• “It was a performance that had one slack-jawed with amazement at the audacity of Berlioz's opium-fuelled masterpiece”
    The Guardian
  • “Douglas Boyd - the wonderfully gifted principal guest conductor - delivered an experience of breathless beauty”.
    (Stravinsky: Rite of Spring) The Denver Post
  • “He is one of the major British occupants of a rostrum today and will be increasingly recognised as such.”
    The Sunday Telegraph
  • “One can only marvel at the vigour and poetry of Friday's phenomenal concert by the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, led by the superb Douglas Boyd.”
    The Star Tribune Minneapolis

About

Download full biography

I have been so fortunate to have met and worked with some truly great musicians who have shaped my life.

I was a founding member and Principal oboe of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for 21 memorable years. Surely one of the greatest orchestras in the world, its philosophy is simple; the joy of making music together at the highest possible level and creating life long friendships that transcend national boundaries.

There were many highlights, but some experiences stand out:

The humanity of Alexander Schneider, (violinist of the legendary Budapest String Quartet and close friend of Pablo Casals); emotionally charged concerts with Claudio Abbado, who could shape the sound of the orchestra with a gesture; the revolution of working with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and being part of a Beethoven Symphony cycle, which – it is no exaggeration – changed our perceptions of how the music of the great "Classical" composers should be performed; the warmth and complete conviction of Paavo Berglund. Performing and recording Sibelius symphonies with him, was simply being involved with a true master at work.

“I always wanted to conduct but I am glad I waited. These 21 years were the best conducting lessons I could have imagined.”

After a memorable concert with COE in Paris in 2002 with Claudio Abbado I put my oboe in its box for the last time. Watch the full video on YouTube.

My first major conducting commitment (and first love) was Manchester Camerata. I had 10 fabulous years with them as Music Director and I have nothing but admiration for their musicianship and friendship. Working on a financial shoestring, they nevertheless always perform at the highest level of commitment, energy and quality. Our Beethoven Symphony cycle is testimony to that.

My work with Camerata opened up invitations from other parts of the world. As Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota for 6 years and Principal Guest Conductor of the Colorado Symphony, I have spent a lot of time making music in the US.

Conducting continues to take me to all corners of the globe, but whether I am performing in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Budapest or at home in the UK, I try to stay true to the “COE spirit” which has shaped me.

My main commitment now takes me to Switzerland. One of the leading Swiss orchestras, Musikkollegium Winterthur’s tradition goes back to 1629. It was probably one of the world’s first orchestras and I am honoured to follow in the distant footsteps of conductors such as Richard Strauss, Furtwangler and Busch, all of whom enjoyed relationships with MKW.

More important than all of this– is my family, my 3 extraordinary children and my wife Sally, whose love, support and musicianship (she is a wonderful cellist) has sustained me over the years.

News

January 2015

Down Under. Douglas  will conduct the Australian Youth Orchestra for the first time at their summer camp in Adelaide.

October 2014

Brits abroad. Douglas collaborates with cellist Steven Isserlis and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in performances of Haydn’s cello concerto

September 2014

2 weeks of recording sessions in Switzerland. Douglas  records  arias and orchestral music by Mozart and Salieri with Musikkollegium Winterthur, tenor Kenneth Tarver and soprano Sen Guo  and Liszt’s orchestral transcription of Schubert’s Wanderer Sonata with pianist Teo Gheorghiu.

August 2014

Douglas makes his debut conducting the Bergen Phiharmonic Orchestra in Norway in performances of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony

August 2014

 

Douglas’s latest recording as Principal Conductor of Musikkollegeum Winterthur of Mendelssohn’s  “Lobgesang” is released for the Dabringhaus und Grimm label. http://www.mdg.de/titel/1857.ht

Press

Beethoven “Fidelio” Garsington Opera 2014

“A reading that is splendidly rhythmic and profoundly considered”. RICHARD MORRISON,  THE TIMES

“Strong casting and masterly conductor Douglas Boyd lead John Cox’s Fidelio to success. Boyd’s deep understanding of the score ensures the highest musical standards and superb playing from the Garsington Opera Orchestra… The result is a Fidelio to remember…. a major event in the UK ‘s operatic calendar”. GEORGE HALL, THE STAGE

