• “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

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Douglas Boyd: A Life in Music

Music’s ability to dig deep into the human condition matters to Douglas Boyd. The conductor, born in Glasgow in 1959, discovered its infinite power during his time as principal oboist of the Chamber of Orchestra of Europe, where he observed at close range the probing musicianship of conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink and Paavo Berglund. His work today as Artistic Director of Garsington Opera and as a guest conductor with leading orchestras worldwide is sustained in part by what he learned from them. Yet it flows above all from his innate curiosity, freedom of mind and unshakeable connection to the pure joy of making music.

In many ways Douglas Boyd’s decision to become a conductor was inevitable. “I always had the itch to conduct and it never went away,” he recalls. “As I was approaching forty, I thought I don’t want to look back in my old age and say, ‘I’ve wanted to conduct for all these years but did nothing about it’. I decided to give it a go, but making the transition from playing to conducting almost happened by chance.”

While learning about the psychology of leading rehearsals while conducting young musicians at London’s Royal Academy of Music and the University of Cambridge, Boyd – known throughout the music profession as Dougie – suggested to several orchestras that they might consider hiring him as concerto soloist and conductor. Manchester Camerata liked the proposal. They invited him to play-direct Mozart’s Oboe Concerto and conduct a Schubert symphony at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall. The orchestra’s players were so impressed that they asked Boyd to become its next Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. He was formally appointed in 2001 and repaid their faith over the next ten years by raising the Manchester Camerata’s national and international status.

“It was an incredibly happy time for me,” he notes. “I made lifelong friends there and received tremendous support from a marvellous group of musicians. Because of the work I’d done in Classical repertoire as a player, we began exploring Beethoven together and things clicked.” Those explorations led to a Beethoven cycle at Bridgewater Hall, recorded live for the Avie label, and reaped a weighty harvest of critical acclaim. ‘The switch of roles [from oboist to conductor] has clearly refocused [Boyd’s] interest in the music and rekindled it: an experience the orchestra evidently shares,’ observed Gramophone in its review of the fourth and seventh symphonies. Albums devoted to works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev as well as chamber arrangements of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Symphony No.4, confirmed that Boyd and his Mancunians were an ideal match.

A glance at the Boyd biography reveals the apparent ease with which he exchanged one musical career for another. He played his final concert with the COE and Claudio Abbado in 2002 and packed his instrument away to focus fully on conducting. Two years later he was named as one of St Paul Chamber Orchestra’s inaugural Artistic Partners and remained in post until the 2009-10 season, when he launched his tenure as Principal Conductor of Switzerland’s oldest symphony orchestra, the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur (2009-2016). In addition, he has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia. From 2015 to 2020, he was Music Director of the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, resident at the Philharmonie de Paris and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.

Over the past decade Douglas Boyd’s guest conducting credits have included engagements with, among others, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Gürzenich Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He is set to lead Garsington Opera’s debut at the 2022 Edinburgh International Festival with a new production of Dvořák’s Rusalka before returning to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2022-23 season to conduct Beethoven’s nine symphonies.

Boyd’s career progress has drawn rock-solid encouragement and support from his wife, the cellist Sally Pendlebury, and their three children. It has also been shaped by formative oboe lessons in London and Paris with Janet Craxton and Maurice Bourgue and by his love of music-making with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. “I’m glad that I was able to learn from working with the greatest soloists and conductors of our time, rather than going down the usual route of studying to be a conductor at music college,” he reflects. “It was the best education you could get! We’d work with Claudio Abbado one week, the next with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the week after that with Murray Perahia and on it went. Looking back now, I can see that it was an incredible privilege to play with one of the world’s great orchestras.”

Abbado, who rarely spoke in rehearsal, and Harnoncourt, who explained every nuance in forensic detail, showed how great performances could arise from totally contrasting conducting styles. “They were two of the biggest influences on me and on a whole generation, but they could not have been more different. I realised from watching them and other exceptional conductors that it’s essential to be yourself. To stand up in any kind of leadership role needs self-belief, especially to do something as demanding as conducting your fellow musicians. Conducting is as much about the psychology of the group as about the music. It’s about making players and singers feel empowered while communicating the truth about a composition as you see it.”

Those values are clearly reflected in Boyd’s plans for Garsington Opera. The company has flourished under his leadership and is set to expand in future with a proposed £15 million Arts Hub at its home in rural Buckinghamshire. The new development, the conductor observes, will enable Garsington to offer a year-round schedule of education work, an ambition close to his heart. “I became attracted to Garsington when working as guest conductor at its original home near Oxford,” Boyd recalls. “When they asked me to become Artistic Director at its stunning new home on the Wormsley estate in Buckinghamshire, I felt that this was a company which had not only a wonderful ethos and passion but also an almost limitless potential”

Since his arrival in post in November 2212, Garsington Opera has reinforced its commitment to excellence, appointed the Philharmonia and English Concert as its resident orchestras, invested heavily in an impressive young artists programme, and presented productions in collaboration with Santa Fe Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Boyd has broadened the annual summer festival’s repertoire to include works as diverse as Eugene Onegin and Death in Venice, the first UK performances of Rossini’s Maometto secondo and Offenbach’s Fantasio, and the world premiere of David Sawer’s The Skating Rink. The company has also mounted semi-staged performances at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Philharmonie de Paris; Garsington’s Edinburgh Festival debut, meanwhile, marks another major company milestone.

