“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”
The Telegraph, November 2012
Jamie Phillips is Assistant Conductor at the Hallé Orchestra, their youngest ever assistant conductor at 20 yrs old. He began his two year tenure in September 2012, at the start of the Hallé’s new season. Working with Sir Mark Elder, the Hallé’s Music Director, Jamie helps to prepare concerts, conducts Hallé concerts in Manchester and around the country, and acts as Music Director and Conductor of the Hallé Youth Orchestra.
Jamie Phillips attracted considerable 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.
In April 2012, he conducted the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra in the finals of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, resulting in an invitation to conduct the Camerata Salzburg at the 2013 Salzburg Festival.
Jamie Phillips began his musical training as a trumpet player, playing in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2007-09, including at the BBC Proms. He has performed concertos with the Academy Chamber Orchestra and reached the Regional Final of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2007.
He made his conducting debut in Birmingham Town Hall in December 2008 and went on to form a chamber orchestra drawn from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Phillips has conducted the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra and ensembles from the Royal Northern College of Music, and is founder and principal conductor of the Birmingham Festival Orchestra with whom he gives several concerts each season.
Jamie Phillips is a committed advocate of new music, and has conducted the Vaganza New Music Ensemble, leading performances in the New Music North West Festival including works by Judith Weir, Helmut Lachenmann and Colin Matthews.
Jamie Phillips was chosen to participate in the London Sinfonietta Academy in July 2012 and, later in the month, as a conducting guest at the Tanglewood Music Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Jamie Phillips is represented by Jessica Ford at Intermusica.
2012-13 season / 369 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 / 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.”
, 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.”
The 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 (radio), 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