“John Cox’s revival of his originally underpraised Garsington production is one of the most viscerally powerful accounts of Beethoven’s opera I have ever seen. Cox’s direction is faultless, as is Douglas Boyd’s support from the pit”. ( 5 stars) MICHAEL CHURCH, THE INDEPENDENT

“At the conclusion of the performance, my wife and I were united in our overwhelming sense of having been emotionally engrossed in a production realised by singers, director and conductor in a manner that that is all too rare today with concepts and updated staging. I can best describe it by saying we went away elated, having been involved and overwhelmed by the emotions of the story and the manner of its realisation by all concerned. It is not an experience we often get these days with live lyric theatre……, a golden evening indeed for this listener and his partner”. ROBERT FARR, SEEN AND HEARD

“Douglas Boyd directed the Garsington Opera Orchestra in a performance which showed not just the intimacy with this work for which he is already known, but an ability to bring out the best in the players which would not disgrace many much larger houses. From the delicacy of the strings in the great quartet to the triumphant horns at the finale, it would be difficult to imagine better playing. This is a Fidelio which you should not miss”. MELANIE ESKENAZI, OMH ( 5 stars)

” Garsington Opera opened its 25th season with as good a performance and production  of Beethoven’s Fidelio as I have witnessed for many years. Principal credit for this must go to Garsington’s new music director, Douglas Boyd, who brought a fresh and exhilarating intelligence to every note. Some may have found his tempos on the slow side compared to the current fashion for rattling through the score at breathless speed, but the symphony cycle he recorded during his recent distinguished directorship of Manchester Camerata showed that he knows how to pace Beethoven’s music. The same clarity and lack of fuss dominated the phrasing in Fidelio. Boyd gave the music time to breathe – to sublime effect in the “Wunderbar” quartet in Act I, in the Prisoners’ Chorus and in the great choral epilogue”.  MICHAEL KENNEDY, OPERA MAGAZINE

 

Schoenberg: Transfigured Night, November 2013:

“Douglas Boyd conducted the orchestra with lightness and transparency and a sense of poetic structure and gestural freedom.”
Sybille Ehrismann, Der Landbote

Bruckner, 4 October 2013:

“This journey drew from Douglas Boyd an energy that went to the extremes, with expansive tempos for the opening movement. It allowed for a moving vision of calm, or one could say,  flowing threads of “blessing”. Boyd’s direction in the final movement, brought out tranquility, but also strength.”
Ramona Früh, Der Landbote

Beethoven Triple Concerto, Brahms Symphony No.3, September 2013:

“One thought oneself temporarily in a chamber music concert, so restrained and tender did the orchestra play in their first subscription concert of the season in Winterthur under the direction of Douglas Boyd.”
Alex Hoster, Der Landbote

Musikkollegium Winterthur, “Der Landebote”, Switzerland, Autumn 2013:

“So much sun, so many balloons, so much joy.”
Sybille Ehrismann, “Summer outdoor concert for the city of Winterthur”, Der Landbote

Don Giovanni, Garsington Opera, June 2012:

“This is as stimulating and refreshing a Don Giovanni as I have seen anywhere in the last decade, sung and played to a level that sets a new benchmark at this address.”
The Sunday Times, June 05 2012

“…admirable conductor Douglas Boyd…kept the orchestral playing razor-sharp.”
The Times, June 04 2012

“But the Garsington Opera orchestra’s playing, under Douglas Boyd, is the biggest draw.  Boyd coaxes exquisite balance from his players, and is passionately attuned to both the music’s turbulence and intimacy.”
The Stage, June 04 2012

“…the conductor Douglas Boyd keeps things fizzing.”
The Independent, June 04 2012

“Conductor Douglas Boyd and his orchestra filled the beautiful purpose-built hall with rich, transporting sound, completely immersing the audience in the world of the opera…Quite simply, this was the single best operatic production I have ever seen.”
The Daily Information