Douglas Boyd’s encyclopaedic knowledge of his art and craft rests on twenty years as a founder-member of the COE and twenty more as a full-time conductor. “I feel that I’m doing my best work now but that things are still developing,” he observes. “You could say that the garden is never finished! Something has deepened over the years. I think it’s called life!”

© Andrew Stewart 2022

News

Garsington Opera 2024

The Garsington Opera 2024 season has  been announced. Boyd will conduct 2 operas with the Philharmonia Orchestra:

Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Netia Jones ( what better way to celebrate summer and experience opera in one of the most beautiful venues in the world?) and a Community Opera, central to the ethos  and vision of  Garsington Opera- Andrew Norman’s ” A trip to the Moon”

The rest of the season will include Garsington’s first ever performances by Rameau – his brilliant Platée- Verdi’s early comedy il Giorno di Regno, and a  revival of John Cox’s much loved Marriage of Figaro

Garsington Opera 2023

A memorable season comes to a close at Garsington Opera. As well as  Boyd’s acclaimed performances of  Rossini’s Barber of Seville in partnership with the amazing English Concert, the season as a whole was loved by audiences and critics alike.  This comment from the Telegraph was typical:

“It attracts the highest quality of musicians; its productions are straightforward without being predictable, and certainly free of gimmicks that are unfunny, confusing or tedious. I have just had the good fortune to see two superb productions there, both of which were directed with a clarity that would allow anyone new to either opera to become absorbed immediately.

Whatever else is happening in British opera, Garsington appears on the way up, and deservedly so. Its Studios project, providing rehearsal facilities and a
venue for its young artists’ programme is well under way, and will help train new generations of singers, reminding us that opera is not just about a good night out” ( Simon Heffer)

Back to Oz 2

Douglas makes his conducting debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in February 2024 in Brisbane, Australia, in performances to include Dvorak’s New World symphony

Back to Oz

Douglas returns to Australia in February 2024 with the Adelaide Symphony, an orchestra with whom he has a special affection and regard, having  conducted a memorable, complete Beethoven Symphony cycle there in 2022

New World Debut and a return to St Paul, Minnesota

Douglas makes his conducting debut with The New World Symphony in Miami, Florida in January 2024, with performances to include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.  He  then  travels  on to Minnesota, to conduct the wonderful St Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he spent 6 happy years as Artistic Partner.

Press

Garsington Opera il barbiere di Siviglia summer 2023

The engine of its success really comes from the pit, where Garsington’s artistic director, DouglasBoyd, leads the English Concert in a freshly minted reading of the score.The sound from this period-instrument band is rawer than you might expect for this repertoire, but it’s consistently arresting, as if layers of grime have been prised off. The overture cuts as close as the barber’s razor, and Boyd’s hyper-attentive work with the strings —lithe, unpredictable phrasing, sharp staccato accents —is exhilarating without being precious. 4 stars

Neil Fisher The Times

 

 

In his previous life, as principal oboist of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Garsington Opera’s music director Douglas Boyd played plenty of Rossini under the late, great Claudio Abbado. He even participated in Abbado’s recording of Il barbiere di Siviglia, so this most famous title is a fitting choice for Boyd’s first Rossini opera as a conductor. His work together with the alert period instrumentalists of the English Consort is the highlight of Garsington’s season-opening production.

The Daily Telegraph John Allison

The company’s Artistic Director, Douglas Boyd, has been an admirer of the composer’s best known piece since his days as an oboist in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, when he took part in the distinguished Claudio Abbado recording. For this Garsington edition he was also enthused by the prospect of working with The English Concert- and indeed the vital and richly coloured account he and the orchestra gave of the overture proved an accurate harbringer of the musical quality to come: the players’ exceptional confidence with their instruments was notable. 4 stars

Opera Magazine George Hall

Late classical opera really suits period instruments. At Garsington the English Concert was fizzing like an Aperol spritz. Douglas Boyd (a seriously underrated maestro) carved, and the opera was Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia

 

Richard Bratby The Spectator

 

This is Il barbiere di Siviglia on period instruments and the effervescent playing of the English Concert, conducted by Douglas Boyd, is a joy.

Richard Fairman Financial Times

 

 

 

Douglas Boyd has long been familiar with this opera, having played on the recording with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Claudio Abbado, although this was his debut in terms of conducting it. Here, with The English Concert, his experience was clear both in the confidence with which he directed the players and the sense of exuberance which emanated from the pit. There was not a moment of sluggishness or staleness, and the orchestra played for him as though they had just come upon the score and were delighting in its freshness. 4 stars

Melanie Eskenazi MusicOMH.com

 

 

Rossini’s comic masterpiece is staged with a spritz of PG Wodehouse. Garsington’s opera season has opened in style with a superb production of Rossini’s comic opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia. When The English Concert strikes up, conductor Douglas Boyd deftly brings out the delicacy of the strings: we know at once that we are settling in for a witty evening. ★★★★★

Charles Hebbert, Culture Whisper

 

The English Concert’s performance is as engagingly nimble as the choreography, the colours and leanness of this period ensemble casting a fresh veneer on the music, with buoyant articulation and lithe textures that ideally capture its levity. Under Douglas Boyd’s direction it canters along at a comfortable pace without rushing or hectoring the overall flow of the work. Production and music work together, then, in this charming and fresh interpretation of a well-loved work which sensitively avoids excess, caricature or vulgarity.

