Philip Hesketh has a very busy and varied musical life, currently holding musical directorships with the West London Sinfonia and The Norfolk Symphony Orchestra as well as the French Festival Opéra de Baugé, the touring company Opera Vera and The London Children’s Ballet. He also makes regular appearances as guest conductor in Britain and abroad. He is to be seen most often in the concert hall and is known for his wide knowledge of orchestral music. He is, however, always looking forward to the next new piece – fortunately, the richness of this repertoire means there is an inexhaustible supply of these.
His first professional post was as a cellist with the Orchestra of the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet (later the Birmingham Royal Ballet) and ballet has remained an important part of his life. He has conducted for some of the greatest dancers and companies in the world including the Royal Ballet in Covent Garden and the Swedish Royal Ballet in Stockholm. Since 1998 he has been Musical Director of the London Children’s Ballet.
In 2004 he conducted a production of Flotow’s Martha for the French festival Opéra de Baugé, since when he has been their Musical Director. The Summer of 2019 will see him in France conducting Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. In Autumn 2018 he was in America conducting performances of West Side Story for The University of Colorado as part of the “Bernstein at 100” celebrations. Philip is also Musical Director of the touring company Opera Vera, with whom he has recently conducted all three of Mozart’s great “Da Ponte” operas, Puccini’s La Boheme and the World Premiere of Danyal Dhondi’s Shahrazad.
As a performing musician, Philip is very keen to break down traditional barriers, both between audiences and performers and between classical music lovers and those who have yet to discover the pleasure that it offers. He is much in demand as a communicator on all aspects of classical music, from its history and meaning to the practicalities and pitfalls of live performance – subjects he finds endlessly entertaining, exciting, enlightening, and ennobling.