Wednesday22January 2020


The Festival d’Aix-en-Provence is proud to announce that Duncan Ward, the young and talented British conductor, will serve for three years as the very first music director of the symphonic session of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra. He will lead the young musicians until 2022, with the participation of instrumentalists from the London Symphony Orchestra. We invite you to join us for the traditional MYO concert on 16 July at Scène 55 (Mougins), on 17 July at the Grand Théâtre de Provence (Aix-en-Provence) and on 18 July at the Festival Radio France (Montpellier).

The exciting and versatile conductor and composer, Duncan Ward is greatly in demand and works regularly with leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. He has also conducted youth orchestras such as the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester-Akademie. He has collaborated repeatedly with the conductor Sir Simon Rattle, with whom he conducted a production of Stockhausen’s Gruppen. At the 2017 Festival d’Aix, he replaced Conductor Daniel Harding on short notice with the Orchestre de Paris for a concert devoted to Stravinsky, Schubert and Beethoven. A great fan of both classical and contemporary repertoires, he also participates in more unusual projects. This season, he will be conducting the German premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Cologne Opera.

Duncan Ward, who is committed to the struggle against inequality, cofounded the WAM Foundation, which sends young British musicians every year to teach Western classical music in schools in India with a view to creating new vocations. He is also involved in the South African non-profit organization MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment), for which he directed a series of concerts in 2018 to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

In 2020, as music director of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra, he will be directing a hundred young adults from all cultural backgrounds in an ambitious programme mixing works by Mussorgsky and Ravel, Dutilleux and the young Spanish composer Francisco Coll. Overflowing with new ideas and energy, Duncan Ward strives to do things differently and to project a thoroughly modern image of both classical music and orchestras. Many surprises and new discoveries await the musicians (and the audience!) of this symphonic session, which is sure to be innovative.