Curtis Rogers Seen and Heard International

Beethoven Symphonies 1-9, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, September 2022

Boyd goes further than Harnoncourt ever did by imparting an almost whiplash rhythmic power to Beethoven. He propels the music forward with a momentum that makes these symphonies bristle, thrust and assail the listener seemingly as never before. The revolutionary, daring Beethoven is before us in full glare. But one thing is certain: under Boyd and the ASO, this is Beethoven at his most excitingly vital. The tempos felt perfectly right, the energy level as tight as a fully drawn archer’s bow, and this wonderfully disciplined performance struck its target like a bullseye. It is as if Beethoven unleashes a Dionysian monster in these early symphonies, and witnessing this in the hands of Boyd and the ASO was to leave one both staggered and exhilarated – if exhausted.

indaily.com.au Graham Strahle

 

Douglas Boyd’s imperious conducting plunged us fully into Beethoven’s rural landscape, and the ASO performed superbly — the sound was warm, rich and balanced, even hypnotic. In the third movement, the pulsating dance passage positively vibrated with life and the finale was gloriously, captivatingly powerful. The orchestra’s members looked to be thoroughly enjoying themselves throughout the performance and their wholehearted energy and enthusiasm was infectious, drawing the audience completely into Beethoven’s sound world.

Douglas Boyd and the ASO have refreshed Beethoven’s symphonies with memorable performances, and judging by the sell-out response, audiences have been delighted at the opportunity to explore Beethoven in such depth. Beethoven’s symphonies are not only essential ingredients in a healthy musical diet but also prompt us to think deeply about the nature of our own lives and our society.

indaily.com.au Chris Reid

 

If the three remaining concerts in this series featuring Beethoven’s nine symphonies prove as revelatory as this first one, the ASO will have achieved a truly remarkable feat.

Conductor for this series, Douglas Boyd, was a perfect fit. Along with his clear passion for Beethoven and for historically informed performance, he proved no pedant, encouraging the lushest sonorities from the ASO’s strings in Eroica’s famous Marcia funebre second movement and during the variations of its Finale. Nevertheless, were it not for Eroica, Beethoven’s first and second symphonies would have been the stars. Boyd conjured up huge rhythmic energy bounded by deft sonic translucence and rigorous unanimity throughout both works.

The Advertiser, Rodney Smith

 

The ASO’s first-ever performance of all nine Beethoven symphonies in a series (call it a ‘cycle’ if we must) began strongly with quite unbelievable daring in the first three symphonies. Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd truly has the terrier inside him, and to hear Beethoven played with the jolting contrasts and tenacious grip that he brings, with the ASO responding at its highest level, has been inspirational.

Now as conductor, Boyd has a separate vision of his own that pushes ahead of Harnoncourt in respect of energy level. That famous four-note motif in the Fifth was delivered in one swift, brave gesture that seemed to proclaim an even more defiant Beethoven. All through the first movement there was an overwhelming feeling of mobile energy – different from the granite-like, statuesque grandeur that one might usually associate with this work. It worked a marvel too, giving a razor edge to rhythm and intensifying the flow of ideas.

indaily.com.au Graham Strahle

The ASO’s performance of all nine Beethoven symphonies has been an exhilarating journey for audiences, and it has shown just how closely an orchestra and conductor can work together in a shared vision when the combination fits.

But there can’t be a bigger test than his “Choral” Symphony, No. 9. The challenge is really to rescue this work from its own institutional weight, as previously suggested, and not smother it with a kind of imposed stateliness. This was a phenomenal performance, alive as much to its deep passion as its bristling irony.

This was a most wonderful and rewarding conclusion to the ASO’s journey through these symphonies. Boyd’s vision of this music is fresh, compelling and vital, the ASO has responded at its highest level with superb performances. Bravo to all.

Orchestras are hugely expensive operations to keep alive, and while we tend to view these canonical works as fixtures in our cultural landscape, there are no guarantees that they will keep being performed in a continually changing world. Thank you, ASO, for giving them to us.

indaily.com.au Graham Strahle

Rusalka, Edinburgh International Festival, August 2022, Garsington Opera

Utterly fabulous is the best way to describe the experience of Rusalka at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival… that rarest of things, the complete operatic experience. It was, and is, a privilege to experience

theqr.co.uk WJ Quinn

 

Natalya Romaniw was cheered to the rafters by the opening night audience – acclaim that was matched only by the reception for homecoming conductor Douglas Boyd.

Vox Carnyx Keith Bruce

 

As for the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Douglas Boyd, as was heard afterwards, “I’ve never before seen the tenor whistling for the orchestra!” ‘Nuff said. The crescendo at the start of Act 3 was breath-taking in its control and fluidity, the orchestral echoes precise, the range of colours and styles all-encompassing.

You couldn’t wish for better than this.

operacritic.com  Catriona Graham

 

This production, premiered by Garsington Opera earlier this summer, is an absolute triumph. Conductor Douglas Boyd wrings every nuance from this complex score. I’ve never seen a production of Dvořák’s Rusalka where the Wagnerian tones of the Prince’s kingdom and the more modern impressionistic lilts of the water kingdom are so marked and clear.

At the final curtain there was a spontaneous standing ovation from the entire audience. “This never happens in Edinburgh” remarked the woman next to me. What greater praise could I give?

