Martin André

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Martin André enjoys equally working in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world. He is a co-founder of Artisti con brio‚ a group of like-minded musicians living and working throughout Europe‚ who come together to create special projects. After learning violin and piano at the Yehudi Menuhin School‚ he studied music at Cambridge and made his professional début conducting Aida for Welsh National Opera. He recently 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 Janácek‚ Verdi and Mozart. He has the rare distinction of being the only conductor to have performed with 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 Janácek (Scottish Opera)‚ Prokofiev‚ Mozart‚ and the world premiere of John Buller’s Bakxai (English National Opera). During the past 2 decades‚ he has enjoyed a close relationship with Opera North‚ conducting many new productions by Falla‚ Gounod‚ Janácek‚ Lehár‚ Martinu‚ Puccini‚ Rachmaninov‚ Ravel and Verdi. In 2000 he conducted a live broadcast of The Marriage of Figaro for BBC TV. With Garsington Opera he has conducted operas by Stravinsky‚ Martinu‚ 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 Janácek’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 appeared regularly in Austria‚ Canada‚ Czech Republic‚ Denmark‚ Germany‚ Holland‚ Israel‚ Italy‚ New Zealand‚ Portugal‚ South Africa and USA.

In the symphonic world‚ he enjoys an equally full and varied repertoire‚ particularly enjoying the works of Haydn‚ Nielsen‚ Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. He has enjoyed long relationships with Limburgs Symfonie Orkest (Holland)‚ Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música (Portugal) and 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 a close association with the Royal College of Music (London)‚ where he is a Fellow. He visits the RCM regularly as part of the 4 Year Orchestra Repertoire Training Programme that he created. In 2006 Martin created the National Youth Orchestra of Portugal‚ 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 traviataIl trovatore and Rigoletto to celebrate Verdi’s Anniversary in 2013. He also created 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 such composers as Bruckner‚ Janácek‚ Sibelius‚ Strauss and Tchaikovsky.

Since leaving 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 in the 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 and made two visits to the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Most recently Martin made a triumphant return to the Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon to conduct Der Zwerg and I pagliacci and continued his long relationship with Opera North with L’enfant et les sortilèges and Osud‚ receiving plaudits from both public and critics. He also conducted Cendrillon at the Royal Northern College in Manchester. On the concert platform‚ Martin celebrated his 50th concert with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto.

2018 is a season in 2 halves- during the first part Martin focuses on a wide range of symphonic repertoire‚ whilst the second part of the year is more operatic with The Merry Widow at Opera North and Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi with the Royal Northern College of Music.

The Merry Widow‚ Opera North

Conductor Martin André was sensitive to the more subtle sections of the orchestration‚ and naturally the waltzes got the full treatment.
Lehár’s rich orchestral palette is lifted from the pages of the score by the Orchestra of Opera North and Martin André: unmissable.

BachTrack (October 2018)

Conductor Martin André deserved the rapturous applause at the end.

Newcastle Chronicle (October 2018)

Martin André conducted the Opera North orchestra with such colour and schwung that it practically became a character in its own right.

The Spectator (October 2018)

The orchestra of Opera North is on top form under Martin André‚ producing a gorgeous swell of sound and doing full justice to Lehár’s superb orchestration.

Yorkshire Times (October 2018)

Osud‚ Opera North

Both operas (L’enfant and Osud) are supported with faultless performances by Opera North’s orchestra - in each case led by Martin André‚ a veteran conductor and noted Janacek specialist.

Manchester Evening News (November 2017)

The music is stunning and the orchestra of Opera North and Martin André gave it real heart.

Planet Hugill (November 2017)

Martin André made a masterful contribution to the matching of these 2 diverse works.

Seen & Heard International (November 2017)

Martin André‚ conducting‚ and the large ensemble cast and Opera North orchestra put the strongest case for this irresistible oddity. Osud: a score of glorious amplitude to a libretto (the composer’s own) of chaotic opacity. This 3 act work makes essential listening.

