Martin Yates has worked as a guest conductor with some of the UK’s most respected orchestras and has worked extensively in Europe and further afield. Ballet has become a significant part of Yates’ musical career and he has developed an important relationship with the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, where he returns each season. Elsewhere, Yates works regularly with the National Ballets of Finland, Norway and Japan. Yates has an extremely successful relationship with the Dutton Epoch label and has recorded much symphonic repertoire.
Having studied as a pianist, composer and conductor, Martin Yates made his conducting debut with the Israel National Opera, where over a period of two seasons he conducted productions of La Traviata, La Boheme, Tosca and Madame Butterfly. He has since conducted in the opera houses of Gothenburg, Stockholm and Rome and made his Edinburgh Festival debut conducting Bernstein’s On The Town.
He has worked as a guest conductor with many of the UK’s orchestras including the London Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Scottish National, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Hallé. He has worked extensively in Scandinavia with orchestras including the Gothenburg Symphony, Malmo Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, with whom he conducted the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s A Prayer Out of Stillness. Elsewhere he has conducted the Tonhalle Zurich, Jerusalem Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, China Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Tasmanian Symphony and New Zealand Symphony.
Ballet has become a significant part of Yates’ musical career. He has been conducting the Royal Ballet regularly at Covent Garden since he made his debut in February 2004 and has also undertaken tours of the US, Asia and Europe with the company. Elsewhere, Yates works extensively with the Finnish National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, National Ballet of Japan and Hong Kong Ballet. In 2015 Martin Yates made his debuts with the Paris Opera Ballet, Wiener Staatsballett and Semperoper Ballett Dresden.
Yates has recorded over 80 CDs of symphonic repertoire with orchestras such as the Royal Scottish National, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Gothenburg Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, and Royal Flanders Philharmonic. He has an extremely successful relationship with the Dutton Epoch label; current releases include a series of recordings of the music of Richard Arnell, the long-anticipated Moeran’s Sketches for Symphony No. 2 (completed: Martin Yates), Elgar Sea Pictures with Roderick Williams, and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5. The most recent releases include world premiere recordings of John Gardner’s Symphony No. 2 and John Veale’s Symphony No. 2 and the Symphonies and Piano Concerto by Richard Arnell with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and David Owen Norris.
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Conducts the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden: Mayerling
“…Here was the Royal Ballet at its most powerful in identity – the national ensemble Dame Ninette intended and guided from its first steps. The orchestra under Martin Yates played with a power that matched the danced performance. A superlative evening…”
Dutton Epoch’s first recording with Royal Northern Sinfonia features pianist Victor Sangiorgio, brilliant in two romantic concertos of the mid-nineteenth century but given a modern twist: Martin Yates’ realisation of the surviving fragments of Mendelssohn’s unfinished Piano Concerto in E and Balakirev’s very Russian orchestration of Chopin’s Piano Concerto no.1.
Martin Yates’ exploration of Damase’s music for Dutton Epoch is a triumph, revealing an appealing composer in the vein of Poulenc and Honegger. Ashley Wass plays the alluring, jazz-inflected Second Piano Concerto and the Poulenc-indebted Concertino with sparkle and wit, and Anna Noakes the melodic and graceful Flute Concerto, perhaps bringing Jean Françaix to mind. Completing the disc is the Symphonie of 1952, with its lyrical first movement, modal slow movement and gripping finale featuring a radiant transformation of the theme from the first movement and a noble conclusion.
ARNOLD BAX – Symphony in F
The piano score of Arnold Bax’s Symphony in F of 1907 was completed by its composer but never orchestrated, and has long been one of the great “might-have-beens” of the British symphonic repertoire, along with Elgar’s Third Symphony and E. J. Moeran’s Second. Unlike Elgar and Moeran, Bax actually completed his symphony, and now Martin Yates has set it into full score, managing to catch the elusive, idiomatic sound of Bax’s orchestra in a convincing way we never expected to hear.
ALAN BUSH – Africa Piano Concerto
Alan Bush’s stern face usually hid a tuneful heart, and in Dutton Epoch’s second disc of orchestral music by this composer, the RSNO presents the popular, programmatic Nottingham Symphony evoking Sherwood Forest, Clifton Grove, Castle Rock and the Goose Fair. Also featured is Peter Donohoe’s authoritative pianism in Bush’s “Symphonic Movement” – in fact, a piano concerto in all but name, which he called Africa, politically inspired and based on appropriately African tunes and rhythms. Martin Yates conducts the RSNO.