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Elder, Mark (Philip)

Elder, Mark (Philip)

Elder, Mark (Philip), prominent English conductor; b. Hexham, June 2, 1947. He studied in Bryanston and played bassoon in the National Youth Orch. before pursuing his education at the Univ. of Cambridge (B.A., M.A.). In 1969–70 he was on the music staff of the Wexford Festival. In 1970 he became an asst. conductor at the Glyndebourne Festival, serving as chorus master until 1972. From 1972 to 1974 he was a staff conductor at the Australian Opera in Sydney. In 1974 he became a conductor at the English National Opera in London. He made his debut at London’s Covent Garden in 1976 conducting Rigoletto. In 1977 he became assoc. conductor at the English National Opera, and subsequently served as its music director from 1979 to 1993. During his tenure there, Elder conducted the British premieres of several operas by masters of the past as well as the world premieres of operas by contemporary composers. From 1980 to 1983 he was principal guest conductor of the London Mozart Players, and, from 1982 to 1985, of the BBC Sym. Orch. in London. In 1981 he made his first appearance at the Bayreuth Festival conducting Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. He made his U.S. debut as a guest conductor of the Chicago Sym. Orch. in 1983. In 1988 he conducted Le Nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. From 1989 to 1994 he was music director of the Rochester (N.Y.) Phil. From 1992 to 1995 he was principal guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Sym. Orch. In 1999 he became music director of the Halle Orch. in Manchester. In 1989 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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