The Guardian (November 2017)

Martin André’s conducting captures all the music’s nervous energy.

The Telegraph (November 2017)

Superb choruses and punchy energised orchestral playing under Martin André

The Times (November 2017)

L’enfant et les sortilèges‚ Opera North

Martin André and the orchestra contributed the colours and sophistication of the score to make up the whole.

Planet Hugill (October 2017)

Musically it was enchanting to hear‚ the Orchestra of Opera North creating a whimsical soundworld under André.

The Arts Desk (October 2017)

Conductor Martin André brings the score beautifully to life.

The Guardian (October 2017)

Martin André conducted with the gusto that is often lacking when people tackle this piece‚ and he brought the work to a close that was both charming and moving.

The Spectator (October 2017)

The orchestra under Martin André provides washes of beautifully vivid colour‚ and the singers plainly enjoyed the romp as much as the audience.

The Telegraph (October 2017)

Martin André’s conducting is crucial to its success.

York Press (October 2017)

Der Zwerg‚ Teatro Sao Carlos‚ Lisbon

But the star of the evening is the music and the orchestration by Zemlinsky: excellent work from Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesesa and Martin André.


Bangkok Symphony Ballet Spectacular

The Bangkok Symphony Orchestra itself played superbly‚ the versatility for which it is known shining through in a programme of 14 very distinct items -- ranging from Mozart’s transparently textured Seraglio Overture to Mascagni’s charged‚ impassioned outbursts in the Intermezzo from his verismo opera L’amico Fritz. English maestro Martin André steered the players expertly through a demanding evening‚ involving the very careful pacing of vastly contrasting tempi in order to coordinate precisely with the choreography on stage.

Bangkok Post (September 2016)

RCM with English concert in Gloucester Cathedral

(Vaughan Williams)...Right from the magically hushed opening chords I dared to hope that we were in for a special performance and I was not disappointed. Martin André paced and balanced the music with great understanding. Tonight’s performance was an experience that I would not have missed for anything.
(Howells Cello Concerto) Guy Johnston was a fine advocate for the concerto and received excellent support form Martin André and the orchestra.

Seen & Heard International (July 2016)

Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams‚ eased ever so gently into life by the RCMSO Strings under Martin André‚ seemed to breathe from the very stones and arches of Gloucester Cathedral (the same venue as the world premiere in 1910).

The Telegraph (July 2016)

...all immaculately played by the RCMSO under its conductor Martin André.

The Times (July 2016)

Iphigénie en Tauride‚ English Touring Opera

Martin André has Gluck’s seamless flow between recitative and aria at his fingertips‚ underpinned by an unflagging sense of pace and spaciousness.

Classical Source (March 2016)

All ably conducted by Martin André‚ bringing clarity to this marvellous opera that lies beyonf the baroque tradition.

Mark Ronan Theatre Reviews (March 2016)

Martin André and the orchestra impressed with the sense of style and contained passion that they brought to the music. Some stylish "Historically Informed Peformance" elements merging with playing of real strength.

Planet Hugill (March 2016)

It’s often considered Gluck’s masterpiece‚ and the dramtically engaged conducting of Martin André plus the committed playing of ETO´s substantial orchestra make a good case for it.

The Stage (March 2016)

Martin André’s conducting is robustly virile: its honesty and energy are admirable.

The Telegraph (March 2016)

Martin André conducts an elegant yet taut account that allows well-defined characterisations to emerge.

What’s on Stage (March 2016)

Musically it is terrific: Martin André conducts with fierce passion throughout. It is a remarkable piece of music theatre that arouses pity and terror - as classical tragedy always should.

The Guardian (January 2016)

L’amico Fritz‚ Den Jyske Opera

...evocative moments‚ both dramtic and melodic‚ both juicy and poetic‚ filled the auditorium from the orchestra‚ which had a fine premiere in Odense with Martin André

Arhus Herald-Tribune (November 2015)

Just like last season with Lucia‚ Martin André got expressive playing from the Copenhagen Philharmonic.

