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Rory Macdonald


  • Equally at home on the concert platform and in the opera house, Rory Macdonald has solidified his place as one of the finest British conductors of the younger generation. Following assisting roles with Ivan Fischer, Mark Elder and Antonio Pappano, he has found his own distinctive voice, drawing out stylish interpretations of classical and romantic repertoire as well as bringing passion and intellectual insight to contemporary works.

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  • Macdonald’s symphonic highlights include concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the Hallé. His recent and upcoming highlights include concerts with the Essen Philharmonic, Bremen Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Residentie Orkest, Queensland Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Vancouver Symphony and many more.

    Macdonald has built up an extensive operatic repertoire and is constantly is in demand in some of the world’s leading opera houses. His upcoming operatic highlights including Così fan tutte with Frankfurt Opera and Auber’s Fra Diavolo at Opera Rome. Following his highly successful North American debut with the Canadian Opera Company, Macdonald made his US debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducting a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Subsequent US operatic invitations have included new productions of The Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera, Die Zauberflöte at San Francisco Opera and Santa Fé Opera conducting Carmen.

    In Europe, Macdonald has conducted Il barbiere di Siviglia and Hänsel und Gretel at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, (where he has also conducted Fidelio, Das Rheingold, Owen Wingrave, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Orphée (Philip Glass) and he also opened English National Opera’s 2011/12 season with The Elixir of Love. He also conducted Britten The Turn of the Screw for the Vienna Konzerthaus with a cast including Mark Padmore, and in 2015 made his debut with the Royal Danish Opera in Die Zauberflöte followed by his debut with Opera Australia.

    Macdonald conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra and violinist Nicola Benedetti on a highly successful Decca album featuring Bruch’s A Scottish Fantasy which was not only No. 1 on the UK classical charts but simultaneously No. 19 on the UK pop charts.

    Rory Macdonald studied music at Cambridge University, and plays violin and piano. While at university he studied under David Zinman and Jorma Panula at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. After graduation from Cambridge he was appointed assistant conductor to Iván Fischer at the Budapest Festival Orchestra (2001-2003), and to Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra (2006-2008). He was also a member of the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House (2004-2006), where he worked closely with Antonio Pappano on major projects such as the complete Ring cycle, and conducted performances of several operas.

    Season 17-18 / 469 words. Not to be altered without permission


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Orchestral highlights

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Royal Flemish Orchestra
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra
Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse
The Hallé
San Diego Symphony
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Queensland Symphony Orchestra
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Auckland Philharmonia
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Opera highlights

Das Rheingold, Hänsel und Gretel, Fidelio, Il barbiere di Siviglia / Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

L’elisir d’amore, The Pearl Fishers, Il barbiere di Siviglia / English National Opera

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Die Zauberflöte / Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Rape of Lucretia, Carmen / Houston Grand Opera

Die Zauberflöte / San Francisco Opera

The Turn of the Screw / Wiener Konzerthaus 

Carmen / Santa Fé Opera

Die Zauberflöte / Royal Danish Opera 

Ariadne / St Louis Opera

Così fan tutte, Albert Herring / Glyndebourne

A Village Romeo and Juliet / Wexford Festival 

Carmen, Il barbiere di Siviglia / Canadian Opera 

Fra Diavolo / Rome Opera

Cosi Fan Tutte / Frankfurt Opera

Conductor Rory Macdonald elicited from the Wiener Kamer Orchester subtle colours and visual moments of sound. Exciting!

Kronen Zeitung

The BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales are on great form, inspired by Rory Macdonald’s committed and idiomatic direction… It is an important work offering much to enjoy, deserving of this first-class advocacy.

International Record Review

Conductor Rory Macdonald made a dynamic company debut, supplying much-needed momentum and lilting elegance in the sustained lines. The young Scot seems destined for a stellar career.

Opera News

Intermusica represents Rory Macdonald worldwide

Bridget Emmerson
Director / Head of Artist Management
+44 20 7608 9916

Aimee Chow
Senior Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9949

Juliane Renz
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9919

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Special projects

Charles Hazlewood

Nora Fischer


Mark Simpson


HK Gruber


Tim Mead

Rupert Enticknap

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles