Duncan takes the baton at Viva

Duncan Ward
Duncan Ward

British conductor Duncan Ward has been appointed principal conductor of Derby-based professional orchestra Sinfonia Viva.

The 25-year-old will be taking up the post in January 2015 for a minimum initial contract of two years.

He has been based in Berlin for the past two years as conducting scholar of the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester-Akademie, to which he was appointed on the recommendation of Sir Simon Rattle in 2012.

Sinfonia Viva chief executive Peter Helps commented: “We are delighted that Duncan has joined us as principal conductor. His breadth of skills as both a conductor and composer have already made a huge impact on the orchestral world and he is the perfect fit for Sinfonia Viva.”

Duncan Ward added: “Viva is an exciting ensemble with a fresh and dynamic outlook on what it means to be an orchestra today.

“I look forward to bringing the various diverse passions of my musical life into partnership with the similarly ever-curious virtuosi of the orchestra to create some really exciting and innovative music making.”

Orchestra leader Benedict Holland concluded: “As an orchestra, we pride ourselves on being able to embrace new opportunities and ways of working to make classical music accessible.

“As musicians, we all work with orchestras nationally and internationally, but this orchestra is our first love and I am sure that Duncan will quickly become part of the Viva family and bring his own vibrancy to our music making”.

His first concert as principal conductor will be in Derby Cathedral on Sunday, January 10, featuring Britten’s Les Illuminations. with soprano Rebecca Bottone.

His appointment is sponsored by the Nottingham City Gate branch of International Bank, Handelsbanken.  

Sinfonia Viva is a virtuoso ensemble delivering original and extraordinary creative musical experiences. Founded in 1982, Sinfonia Viva has a national reputation as a leader in creative music activity in the UK.