Duncan Ward © Alan Kerr
The British conductor Duncan Ward, who was born in 1989 in County Kent, studied piano, conducting, and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. In 2012, on the recommendation of Sir Simon Rattle, he was accepted for two years as the first Conducting Scholar at the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. In that position, he conducted the other fellows in such events as an all-Boulez program, while also acquiring additional practical experience as Rattle’s assistant. His collaboration with the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic later led to appearances at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, at the Eight Bridges Festival in Cologne, and with the Violins of Hope project, in which the Philharmonic players performed on instruments once owned by Auschwitz victims for the Holocaust Day of Remembrance. Ward was appointed Chief Conductor of the Sinfonia Viva in Great Britain in 2015; he is also Associate Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He has in the meantime led many renowned orchestras, including the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony, and the Ensemble intercontemporain. In the 2017-18 season, he made his debuts with the Dresden Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Belgique, and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. He conducted Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and MacMillan’s Clemency at Dutch Opera and led Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Brett Dean’s Hamlet as part of Glyndebourne on Tour. Duncan Ward was named BBC Young Composer of the Year in 2005. His works, which are published by Edition Peters, have been performed by such ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Endymion Ensemble, the BBC Singers, and The Sixteen.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 13 August 2017, when he led an ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI in the Swiss premiere of Michel van der Aa’s music theater workThe Book of Disquiet.