John Wilson is in demand at the highest level across the globe, regularly guest conducting the world’s finest orchestras; in recent seasons these have included the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Budapest Festival, Oslo Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony orchestras, and productions at English National Opera and Glyndebourne Summer Festival. For many years Wilson appeared widely across the UK and abroad with the John Wilson Orchestra and in 2018 he relaunched the Sinfonia of London with whom he has recorded several award-winning CDs covering a huge range of repertoire from Respighi through to Britten and Dutilleux. In 2021 Wilson and the Sinfonia of London made their much-anticipated debut performance at the BBC Proms, described by The Guardian as “truly outstanding”, and they look forward to two performances at Snape Maltings later in 2021.
Wilson has a large and varied discography and the most recent recordings with the Sinfonia of London have received exceptional acclaim. The Respighi Roman Trilogy recording won the Orchestral category in the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2021 and was described by The Observer as “Massive, audacious and vividly played”. Of the Dutilleux disc, the Financial Times said the recording is “bewitchingly played and imaginatively directed by Wilson…. This disc of early works by the fastidious French composer Henri Dutilleux succeeds beyond expectation”.
Born in Gateshead, Wilson studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music, where in 2011 he was made a Fellow. In March 2019, John Wilson was awarded the prestigious ISM Distinguished Musician Award for his services to music and in 2021 was appointed Henry Wood Chair of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music.
“Music is either worth doing or it’s not”.
Click here to read an extensive interview with John Wilson in the Guardian at the launch of the BBC Proms 2017.
“courting controversy, dancing round pigeonholes”
Click here to read an interview with John Wilson in the Herald ahead of his inaugural concert as Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Wilson found a profound, pulsating cohesion missing from previous interpretations. Besides the raw, immediate presence of the opening theme and the caressing gorgeousness of its quick-to-act counterfoil, a contrast that sets the heaving and opulent expressive agenda for the whole work, Wilson insisted on pinpoint clarity of texture.
Everything about the performances signals a conductor and an orchestra who really believe in the quality of the music they are performing... Wilson manages to bring transparency and buoyancy to even the most massive climaxes.
The evening's other big success was John Wilson... shaping the music's ebb and flow as if he had been doing it all his life and revealing countless details... A sensational success.