Principal Conductor

John Traill

John Traill specialises in symphonic and contemporary repertoires, and he is committed to making music accessible to all. Director and Lecturer in Music at St. Anne's College, University of Oxford, John has performed across the UK and overseas, with orchestras that include the London Mozart Players, the Oxford Philomusica, the Sofia New Symphony Orchestra, the Kharkov Philharmonic, the SCAR Philharmonic, and the Curitiba Symphony (Brazil). His work with leading contemporary music ensembles includes the London Sinfonietta, CHROMA, the New Music Players, London Contemporary Music Group, Sounds Underground, and the Moscow Studio for New Music. He has performed at many major venues, most recently conducting premieres at the Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham, the Barbican, the Southbank Centre, and the Fergusson Centre (Virginia).

John is conductor of the RWCMD Contemporary Music Ensemble, Ensemble ISIS (the University of Oxford new music group), the City of Southampton Orchestra, the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra, Newbury Symphony Orchestra, and the Oxford Proms Orchestra.

Early training with Rossen Milanov at the Mt. Vitosha International Conducting Institute, Bulgaria (1998/2000) culminated in winning major prizes at the Leeds Conductors Competition (2005), and the Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (2006). At the same time, John studied composition with Robert Saxton at the University of Oxford, becoming the youngest recipient, in 2006, of a DPhil in this field. He has been hailed for his strong interpretative instinct (Guardian), and his interests span compositional method through to the physicality of performance.

John regularly lectures and leads workshops on conducting, at both Oxford University and at the RWCMD, where he also tutors on the subjects that surround composition. His pioneering work in outreach, with the Oxfordshire Music Service's Advanced Musicianship Programme, has developed collaboration between the University of Oxford and young musicians. John has conducted numerous recording projects, most recently Thomas Hyde's Autumnal, released on Guild Records in 2012, following on from the premier of the composers' Scherzo Capriccioso, broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

John's compositions are performed regularly in Britain and the USA. Recent performances include Three Songs for the Britten Centenary (2012: St. Martin in the Fields, London), Oxonia for massed childrens choir, symphony orchestra, brass band, and solo cello (2011-12: Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham), Today for tenor and chamber orchestra (2010: Fergusson Centre, Virginia), and Concerto for Ensemble (2010: Northwestern, Chicago). His most frequently performed works are Five Piano Minatures and Dissolving Fragments for Violin and Piano. John is currently working on a massed ensemble commission for the Oxfordshire County Music Service, to mark the WWI centenary, to be premiered at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in March 2014.

Guest Conductors

Each season, the orchestra welcomes a guest conductor to rehearse and conduct one of their concerts. Conductors interested in this opportunity should contact the Chair to discuss further, supplying their CV and a video of their conducting, if at all possible.