Biography

Martin André enjoys working equally in the opera house and the concert hall, all over the world.

After learning the violin and piano at the Yehudi Menuhin School, he studied music at Cambridge University, and made his professional début conducting Aida for Welsh National Opera in 1982. Recently he celebrated 30 years of conducting operas and concerts in nearly 30 countries.

Martin André has a very wide operatic repertoire, but is particularly known for his Janáček, Verdi and Mozart. He has the rare distinction of being the only conductor to have performed for all the major British opera companies, including Un Ballo in maschera (Royal Opera House), the U.K. premiere of Matthus’ Cornet Christoph Rilke and The Makropoulos Case (Glyndebourne Touring Opera), Léhar, Mozart and Janáček (Scottish Opera), Prokofiev, Mozart, and the world premiere of John Buller’s Bakxai (English National Opera). During the past decade, he has enjoyed a close relationship with Opera North, conducting operas by Martinů, Falla, Rachmaninov, Puccini, Verdi, Gounod and Janáček. In 2000 he conducted a live broadcast of The Marriage of Figaro for BBC TV. With Garsington Opera he has conducted operas by Stravinsky, Martinů, Mozart and Humperdinck. From 1993-96, Martin was Music Director of English Touring Opera.

In 1986 he began conducting operas in the international arena, starting with the North American premiere of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead (Vancouver Opera). He made his début in the United States with Carmen (Seattle Opera).  Since then, he has been regularly appearing in the following countries: Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa and USA.

In the symphonic world, he also has an extremely varied and long list of repertoire, but particularly enjoys the works of Mozart, Nielsen, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. He has enjoyed long relationships with Limburgs Symfonie Orkest (Holland), Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música (Portugal), Collegium Musicum Bergen (Norway). He has worked with many of the major British orchestras, and abroad in Australia, Israel, Mexico, as well as with other orchestras in Holland, Norway and Portugal.

Martin is passionate about helping the next generation of musicians, especially conductors: he has been closely associated with the Royal College of Music (London) since 2000, and is a Fellow of the College. He visits the RCM regularly as part of the 4 Year Orchestra Repertoire Training Programme that he created for them recently. In 2006 Martin created the National Youth Orchestra of Portugal, (named Momentum Perpetuum), which he managed for 5 years, including a triumphant tour of Italy: the first Portuguese orchestra of any kind to visit Italy.

From 2010 until 2013, he was Artistic Director of Teatro Nacional de Saõ Carlos, Lisbon. As such, he was the Chief Executive of 2 major Portuguese Cultural Institutions: the National Opera Company and the National Symphony Orchestra. As well as all his administrative duties, he conducted several new opera productions, including a Trilogy of La traviata, Il trovatore and Rigoletto to celebrate Verdi’s Anniversary in 2013. He also had a close rapport with the symphony orchestra, conducting a cycle of the complete Mozart symphonies in one weekend, and numerous large-scale symphonic and choral works by Bruckner, Janáček, Sibelius, Strauss, Tchaikovsky and many others.

Since finishing his 3 year contract in Lisbon, Martin has completed 2 major operatic projects in Denmark: Lucia di Lammermoor and L'amico Fritz for Den Jyske Opera, using 5 different Danish orchestras in nationwide tours. He made his debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Singers (World Premiere of A Christmas Carol by Neil Brand), returned to Porto and Funchal many times, continued his projects at the Royal College of Music, made 2 visits to the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, and moved from London to Amsterdam.

2017 promises to be a very exciting year. Martin will return to the Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon to conduct 2 very intense operas: Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg coupled with Leoncavallo's iconic I pagliacci. This double bill will be staged by Nicola Raab. Later in the year, he will return to Opera North to conduct 2 operas: L'enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel) and Osud (Janacek) which continues his deep association with the Czech composer. At the end of 2017 he will conduct a Massenet opera (Cendrillon, one of his favourites!) at the Royal Northern College in Manchester, teaming up with stage director Olivia Fuchs, with whom he had such success at Garsington Opera with Rake's Progress, Magic Flute and Hansel und Gretel.
On the concert platform, Martin will return to Madeira and Porto (where he will celebrate his 50th concert with the orchestra in May). 

 

 

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Martin André