Over a more than 30-year association, Nicholas Braithwaite, who was the ASO’s Principal Conductor between 1987 and 1991, has conducted a vast and wide-ranging repertoire in hundreds of concerts, as well as radio broadcasts and recordings.
Amongst his recordings with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra are Shostakovich’s Symphonies 6, 7, 8, and 9, Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Li Wei Qin and Sea Songs with Elizabeth Campbell, and Organ Concertos with Simon Preston.
Widely admired and regarded as a musician of distinction and person of great character and integrity, Nicholas Braithwaite enjoys a special relationship with the members of the ASO and its audiences.
ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello said he was thrilled that Mr Braithwaite had agreed to accept the title. “Working with Nicholas Braithwaite is always a great pleasure. He is not only a remarkable musician but a wonderful person,” he said.
“He is one of the ASO’s greatest friends and collaborators; conferring the title of Conductor Laureate on him is a small gesture of thanks for his great music making and advocacy of the ASO. It is a friendship that will endure.
“We look forward to celebrating this new title and to his Symphony Series and Matinee Series concerts in 2022,” said Mr Ciccarello.
Mr Braithwaite said he was honoured to be recognised in this way. “I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed the Conductor Laureate of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, with whom I have had the inestimable pleasure of working in one capacity or another since the early 80s,” he said.
“My wife and I decided to make Adelaide our base of operations at the end of the 80s (why would anyone live anywhere else?!) and since then I have watched the orchestra grow to its present stature as a truly first-class ensemble with pleasure and not a little sense of vicarious pride.”
“To be associated with the ASO in the twilight years of my career is a great honour and an even greater joy. It is an orchestra where devotion to the realisation of the best musical outcome absolutely is the driving force.”
“They care about the music, and they care about it passionately. Music most definitely is the food of love in the ASO – so yes, play on,” said Mr Braithwaite.
Born in London, Nicholas Braithwaite completed his formal musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music, at the Festival Master classes in Bayreuth, and with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna. Nicholas Braithwaite’s career has been unusually wide-ranging, both musically and geographically.
He has held positions as Music Director or Principal Conductor from Norway to New Zealand and many places in between, including the Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras.
His repertoire has centred around German and Russian music and he is regarded as an outstanding Wagner conductor, having conducted all of that composer’s works from Rienzi onwards, including seven Ring Cycles.
Concurrently with his Australian activities he was Principal Conductor of the Manchester Camerata. Other orchestral appointments have included Permanent Guest Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and Associate Conductor to Constantin Silvestri with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
A frequent guest conductor for all the major orchestras in the UK, he also toured Japan and Korea with the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Associate Conductor to Sir Georg Solti.
He has appeared with, among others, the Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre National de France, the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Odense Symphony, Aarhus Symphony, Aalborg Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Queensland Orchestra, West Australian Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony and the Collegium Musicum Copenhagen.
Nicholas Braithwaite has conducted more than 80 operas, holding appointments as Associate Principal Conductor of Sadler’s Wells/English National Opera, Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Musiksjef of Gothenberg’s Stora Teater. As guest he has also conducted opera at Covent Garden, Hamburg, Norwegian Opera, Scottish and Welsh National Operas, and many companies in Australasia.
With Lyrita Recorded Edition he has released more than 30 CDs of music by English composers, conducting the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, and Philharmonia Orchestras.
His is recording of Wordsworth’s Symphonies No. 2 & 3 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra won a 1991 Record of the Year Award from Gramophone Magazine, and his recording of Flute Concertos with Alexa Still and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra for Koch was nominated for a 1992 Grammy award in the USA.
For more information about the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, visit: www.aso.com.au for details.
Image: Conductor Laureate Nicholas Braithwaite – photo by Claudio Raschella