The Marriage of Figaro, Garsington Opera, June 2010:

“In the pit, Douglas Boyd proved to be a natural Mozartian. His tempi were broadly on the fast side, but with no loss of detail, and the playing he got from the Garsington Orchestra was accomplished throughout. Boyd also proved to have a natural rapport with his singers, and there were no signs of awkwardness between pit and stage, as there often can be: ensembles went with a swing, solo numbers and duets were nicely judged, sforzandi and dynamic contrasts abounded – delightful.”
Musical Criticism,
June 16 2010

Fidelio, Garsington Opera, June 2009:

“And the music certainly does sound sublime under Douglas Boyd’s direction…his grasp of the Beethovian idiom, pungent underlining of orchestral detail, empathy with his insgers’ phrasing, and bold speeds, all this sounded more like a masterclass than the work of a conductor who made his opera debut only last year.”
The Times, June 05 2009

Concert work:

“The magnificent interpretations of these works [all-Schubert programme in Winterthur] by Douglas Boyd and the College orchestra were thoroughly well thought-through, giving the listener a chance to hear these brilliant scores afresh.”
Zurichsee-Zeitung (translated)

“He is one of the major British occupants of a rostrum today and will be increasingly recognised as such. He has the born conductor’s ability to make music sound fresh, to detect its inner life and pulse and to expose them without over -exposing them and to make his players give more than they thought they could”
The Sunday Telegraph

“The Toronto Symphony Orchestra was in fantastic form at Roy Thomson Hall on Wednesday night under visiting Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd. ….Under Douglas Boyd Beethoven Symphony No. 5 sounded as fresh as if the ink were barely dry on the page.”
Toronto Star, February 11, 2010

“… principal guest conductor Douglas Boyd again demonstrating why he is such a hit in Denver with audiences and musicians alike… Boyd and the orchestra conveyed the work’s essential drama, finding the suspense and anticipation embedded in it.”
Denver Post, September 25, 2010

“One can only marvel at the vigor and poetry of Friday morning’s phenomenal concert by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, led by the superb…Douglas Boyd… Boyd and the orchestra showed an incisive rapport…In Boyd’s hands the symphony was rhapsodic and ruminative but also tragic and tumultuous, with moments of lyric terror that quickened respiration.”
The Star Tribune, St. Paul, MN

CD Reviews:

Beethoven Symphony No. 9:

“Under Douglas Boyd it has produced a terrific set of Beethoven recordings, to which this is a resounding conclusion”
The Times

“Boyd’s approach may differ a bit from Toscanini’s  in its closer adherence to Beethoven’s instructions, but it is to his credit that he does not go to Furtwanglerian extremes. Rather, his performance shines, musically and sonically, as the finest of the “period” accounts I have heard. An outstanding release”
International Record Review

Strauss Vier letzte Lieder/Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme:

“Scottish conductor Boyd, the ensemble’s music director, and his players deliver this Bourgeois gentilhomme Suite rather in the manner of Strauss’s own recordings – essentially classical with little riots of 20th-century colour bursting through like carnation buttonholes.”
Gramophone, July 2012

“Boyd’s conducting is not only crisp and clean, but also brings out the genial humor of the score. I would place this reading but one step down from the superb Rudolf Kempe version.”
Fanfare

“There have been many recordings of the work, including superb performances conducted by Reiner, Krauss and Beecham, all great champions of the composer. Even when compared with them however the present performance is worth hearing for its very particular qualities. It has wit and charm, both essential here.”
Musical Criticism

Discography

DOUGLAS BOYD conductor

album cover

MENDELSSOHN
Symphony No. 2 - Lobgesang

Musikkollegium Winterthur

MDG
August 2014

album cover

MENDELSSOHN
The Piano Concertos

Musikkollegium Winterthur / Oliver Schnyder piano

RCA Red Seal
August 2013

album cover

SCHUMANN
Works for Violin and Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Anthony Marwood violin

Hyperion
September 2012

album cover

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Symphony No. 5 and Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

