Music Director of both the North Carolina Symphony and Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne in France, Grant Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. Recent and upcoming guest engagements include the US premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society, Helsinki Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Toronto Symphony.
Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony and Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, Grant Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. Born in Tenby, South Wales, Llewellyn won a Conducting Fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 1985 where he worked with Bernstein, Ozawa, Masur and Previn. As Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the early 1990s he conducted concerts at the Tanglewood Festival, the Boston Subscription Series and in the “Boston Pops”.
Grant Llewellyn has conducted many orchestras in North America, most notably the symphonies of Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Toronto. As Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, America’s leading period orchestra, Llewellyn gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the Baroque and classical periods.
September 2016 sees Llewellyn in his second season as Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne. Other positions he has held with European orchestras include Principal Conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Associate Guest Conductor with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Recent guest engagements include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, amongst others. Last season he toured Patagonia and South America with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
An accomplished opera conductor, Grant Llewellyn has appeared at the opera companies of English National Opera (The Magic Flute), Opera North (Manon) and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where his repertoire has ranged from Handel’s Radamisto to Alexander Goehr’s Arianna. He has collaborated with acclaimed Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng in a production of Dido and Aeneas at Spoleto Festival, USA and conducted the final of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, one of the world’s most prestigious singing competitions. Recent opera projects include a semi-staged production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro with the North Carolina Symphony and last season he conducted the US premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Recent recordings include American Spectrum, a disc featuring saxophonist Branford Marsalis as soloist, and piano concerti Rachmaninov 4 and Medtner 2 with Yevgeny Sudbin, both with the North Carolina Symphony for BIS. On the Albany label Llewellyn recorded Lowell Liebermann’s orchestral works with the BBC Symphony Orchestra whilst 2013 saw the release of Britten’s Cello Symphony with Zuill Bailey which reached number one in the Billboard ‘Traditional Classical’ category. Further collaborations with Zuill Bailey include their recording of Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante.
Deeply committed and passionate about engaging young people with music, Llewellyn regularly leads education and outreach projects such as ‘Feel the Music’ with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and specialist events with the North Carolina Symphony. 2013 included a large scale tour with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, including performances in Cardiff St David’s Hall, the Berlin Konzerthaus and at the MDR Musiksommer Festival, and in 2016 he took part in a project with Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise Govanhill with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.