Dagblad (November 2015)

Under Martin André’s direction‚ the Odense Symfoniorkest shaped all the nuances and shades of Mascagni’s score.

Funen Herald-Tribune (November 2015) could also enjoy how Martin André got the Odense Symfoniorkest to sound soulful for long periods.

Kristeligt Dagblad (November 2015)

the cast of singers are on happy melodic ground‚ eminently directed by Martin André.

Kultur (November 2015)

Lucia‚ Den Jyske Opera

Musically the performance is excellent: Conductor Martin André shapes the orchestral playing sensitively; he has a great sense of the bel canto style‚ and good contact and rappore with the singers on stage.

AOA Guide (March 2014)

Musically this was a great pleasure‚ since conductor Martin André and South Jutland Symphony Orchestra played Donizetti’s delicious notes to a very high standard.

Flensborg Avis (March 2014)

Under the expert guidance of Martin André‚ the Odense Symfoniorkster porved once again that they have become a fine opera orchestra.

Fyens Stiftstidende (March 2014)

The Aarhus Symfoniorkster played securely and beautifully. The sound of the orchestra was homogenous and accomplished under the riveting diretion of Martin André‚ under whom they played very convincingly.

Kristeligt Dagblad (March 2014)

Hansel und Gretel‚ Garsington Opera

The orchestral sound had plenty of colour and character‚ expertly brought out by Martin André.

Classical Source (July 2013)

The Garsington Orchestra was in the dependable hands of Martin André‚ who paced the score nicely‚ gave the players and singers room to breathe‚ and presided over a genial reading of this rewarding music. So we go from the evocative horn calls that start the evening (beautifully played)‚ through the Wagnerian witches ride‚ to the beautiful and deceptively simple harmonies of the childrens’ evening prayer and the fourteen angels who are to guard over them. André proved to be alive to all these changing moods and textures‚ and shaped the melodic contours of this lovely opera with skill and sensitivity‚ helped by some fine playing‚ especially in the luminescent quieter passages. A word too for the skilful orchestral elision that allowed Acts One and Two to be played without a break - as with so much in this always interesting production‚ it felt entirely natural‚ and the onward narrative flow was enhanced.

Musical Criticism (July 2013)

Martin André brought his vast experience to the pit‚ and the superb Garsington Orchestra played Humperdinck’s inspiring‚ poetic music with exactly the right combination of romantic sweep and brooding menace. A wonderful evening.

MusicOMH (July 2013)

In the pit‚ Martin André drew warm and sophisticated playing from the Garsington Opera Orchestra. The opera is quite heavily scored‚ after all Humperdinck was a disciple of Wagner’s‚ but André ensured that the balance always worked well and that the singers were well supported but never had to struggle to dominate the orchestra. It is easy to dismiss Hänsel und Gretel as kitsch fun‚ but clearly André and Fuchs (stage director) took the opera seriously and drew very strong performances from the cast.

Opera Today (July 2013)

Garsington’s orchestra…the sheer character of the wind playing and the sweep of the strings. Conductor Martin André keeps up the pace‚ allowing the score to dance along‚ and the final chorus of rescue kids is simply terrific.

The Guardian (July 2013)

... but rather than suggesting menace‚ this surreality colludes with the beauty emanating from the pit (under Martin André’s direction) to create an atmosphere of serene contentment.

The Independent (July 2013)

Martin André’s conducting exactly complements the action in this refreshingly unschmaltzy production.

The Oxford Times (The Oxford Times)

The magical score is well served by the chamber-sized Garsington orchestra and conductor Martin Andre’s well-paced direction‚ helped by the acoustic of the splendid Wormsley pavilion‚ clearer than many opera houses.

The Stage (July 2013)

Mister Broucek‚ Scottish Opera

If you never see another Janácek opera see this one. Conductor Martin André is in his element with the blazing music. Superb lighting and production: a stunning night.

The Herald (April 2010)

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