Mark Wigglesworth (17 October)
A native of Sussex, Mark Wigglesworth won the Kondrashin Competition in Amsterdam within a few weeks of graduating in 1989 from London’s Royal Academy of Music. Two years later he was appointed Associate Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Since then, positions have included principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, principal guest conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and successful working relationships with many of the top orchestras of North America, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago and Montreal symphony orchestras as well as those of Minnesota, Philadelphia and Cleveland. He is also a popular visitor to Australia, having forged productive associations with the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide symphony orchestras.
His work in the opera house is no less renowned. He made his debut in 1991 conducting Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at Opera Factory in London, and has since worked with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera in Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne. A particularly acclaimed period as music director of English National Opera ended last year (2015) as a result of his disapproval of, among other things, the management’s proposed economising measures, particularly in respect of the ENO Chorus. Last March he resigned, stating in an interview that ‘the company is evolving now into something I do not recognise, and as hard as I have tried to argue to maintain what I believe to be the fundamental pillars of our identity, I have failed to persuade others of this necessity’. He honoured his engagements until the end of the 2016 season. It is expected that mention of this episode of his career will feature to some extent at Putney Music.
Mark Wigglesworth’s discography ranges from Shostakovich (the symphonies for BIS), Mahler (the Sixth and Tenth Symphonies with the Melbourne Symphony), a disc of English music with the Sydney Symphony, a DVD of Britten’s Peter Grimes from Glyndebourne, and, for Hyperion, the Brahms piano concertos with Stephen Hough (appearing at Putney Music on 6 March).
He is married to the archaeologist Annemieke Milks.