Musikkollegium Winterthur

Sony
July 2012

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 1 and 3

Manchester Camerata

Avie AV2185
November 2009

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 2 and 5

Manchester Camerata

Avie
May 2004

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 4 and 7

Manchester Camerata

Avie AV2169
September 2008

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 6 and 8

Manchester Camerata

Avie
September 2011

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No 9

Manchester Camerata

Avie
February 2012

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Triple Concerto and Creatures of Prometheus

Berolina Trio / Musikkollegium Winterthur

Claves Records 7619931100128
June 2010

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’

Hyo Joo Lee / Musikkollegium Winterthur

Nascor
January 2012

album cover

MAHLER
Symphony No. 4 in G major

Kate Royal / Manchester Camerata

Avie
July 2005

album cover

MAHLER
Das Lied von der Erde

arr. Schoenberg
Jane Irwin & Peter Wedd / Manchester Camerata

Avie AV2195
May 2010

album cover

MENDELSSOHN
Violin Concerto

Giovanni Guzzo violin / Manchester Camerata

May 2012

album cover

MOZART
Symphonies 40 & 41

Manchester Camerata

Avie
October 06

album cover

SCHUBERT
Symphonies No. 7 & 8

Musikkollegium Winterthur

MDG 901 1636

album cover

SCHUBERT
Rosamunde

Serena Malfi / Alt / Schweizer Kammerchor / Musikkollegium Winterthur

MDG 901 1633-6

album cover

SCHUBERT
Symphony No. 8, "Unfinished"; Symphony No. 4, "Tragic"; Entr'acte III from Incidental Music to "Rosamunde."

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

SPCA B000P91PGY
2006

album cover

STRAUSS, R
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme/Vier letzte Lieder

Musikkollegium Winterthur / Lisa Larsson soprano

Scene DG

album cover

TSONTAKIS
Violin Concerto No. 2; Clair de Lune; The Past, The Passion

St Paul Chamber Orchestra

Koch Classics B000VAQY3G
October 2007

album cover

Music for Strings
(Purcell, Britten, Vaughan Williams, Part)

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Warner Classic
June 2006

DOUGLAS BOYD oboe

album cover

Baroque Oboe Music

Academy Sound & Vision (ASV) CD 6560
1996

album cover

BACH
Brandenburg Concerti No. 1 & 2

Abbado, Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Deutsche Grammophone (DG) 431 660

album cover

BACH
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Deutsche Grammophone (DG) 429 225-2

album cover

BEETHOVEN
Music for Wind Instruments in Eb Major,Op. 103

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

ASV-CO 807

album cover

MOZART
Oboe Concerto in C/Sinfonia Concertante in E flat

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Decca
September 2008

album cover

MOZART/STRAUSS
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Decca
September 2008

album cover

MOZART
Oboe and Clarinet Concertos/Sinfonia Concertante for Wind

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Teldec

album cover

SCHUMANN
Works for Oboe and Piano

Douglas Boyd oboe, Maria Pires piano

Teldec

album cover

VIVALDI
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Deutsche Gramaphon
December 1993

album cover

VIVALDI / MARCELLO / HAYDN / MOZART
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Quicksilva

Schedule

Date Location Repertoire Orchestra/Conductor
Oct 31, 2014 Marciac, France
Mozart: Overture to Die Zauberflöte K620
Mozart arr. Fobbes-Jansens: Fantasy on Zauberflöte
Gluck: Flute concerto in G
soloist Emmanuel Pahud
Beethoven: Symphony no.5 in C minor op.67
Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine
Nov 12, 2014 Helsinki Musc Centre
Mozart: Chaconne (Idomeneo)
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C major Hob VII:1