 

Musical Theatre Review Fraser Grant

Garsington Opera, Rusalka, summer 2022

Douglas Boyd draws sounds of Siegfried-like enchantment from the Philharmonia Orchestra. This is as good as opera gets, on a par with anything you’d experience in a major international house. See it if you can.

Richard Bratby, The Spectator, June 22

 

Conductor Douglas Boyd revealed the fine juxtaposition of darkness and light in Dvořák’s score, providing a late afternoon and evening exhibiting the subtlety underlying the natural world. Marvellous.

The Article, Mark Ronan, July 22

 

Douglas Boyd….drew ravishing sounds from the Philharmonia Orchestra in the glorious final love duet.

Culture Whisper, Seamus Rea, July 22

Haydn “Paris ” symphonies recording, with L’orchestre de chambre de Paris, from around the world.


Album of the week, Sunday Times

“Boyd knows his Haydn symphonies inside out, having played and recorded many of the greatest as oboist of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. This release is a fitting summation of his five years at the head of the Parisian chamber orchestra. Boyd and his band prove utterly genial in these delectable works, each a masterpiece. Using modern instruments, he nevertheless encourages a transparent texture, giving Haydn’s innovative wind full measure. The oboist pecks and clucks insistently in the second subject of The Hen’s opening movement and Boyd relishes the village rusticity of the drone motif announcing the presence of a dancing bear in the finale of No 82 in C major. Neither of these symphonies’ nicknames derive from Haydn, but at least La Reine is aptly named, as it was Marie Antoinette’s favourite of the set at the first performances in 1787. Hugh Canning.

It may be just the very focused recording but the buzz in the air is almost palpable, along with Boyd’s audible enjoyment of the music…‘These symphonies are not museum pieces!’ proclaims Boyd, and demonstrates his point in performances that are confident, vivacious and captivating throughout.” Gramophone Magazine, David Threasher

“He makes use of a large dynamic color chart to avoid what  Boyd describes as the risk of grayness, to which the simple opposition between forte and dolce would lead. The great differentiation of intensity is one of the keys to the success of the performance of these works. The pulse is energetic yet supple at the same time-the judicious choice of tempos, which breathe with the joy of life , the spirit in the fast movements, the flexibility in the slow passages. These are interpretations where everything seems to flow naturally, without falling into excessive historically informed research. And a beautiful souvenir album of the masterful work done by Douglas Boyd during his tenure at the head of the orchestra.”

Jean-Pierre Robert On-mag.fr France

Crowning a five-year collaboration, Douglas Boyd and the Paris Chamber Orchestra have nothing to hide.  On the contrary: their ribbed interpretation radiates finesse, transparency, frankness. The Allegros are transported by fast tempi and clear  impulsive vigour. The result is exhilarating!…. a sparkling double-album where the Scottish conductor instills a willingly athletic health-even intoxicating!

Son : 9 – Livret : 6 – Répertoire : 10 – Interprétation : 9

Christophe Steyne Crescendoi Magazine. Belgium

"L’orchestre de chambre de Paris, conducted by Douglas Boyd, lights up the exhilarating vivacity of these compositions, among the most representative of Haydn's genius.

Ferrrucio Nuzzo,Grey Panthers,Italy

vital and pithy commitment that the musicians devote to the symphonies….held together by Douglas Boyd. Fine works, fine presentation.

 

Uwe Krusche Pizzicato, Germany

The romance between the L’orchestre de chambre de Paris and its musical director continues with a newborn on the record. Douglas Boyd joins the dynamic NoMadMusic catalog with a new recording (performed at the Philharmonie de Paris) of the six Parisian symphonies by Joseph Haydn

Classique! France Hughes Rameau-Crays

 

It all adds up to a lively and brilliant reading.
Diapason
n° de janvier 2021 Jean-Claude Hulot

 







Garsington Opera 2021, Eugene Onegin, Philharmonia Orchestra

“A full chorus sang their post-pandemic hearts out, fired up by Douglas Boyd’s thrillingly uninhibited conducting of the Philharmonia.”   RUPERT CHRISTIANSEN Opera Magazine”

“The Philharmonia Orchestra  gave us an outstanding rendering Tchaikovsky’s score. The music is the ultimate fusion of Romantic sweep and Classical symmetry, with strong themes continually recurring in different instrumental voices. Under the baton of Garsington’s Music Director Douglas Boyd, every one of those voices rang clearly and distinctly at just the right level of separation from the others, with a distinctive lilt that was always thrilling and never overblown.” DAVID KARLAN Bachtrack

“It’s been heart-warming to follow Garsington Opera’s ascent under Douglas Boyd, music and artistic director since 2012, yet nothing prepared me for the opening show of its first season in two years….:”

“Douglas Boyd  conducted a sensuous account of the score, with the Philharmonia.” MARK VALENCIA Musical America

“And what a stupendous performance by these musicians under Garsington’s artistic director Douglas Boyd, now romantic as they mirror Tatyana’s inner life, now rumbustious for the workers’ hop. Smooth and jagged, suave and urgent: after a time when everything was downbeat and samey, this layered and highly charged production, brilliantly performed, is just the vital experience we need.” CLAUDIA PRITCHARD Culture Whisper

“The Philharmonia Orchestra under Douglas Boyd played Tchaikovsky’s sweeping, Romantic score as though it had been written yesterday, full of freshness and verve yet caressing the introspective moments with delicately nuanced phrasing’.” MELANIE ESKANAZI Music OMH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Douglas Boyd made his conducting debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.

