phillips has been able to project such personality into an orchestra which only gets together now and again defeats me. What he must be achieving as assistant conductor at Manchester’s Halle is something I look forward to sussing out.”
Birmingham Post, April 2013
Hallé Orchestra / Dvorak Scherzo Capriccioso
“...Phillips couldn’t have equipped himself better, delivering a performance of pleasing freshness that contained a delightfully carefree air.”
Seen and Heard International, November 2012
“Arise, Sir Jamie Phillips! Well, perhaps one day: at the moment the new assistant conductor of the Hallé is only 21, with full maturity of his talents to come. This would include stronger use of his left hand...But in his public debut with the Hallé, he already demonstrated enough skill to convincingly steer the orchestra through the quick-changing moods of Dvorák’s Scherzo Capriccioso
, from Bohemian rhythmic hiccups to the strings’ silken lilt in the second theme.”The Times
, November 2012
“After the interval the Halle’s newly appointed assistant conductor, 21-year-old Jamie Phillips, was given the chance to show his mettle in Dvorak’s Scherzo Capriccioso. The whole point of his role is to enable an outstanding young talent to gain know-how and thereby the respect that makes orchestras prepared to give their utmost. That said, on this showing Phillips already has little to fear from comparison with most visiting conductors on the circuit. That he can persuade the Halle to play with such affection, energy and swing is equal tribute to their professionalism and his gifts.”
Daily Telegraph, November 2012
Birmingham Festival Orchestra / Shostakovich, Humperdinck & Tchaikovsky
“He must already be tired of the relentless concentration on his youth, but within minutes of hearing him the assurance of his manner and excitement of his performance drove such thoughts away as we were immersed in the power of the music. The overwhelming impression was of confidence from both conductor and performers.
...Phillips’ clear gestures were invitations for the musicians to play, not commands for them to perform, and this resulted in many orchestral solos notable for their character and skill.”
Birmingham Post, August 2012
Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award / Adès, Chopin, Haydn & Stravinsky
“The British conductor Jamie Philips put together a considerable performance at the tender age of 21: a capricious interpretation of Thomas Adès’ arrangement of Rameau, Chopin’s first piano concerto (Ingolf Wunder was the intelligent and elegant soloist), a Haydn Symphony and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella. The tricky concerto, challenging both for the soloist and the orchestra, was not only brilliantly effective, but also minutely prepared in every detail. This was a significant pointer towards the tremendous potential that Phillips already shows.”
Salzburger Nachrichten, May 2012
“This young British conductor makes an impression with his high level of musicality and his powerful expressiveness, and despite his young age, he has already mastered an extensive repertoire.”
BR-Klassik, April 2012
Birmingham Festival Orchestra / Sibelus & Mahler
"Jamie Phillips mustered his troops with clear direction and interesting interpretations; a young man with definite ideas and a fascinating future beckoning. A breathtaking reading..."
Birmingham Post, April 2012
Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors
"...Jamie Phillips, who, in spite of his age, showed a lot of maturity and artistic prowess...a thrilling artistic flair was evident at this young age, and the Englishman showed real quality."
L'Est Républicain, September 2011