There is nothing quite like the thrill of tense anticipation which runs through an opera house as the lights dim, the tuning-up and chattering stops abruptly, applause greets the conductor, and the first notes of the overture sound from the orche stra pit. Many of the greatest operatic composers have taken full advantage of this magnificent opportunity to mesmerize an audience and to set the musical scene before the curtain actually goes up.
Born into a musical family, his grandfather (Rutland Boughton) a composer, his father a professional viola player and his mother was a singer. After studies, at New England Conservatory (Boston), Guildhall School of Music (London) and Prague Academy as a cellist, he entered the profession in London playing with the Royal Philharmonic, BBC and London Sinfonietta.
The experience of playing in orchestras led to a passion to pursue a career in conducting and decided to return to studies firstly with George Hurst and then with Sir Colin Davis. In 1980 he formed the English Symphony Orchestra.
With the ESO he built a significant discography of internationally acclaimed recordings with Nimbus Records - predominantly of English music.