“Explosive Schubert and deft Mozart from the Philharmonia”

There were real high points: a piquant oboe gleamed against shadowy, nervous cellos and basses in an atmospheric opening, and the great climax was a scream of existential despair, followed by abyssal silence.  Boyd’s performance was breathlessly exciting, and totally thrilling in its effects. Bachtrack Benjamin Poore

 

Douglas Boyd set a lively pace from the outset, but it was the dynamic balance of his unfussy direction that lent the performance its cumulative strength and continual, gripping momentum. He knew what he wanted to hear at every turn

The Scherzo’s Trio was infused with wine-soaked nostalgia, and the finale’s endless dance stayed light on its feet to the end thanks to the stamina of the strings and the accents and attacks cultivated by Boyd, who as principal oboe of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe played the symphony often enough under Claudio Abbado to communicate for himself its elemental vitality. theartsdesk.com Peter Quantrill

 

The Philharmonia, playing at its best, responded to Boyd’s perceptive interpretation in which the balancing of parts was exemplary. Schubert marks più moto 115 bars before the end. Ideally judging the increase of pace, Boyd moved the music unrelentingly forward to thrilling effect. At this speed the return of the opening horn theme was triumphant. The combination of brilliance and grace, especially at the quiet start of the development evoking the vision of a calm seascape, ideally concluded a reading of considerable conviction.

 

Classical Source Antony Hodgson

2018/19 Season – Orchestre de chambre de Paris

LES 40 ANS DE L’ORCHESTRE DE CHAMBRE DE PARIS

“D’autant que, du point de vue de l’exécution, la réussite est au rendez-vous, sous la houlette vigilante de Douglas Boyd, qui tient fermement l’Orchestre de chambre de Paris tout en laissant respirer l’ouvrage.” Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, September 2018, BACHTRACK

“Sous la baguette d’un Douglas Boyd enjoué, avec la complicité d’une Deborah Nemtanu conquérante, d’un James Way convaincant et d’un captivant Mark Padmore, le public parisien passe une soirée haute en couleur et riche en émotions.” Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, September 2018, OLYRIX

GALA BEL CANTO

“Transfiguré sous la baguette de Douglas Boyd, l’Orchestre de chambre de Paris se surpasse, et la qualité de la formation ne souffre quasiment aucun reproche. Le Directeur musical du Garsington Opera (qui, paradoxalement, ne donne plus d’ouvrages belcantistes depuis son arrivée) n’est pas ici qu’un accompagnateur, mais il offre ici une version élégante, renouvelée et captivante de pages ordinairement rebattues (en particulier l’ouverture de Guillaume Tell, absolument remarquable. Rendez-vous l’année prochaine?” Philharmonie, December 2018, FORUMOPERA.COM

L’ENFANCE DU CHRIST – BERLIOZ ANNIVERSARY CONCERT

“Grand moment du premier week-end Berlioz à la Philharmonie – le second est prévu en juin – le concert de l’Orchestre de chambre de Paris n’a pas déçu. Douglas Boyd a évité les deuz écueils qui guettent toute exécution du triptyque: la miévrerie sulpicienne et le surdimensionnement opératique – même si Le Songe d’Hérode ressortit à la grande scène dramatique. Il cherche des couleurs, souligne les subtilités de l’instrumentation, tend le fil de la narration, des frayeurs du tétrarque à l’a cappella dépouillé du chœur mystique final. L’orchestre joue le jeu et le Chœur de la Radio flamande est magnifique.” Philharmonie, December 2018, CONCERTONET.COM

 

Strauss ‘Capriccio’ Garsington Opera 2018

★★★★
“Douglas Boyd conducts; he draws idiomatically lush playing from the house orchestra.” NEIL FISHER The Times

“There was no weak link. Boyd drew ripe voluptuous yet delicate playing from the large orchestra in a score fraught with complexity which yet must sound silken and sheer.” FIONA MADDOCKS The Observer

“I succumbed to the virtuosity of charm and artifice with which Strauss balances all the strands of the comedy, honoured with subtle efficiency both by Albery’s direction and by Douglas Boyd’s neatly tailored conducting. ‘Moonlight’ music, the playing is big on detail and style, as indeed is the whole, impeccable evening.” PETER REED Classical Source

★★★★★
“Douglas Boyd conducts this translucent, ornate score with dedication and affection…world-class singing in civilised surroundings, that demonstrate Strauss’s cultivated values.” CLAUDIA PRITCHARD Culture Whisper

★★★★
“A final scene in which we glimpse Straussian heaven. A moving conversation with Strauss.” HUGO SHIRLEY Financial Times

“The Garsington Opera Orchestra gave a scintillating account of the score under Douglas Boyd’s sympathetic, affectionate direction. Boyd clearly loves this music with a passion, and it shows in every bar. Outstanding.” MELANIE ESKENAZI Music OMH

“The first thing to be pointed up in this production must be the passionate playing drawn from the super-sized Garsington Opera Orchestra by Boyd, the sense of sweep and onward impulse never exhausted for a second.” ANDREW GREEN Opera Now

