Adrian Brown

Adrian Brown comes from a distinguished line of Sir Adrian Boult’s most gifted pupils.  After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in London, he studied intensively with Sir Adrian for some years.  He remains the only British conductor to have reached the finals of the Karajan Conductors’ Competition: in fact, the Berlin Philharmonic was the first professional orchestra he conducted.  Sir Adrian wrote: ‘He has always impressed me as a musician of exceptional attainments who has all the right gifts and ideas to make him a first-class conductor.’

In 1992 Adrian was engaged to conduct one of the great orchestras of the world: St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1998 Sir Roger Norrington recommended him to conduct the Camerata Salzburg, one of Europe’s foremost chamber orchestras.  In addition, Adrian has conducted many leading British orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta.  He is also a great proponent of contemporary music and has several first performances to his credit.

In 1972 Adrian was appointed Music Director of Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra a position from which he stood down in March 2013 after 40 years. In honour of this, a Celebratory Concert was held in Cadogan Hall.  Working with young musicians has also been an area where Adrian Brown has made a valuable contribution to British musical life, as well as in Europe, Japan and the Philippines. He has frequently conducted both the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the National Youth Wind Orchestra.  He regularly runs courses for young musicians, coaches gifted young conductors and was given the Novello Award for Youth Orchestras at the 1989 Edinburgh Festival.

His many most memorable engagements have included Tippett’s Child of Our Time, Verdi’s Requiem and almost the entire oeuvre of Berlioz, Elgar and Vaughan Williams, all much admired. He received rave reviews in The Guardian for a performance of Strauss’s Feuersnot with the Chelsea Opera Group and for his Ein Heldenleben.  In his 60th Birthday Year, 2009, Adrian was appointed Music Director of Huntingdonshire Philharmonic. He also had a major success conducting the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra in Vilnius in a nationally-broadcast concert. Bromley Symphony honoured him with a 30th Anniversary/60th Birthday concert in November, where he was presented with a Vaughan Williams autograph letter.

In 2013 Adrian retired from Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra and honoured with being one of three National Figures nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award by ‘Music Teacher’ and Classic FM.  In the summer of 2013 he was awarded the ‘Making Music’ NFMS Lady Hilary Groves Prize for services to Community Music, a much appreciated and admired honour. 

The 2014-2015 season included a return to the Royal Orchestral Society after a much praised Concert in 2014 and a 35th season with Bromley Symphony conducting Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 amongst a varied programme. His on-going success with the Southgate Orchestra saw an Eroica and the César Franck Symphonies. Two Concerts with the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra took place in St. James’ Piccadilly and he carried on his devoted and much loved work with Waveney Sinfonia and performed with Huntingdon Philharmonic where he gave a concert marking the outbreak of World War I, conducting The Spirit of England and Vaughan Williams.  Adrian also gave a lecture to the Berlioz Society and another on the subject of his teacher, Sir Adrian Boult, to the Elgar Society.  He completed his project of performing Berlioz’s Les Troyens.

The 2015-2016 season included a performance in St John’s, Smith Square of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Royal Orchestral Society, Sibelius’s Symphony No. 4 and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 with Bromley Symphony and a continuing association with the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra giving concerts in London.  A major event will be a performance of Delius’ Cello Concerto with Daniel Benn and Elgar/Payne’s Symphony No. 3 with Southgate Symphony - an orchestra growing in expertise and reputation. 

“No histrionics here - just honest music-making of quality. Adrian Brown conducted a superb reading of Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony which was excellently played to a very high technical standard. There is always something special about such music when it has obviously been so thoroughly rehearsed.”
Alexander Leonard, Musical Opinion