British conductor and pianist Julian Reynolds was born in London in 1962 and is of Russian, German and English descent. At the age of four he began piano lessons, thereafter he studied with Albert Ferber and Noretta Conci at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. He made his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall London and in 1984 he was finalist in the Busoni Competition in Bolzano/Bozen. At the age of 18 he became pianist with the European Community Youth Orchestra (ECYO), where his duties included assisting the conductors of the orchestra, including Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein. It was Claudio Abbado who introduced him to conducting in 1980. As conductor of the European Chamber Orchestra Per Musica he subsequently toured Europe appearing at the Pesaro Festival, the Evian Festival and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. In 1986, he was appointed Assistant Music Director at the Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam), where he built an extensive opera repertoire. He has continued with the Netherlandse Opera as a freelance conductor, working for the company with Chief Conductors Hartmut Haenchen and Edo de Waart, Riccardo Chailly, Hans Vonk, Sir Simon Rattle, Alberto Zedda and Pierre Boulez.
Apart from this long standing commitment to The Netherlandse Opera, he also worked with other presenters in that country, notably Madama Butterfly and Prihody Lisky Bistrousky (Cunning Little Vixen) with Opera Zuid and semi-staged performances of Norma and Die lustige Witwe at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He also worked with most of the Dutch orchestras, including the Radio Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras.
Outside Holland, he was a regular Guest Conductor with the Kirov Opera in the Maryinsky Theatre St. Petersburg from 1991 to 1995, where he was principally concerned with new repertoire. He made his debut with the company conducting La Traviata (with Elena Prokina singing the title role) and was subsequently invited for the new production of Verdi’s Don Carlos, later followed by Samson et Dalila (with Olga Borodina) and the Kirov’s first ever production of Le nozze di Figaro. Other engagements have included the opening concerts (Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten) for the Melbourne International Festival, concerts with the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples Orchestra, his German debut with Otello at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, followed by a new production of Luisa Miller with the Staatstheater Mainz and his debut with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein conducting the world première of his own orchestration of Lieder by Alma Mahler, which appeared on CD with Charlotte Margiono.
Julian Reynolds has recently made his debut in the North of America, having taken part in a Canadian Opera Company production of L’italiana in Algeri, has successfully conducted Carmen at the Teatro Regio di Parma.
His CD-recording of Rossini overtures met with world wide critical success and his recording of Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye was described by BBC Radio 3 as the best available version. Since, he also recorded Saint-Saens’s Le Carnaval des animaux and several Rossini-rarities, all on Globe Records. As a pianist he has recorded the complete works for piano and violin of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann on original instruments with violinist Johannes Leertouwer.
Julian Reynolds is also active as a recital accompanist. He has worked extensively with Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Russia and at the festivals of Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg and Edinburgh. He has also worked as a partner for the Dutch soprano Charlotte Margiono and American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and continues his long-standing relationship with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa both in recital and as conductor.
His performances of Don Pasquale and Norma in Oporto (Portugal) led to his appointment as Music Director with that company, where he will return with new productions of Die lustige Witwe, La sonnambula and La Favorita.
Future plans of Julian Reynolds also include Adelina at the Rossini Opera Festival and Gianni Schicchi in Luxembourg.
24 April 2003