“Boyd captured the transparency of the densely motivic score, allowing both the words to be heard without undue effort and the multitude of instrumental motifs to make their mark lightly but lucidly. Capriccio may, superficially, seem negligently inconsequential but, as Tim Albery and Douglas Boyd show, it gives us hope. CLAIRE SEYMOUR Opera Today

“Under the baton of Douglas Boyd, this is a musical joy, especially the soaring ‘moonlight’ interlude.” CHRISTOPHER GREY Oxford Times

“Douglas Boyd showed himself to be a fine Straussian. In particular he made the Moonlight Music as it needs to be: achingly lovely, so that one longs for more but is rightly denied it.” MICHAEL TANNER The Spectator

“Artistic Director Douglas Boyd conducts Garsington Opera Orchestra in an evening that is close to perfection.” CLARE COLVIN Sunday Express

“Boyd conducts a sumptuous account of the music – some of it so lovely, so fragrant, so delicately wrought.” RUPERT CHRISTIANSEN The Daily Telegraph

“Under Douglas Boyd’s direction, the musical edifice was splendidly sustained, repeatedly spinning golden harmony out of Strauss’s moments of ingeniously controlled chaos…this serene production is a hit.” MICHAEL CHURCH The Independent

“It sounds wonderful too. Douglas Boyd allows Strauss’s long lines to flow as he elucidates the complexity of the composer’s super-enriched harmonies and gorgeous orchestral writing.” GEORGE HALL The Stage

Orchestre de chambre de Paris 2017

Beethoven and Beamish at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées:

“La rencontre internationale entre le prodige new-yorkais du piano et fin spécialiste de Beethoven, le soliste américain Jonathan Biss et le grand Orchestre de chambre de Paris, sous la dynamique direction du sympathique écossais Douglas Boyd, l’un des meilleurs directeurs qu’ait connu l’OCP selon nous.”
Goûts et Passions

Haydn The Seasons at Philharmonie de Paris:

“On oublie ou on néglige l’OCP, qui passe pour le parent pauvre des orchestres parisiens. C’est un tort: ses Saisons de Haydn viennent de le prouver. L’ensemble y a montré une belle homogénéité des pupitres et une capacité à maîtriser les grandes œuvres du répertoire – plus long que La Création, le dernier oratorio de Haydn exige beaucoup des musiciens. Douglas Boyd a le geste aussi sûr que généreux, situe l’œuvre à sa juste place, sans la tirer vers le romantisme – même si elle le prépare. La direction séduit par sa clarté et son énergie, excellant aussi bien dans les pages descriptives que dans les grands passages choraux: l’orage de l’Eté, l’Introduction de l’Hiver sont trés évocateurs, le chœur final est grandiose. Le chef écossais a aussi le sens de la narration, ce qui lui permet d’animer les différents tableaux – rien de fragmentaire ici.”
DIDIER VAN MOERE ConcertoNet

“La collaboration entre l’Orchestre de chambre de Paris et Douglas Boyd remonte à 2015, et leur fréquentation de la musique de Haydn à la saison dernière avec Les sept dernières paroles du Christ, donné dans la salle de la Cité de la musique (retrouvez-en notre compte-rendu). Leur entente est audible dès Le printemps alliant précision, légèreté, énergie et fougue. Au centre de l’orchestre trône un pianoforte qui accompagne tous les récits. Sans baguette, le chef parvient à unir l’orchestre et le chœur, soulignant les différentes dynamiques et phrasés de l’œuvre.”
FRÉDÉRIQUE EPIN Olyrix

“Un succès manifestement obtenu par la direction constamment inspirée et dynamique de Douglas Boyd soulevant avec enthousiasme les forces réunies de l’orchestre de chambre de Paris, des solistes et du Chœur Accentus!”
MICHEL JAKUBOWICZ ON Magazine

Debussy, Ravel, Haydn and a world premiere by Bruno Mantovani at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées:

“C’était à la harpiste Isabelle Moretti d’assumer le rôle de soliste dans les deux œuvres de Mantovani et Debussy. S’acquittant de sa tâche avec une belle conviction, Isabelle Moretti trouvait en Douglas Boyd et l’Orchestre de chambre de Paris des partenaires parfaits. Quant à Ravel et Haydn ils trouvaient en Douglas Boyd, galvanisant avec entrain les musiciens de l’Orchestre de chambre de Paris, un interprète idéal.”
MICHEL JAKUBOWICZ ON Magazine

Tour of New Zealand and Australia, October 2017

Mendelssohn and Schumann with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra:

“Boyd brought a highly individual approach to Mendelssohn…and achieved a spirited performance of the original 1841 version of Schumann’s Fourth Symphony, with marvellous clarity and impetus, the scherzo taken at a hair-raising fast tempo!”
PETER DONNELLY The Mercury

Beethoven with the Auckland Philharmonia:

“With unflagging energy and fire, Boyd and his musicians caught every surprise and musical U-turn, while doing full justice to the work’s rich and prescient Adagio.”
New Zealand Herald

Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5 with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra:

“There is something very serene about conductor Douglas Boyd – the way he walks modestly on and off stage, his graceful hand movements. I had the feeling that I had gone on a magical journey. with Boyd and the orchestra as my guides.”
TIFFANY HA Seesaw Magazine

Mozart ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ Orchestre de chambre de Paris & Garsington Opera 2017

“Un mariage anglo-français à l’italienne, à Vienne. Mais aussi une soirée lyrique fantastique au Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Mémorable.”
Classique News