Haydn: Overture 'L'Isola Disabitata'
Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D major The Miracle (Hob 1:96)
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Dec 05, 2014 Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Handel: Messiah North Carolina Symphony Orchestra
Dec 06, 2014 Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Handel: Messiah North Carolina Symphony Orchestra
Dec 07, 2014 Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Handel: Messiah North Carolina Symphony Orchestra
Dec 17, 2014 Winterthur, Switzerland
Sibelius: Karelia Suite op.11
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor op. 47
solist Boris Brovstyn
Sibelius: Symphony no.2 in D major op.43
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Dec 18, 2014 Winterthur, Switzerland
Sibelius: Karelia Suite op.11
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor op. 47
solist Boris Brovstyn
Sibelius: Symphony no.2 in D major op.43
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Jan 12, 2015 Adelaide, Australia
Repertoire to include Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique Australian Youth Orchestra
Jan 14, 2015 Adelaide, Australia
Repertoire to include Sibelius Symphony No.2 Australian Youth Orchestra
Jan 30, 2015 Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris
Mendelssohn Overture "Hebrides"
Mozart: Piano Concerto no.27 in B flat major K595
soloist Steven Osborne
Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3 in A min, Op 56 (Scottish)
Orchestre de Chambre de Paris
Feb 25, 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland
Sibelius: Der Schwan von Tuonela op. 22/2
Strauss: Duett-Concertino
soloists Innhyuck Cho Daniele Galaverna
Sibelius: Symphony No.3 in C, Op 52
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Mar 05, 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland
Hindemith: Der Schwanendreher
Hindemith: Quintett für Klarinette und Streichquartett, op. 30
Hindemith: Mathis der Maler
soloists Fabio Di Càsola Jürg Dähler
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Mar 12, 2015 Detroit
Britten Sinfonietta op.1
Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622
Mozart Symphony No.39
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Mar 13, 2015 Detroit
Britten Sinfonietta op.1
Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622
Mozart Symphony No.39
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Mar 14, 2015 Detroit
Britten Sinfonietta op.1
Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622
Mozart Symphony No.39
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Mar 15, 2015 Detroit
Britten Sinfonietta op.1
Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622
Mozart Symphony No.39
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Apr 01, 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland
Macmillan: Seven Last Words from the Cross
Haydn: Seven Last Words
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Apr 03, 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland
Haydn: Stabat Mater, HOB xx BIS Musikkollegium Winterthur
Apr 10, 2015 Denver, Colorado
Webern: Fünf Sätze für Streichorchester op. 5
Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op 4
Brahms: Piano Concerto no.1 in D minor op.15
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Apr 11, 2015 Denver, Colorado
Webern: Fünf Sätze für Streichorchester op. 5
Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op 4
Brahms: Piano Concerto no.1 in D minor op.15
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Apr 12, 2015 Denver, Colorado
Webern: Fünf Sätze für Streichorchester op. 5
Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op 4
Brahms: Piano Concerto no.1 in D minor op.15
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Apr 25, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
May 21, 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland
Repertoire to include
Beamish: "Seavaigers" Concerto for Fiddle and Scottish Lever Harp
Maxwell Davies: Orkney Wedding with Sunrise
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Jun 05, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jun 07, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jun 13, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jun 17, 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland
Lutoslawski: Dance Preludes
Chopin: Piano Concerto no.2 in F minor, Op 21
soloist Ingrid Fliter
Beethoven: Symphony no.3 in E flat, 'Eroica', op.55
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Jun 18, 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland
Lutoslawski: Dance Preludes
Chopin: Piano Concerto no.2 in F minor, Op 21
soloist Ingrid Fliter
Beethoven: Symphony no.3 in E flat, 'Eroica', op.55
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Jun 19, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jun 22, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jun 28, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jul 03, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jul 08, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra
Jul 11, 2015 Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate
Mozart: Così fan tutte Garsington Opera Orchestra

Audio

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Contact

Worldwide Management:

David Sigall and Nicki Wenham
Ingpen and Williams Ltd.
7 St George’s Court
131 Putney Bridge Road
London
SW15 2PA

Tel: +44(0)20 8874 3222
Fax: +44(0)20 8877 3113
David email:
Nicki email:

USA:

Barrie Steinberg
Frank Salomon Associates
121 West 27th Street, Suite 703
New York
NY 10001-6262

Tel: +1 (212) 581-5197, ext. 19
Fax: +1 (212) 581-4029
Email:

Switzerland

Ute Gollnow
Agence Caecilia
29 Rue de la Coulouvrenière
1204 Genève

Tel: +41 22 809 15 26
Email: