Martin André enjoys working equally in the opera house and the concert hall. 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 around the world.
Martin André British conductor
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 Martin André 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 withCarmen (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 André 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 was delighted to be made a Fellow of the College last year. He visits the RCM regularly to conduct large-scale projects involving orchestra and sometimes chorus, and enjoys working with all the sections of the orchestra (as well as the student conductors) in a collaborative environment to prepare the programmes for public performance.
In 2014 he started to work in a similar way with Trinity Laban Conservatoire. In 2006 Martin created the National Youth Orchestra of Portugal, (named Momentum Perpetuum), with whom he stayed for 5 years, which included a triumphant tour of Italy: the first orchestra from Portugal ever 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.
Martin André began 2014 with a major operatic project in Denmark, conducting Lucia di Lammermoor for Den Jyske Opera, with 5 different Danish orchestras and a nationwide tour of 19 performances. Concerts last year were in Porto (Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto, Casa da Música) and London (Royal College of Music), followed by Funchal (Orquestra Clássica da Madeira), and Trinity Conservatoire (London) featuring works by Lutoslawski and Panufnik. Later in the year he conducted a string orchestra for a Live Screening of the Movie ”Psycho” by Alfred Hitchcock, with music by Bernard Harrmann.
Martin André made his debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Singers, with a World Premiere of ”A Christmas Carol” by Neil Brand, which was performed and recorded for BBC Radios 3 and 4. The year ended, and 2015 started, in Funchal (Portugal) with the Orquestra Clássica da Madeira.
Engagements for 2015: Concerts in the UK with Trinity Laban (Bartók), Royal College of Music (Holst and Nielsen), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky). Concerts abroad with Collegium in Norway (Purcell and Elgar), Casa da Música, Porto (Mozart and Haydn) and Madeira (Brahms and Shostakovich) in Portugal, Thailand (Ballet music). He will return to Denmark with Mascagni’s opera ”L’amico Fritz”.