Mozart ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ Garsington Opera 2017

“Douglas Boyd…recalls the style of the great Viennese Mozartians and as one might expect of this former oboist gives the woodwinds every opportunity to shine, as Mozart does. Magic. Bravo Cox, bravo Boyd, bravi tutti.”
HUGH CANNING Opera

★★★★★
“Douglas Boyd shows off the prowess of the fine Garsington Opera Orchestra by exploring lowest levels of pianissimo and daring the singers to match. The audience cannot help but be enchanted by this magical Figaro.”
INGE KJEMTRUP The Stage 

“Oozing class, underpinned by Garsington Opera’s Music Director Douglas Boyd’s energy and assurance in the pit.”
ANDREW GREEN Opera Now

“However many Figaros you may have seen, this one should not be missed.”
CLARE COLVIN Sunday Express

★★★★
“Douglas Boyd’s reading of the score works hand-in-glove with Cox’s approach, emphasising the rococo elegance and timeless charm of the music.
KATHERINE COOPER BachTrack

★★★★★
“John Cox and Douglas Boyd clearly enjoy working together and it shows in a variety of subtle ways. This is no ordinary Figaro – there is a tangible sense of affection in every bar…pacing the action so that it flows effortlessly forward. Douglas Boyd conducts with authority and passion. This production brings us close to the beating heart of Figaro the opera.
DOUGLAS COOKSEY Classical Source

“A highlight of the season, John Cox’s acclaimed Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by Garsington Opera’s Artistic Director, Douglas Boyd, is a wonderful production. The show is silly, wise, passionate, affecting and genuinely funny.”
Daily Information

“I can’t imagine a more perfect setting, nor a more beautiful, faithful and entrancing production.”
GAY PIRRIE-WEIR Fine Times Recorder

“La réussite de la soirée doit énormément à la direction de Douglas Boyd. Son Mozart est vif et pétulant, en un mot: théâtral. Mais le chef écossais sait aussi aller chercher dans la partition des détails d’orchestration inhabituels, nous donnant alors l’impression de redécouvrir l’ouvrage. Boyd nous propose ainsi un tapis sonore quelque fois inédit mais toujours authentiquement mozartien.”
JEAN MICHEL PENNETIER Forum Opéra

Tchaikovsky “Eugene Onegin” Garsington 2016

Our critic is blown away by Garsington’s excellent Eugene Onegin

“But it was the musical performance under Douglas Boyd that really lifted the spirits. Indeed, in almost 30 years of attending Garsington, I don’t think I have heard a ‘classic’ opera cast with such care and accomplishment”.

HUGH CANNING Sunday Times

Douglas Boyd makes a virtue of leanness by conducting an admirably taut account of this marvellous score”.

RICHARD MORRISON The Times

“With fine support from Garsington’s musical director, Douglas Boyd and his orchestra, this is a triumph”.

DAVID MELLOR DAILY MAIL

“It is rarer than it should be to see a cast in Yevgeny Onegin that one can believe in, or to hear Tchaikovsky’s ardent and heartbreaking score performed with an uncomplicated sense of its drama and lyrical ebb and flow. That’s what Garsington and its music director Douglas Boyd achieved with this production, though, offering an Onegin that tugged at the heartstrings and pricked the tear ducts with unerring skill. And the clear-sightedness is what stuck in the mind, not least given the quality of Boyd’s conducting, flexible and impassioned, and bringing out playing of the very highest quality from the Garsington orchestra”.

HUGO SHIRLEY Opera

“With superb conducting and committed orchestral playing, though, Tchaikovsky is well served. The singing is heartbreaking, from Brindley Sherratt’s exquisite rendition of Prince Gremin’s aria to Roderick Williams’s tonally gorgeous but psychologically screwed-up Onegin, a man he plays as beset but emotions but hostage to the mores of his time”.

MARK VALENCIA  What’s On Stage

“Douglas Boyd’s urgent, well-shaped conducting perfectly complemented the unfolding drama”.

BARRY MILLINGTON Evening Standard

“Garsington Opera opens with a thrilling and full-blooded production of Eugene Onegin that gets to the heart of its conflicting and conflicted characters…I have never been more moved by the opening pages – the sisters sing dreamily of their future as the older women look back on how their own ideals were tempered by practicality, love sacrificed on the way. The musical and visual juxtaposition is simply heartbreaking…Douglas Boyd whisks the orchestra inexorably to the drama’s tumultuous end”.

CLAUDIA PRITCHARD Culture Whisper

“The orchestra under Douglas Boyd gave a wonderfully lyrical account of the score. Lithe and passionate, the performance was beautifully fluid but focussed and controlled, so that under Douglas Boyd’s disciplined hands the passion was there but the orchestra never came anywhere near overwhelming the singers.

This was a superb season opener, a demonstration of how Garsington Opera has moved on from being and outstanding specialist in a couple of composers, into a house where immensely thoughtful highly crafted work is being done in all areas”

ROBERT HUGILL Opera Today

“In the pit, Douglas Boyd and the Garsington Opera bring Tchaikovsky’s heartfelt, harrowing score magnificently to life. This Eugene Onegin was a highpoint of a very successful Garsington season…”.

GEOFFREY SMITH Arts Journal

“With its large orchestra and very large chorus, Eugen Onegin is Garsington Opera’s most ambitious production in its twenty-eight seasons. Conducted by the company’s artistic director, Douglas Boyd, and directed by Michael Boyd (no relation), artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2002-2012, and with large scale sets by Tom Piper, also a veteran of the RSC (as well as the designer of the WWI-commemorating swathe of ceramic red poppies first seen at the Tower of London with artist Paul Cummins), this is Garsington Opera’s biggest adventure yet. It’s a triumph”.

PAUL LEVY Critics Circle

Discography

DOUGLAS BOYD conductor

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Joseph Haydn

Complete Paris Symphonies

NoMadMusic
November 2020

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Intuition

Gautier Capuçon / Douglas Boyd / Orchestre de chambre de Paris

Erato
February 2018

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MENDELSSOHN
Die Erste Walpurgisnacht

Musikkollegium Winterthur / Zürcher Sing-Akademie / Birgit Remmert alto / Jörg Dürmüller tenor / Ruben Drole baritone / Reinhard Mayr bass

Scene DG
April 2016

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Mozart & Salieri
Arias and Overtures

Musikkollegium Winterthur / Sen Guo Soprano / Kenneth Tarver Tenor

Scene DG
July 2015

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Excursions
SCHUBERT & LISZT

Musikkollegium Winterthur / Teo Gheorghiu Piano

Sony
May 2015

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MENDELSSOHN
Symphony No. 2 - Lobgesang

Musikkollegium Winterthur

MDG
August 2014

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MENDELSSOHN
The Piano Concertos

Musikkollegium Winterthur / Oliver Schnyder piano

RCA Red Seal
August 2013

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SCHUMANN
Works for Violin and Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Anthony Marwood violin

Hyperion
September 2012

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

Musikkollegium Winterthur

Sony
July 2012

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BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 1 and 3

Manchester Camerata

Avie AV2185
November 2009

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BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 2 and 5

Manchester Camerata

Avie
May 2004

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BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 4 and 7

Manchester Camerata

Avie AV2169
September 2008

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BEETHOVEN
Symphonies Nos 6 and 8

Manchester Camerata

Avie
September 2011

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BEETHOVEN
Symphony No 9

Manchester Camerata

Avie
February 2012

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BEETHOVEN
Triple Concerto and Creatures of Prometheus

Berolina Trio / Musikkollegium Winterthur

Claves Records 7619931100128
June 2010

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BEETHOVEN
Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’

Hyo Joo Lee / Musikkollegium Winterthur

Nascor
January 2012

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MAHLER
Symphony No. 4 in G major

Kate Royal / Manchester Camerata

Avie
July 2005

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MAHLER
Das Lied von der Erde

arr. Schoenberg
Jane Irwin & Peter Wedd / Manchester Camerata

Avie AV2195
May 2010

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MENDELSSOHN
Violin Concerto

Giovanni Guzzo violin / Manchester Camerata

May 2012

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MOZART
Symphonies 40 & 41

Manchester Camerata

Avie
October 06

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SCHUBERT
Symphonies No. 7 & 8

Musikkollegium Winterthur

MDG 901 1636

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SCHUBERT
Rosamunde

Serena Malfi / Alt / Schweizer Kammerchor / Musikkollegium Winterthur

MDG 901 1633-6

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

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

SPCA B000P91PGY
2006

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STRAUSS, R
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme/Vier letzte Lieder

Musikkollegium Winterthur / Lisa Larsson soprano

Scene DG

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

St Paul Chamber Orchestra

Koch Classics B000VAQY3G
October 2007

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

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Warner Classic
June 2006

DOUGLAS BOYD oboe

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Baroque Oboe Music

Academy Sound & Vision (ASV) CD 6560
1996

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BACH
Brandenburg Concerti No. 1 & 2

Abbado, Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Deutsche Grammophone (DG) 431 660

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BACH
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Deutsche Grammophone (DG) 429 225-2

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

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

ASV-CO 807

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MOZART
Oboe Concerto in C/Sinfonia Concertante in E flat

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Decca
September 2008

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MOZART/STRAUSS
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Decca
September 2008

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MOZART
Oboe and Clarinet Concertos/Sinfonia Concertante for Wind

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Teldec

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SCHUMANN
Works for Oboe and Piano

Douglas Boyd oboe, Maria Pires piano

Teldec

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VIVALDI
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Deutsche Gramaphon
December 1993

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VIVALDI / MARCELLO / HAYDN / MOZART
Oboe Concertos

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Quicksilva

Schedule

Date Location Repertoire Orchestra/Conductor
Jul 19, 2024 Garsington Opera
Wormsley Estate
View Site
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream Philharmonia Orchestra
Jul 28, 2024 Garsington Opera
Wormsley Estate
View Site
Andrew Norman: A trip to the Moon: A Community Opera: Philharmonia Orchestra
Jul 30, 2024 Garsington Opera
Wormsley Estate
View Site
Andrew Norman: A trip to the Moon: A Community Opera Philharmonia Orchestra
Jul 31, 2024 Garsington Opera
Wormsley Estate
View Site
Andrew Norman: A trip to the Moon: A Community Opera Philharmonia Orchestra

Audio

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Contact

Douglas Boyd

Groves Artists

7 St George’s Court

131 Putney Bridge Road

London

SW15 2PA

United Kingdom

T: +44(0)20 8874 3222

F: +44(0)20 8877 3113