British conductor Nicholas Collon is recognized for his elegant conducting style, searching musical intellect and inspirational music-making. He is Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony (the first non-Finnish conductor ever to hold this post), Founder and Principal Conductor of the Aurora Orchestra, and was formerly Principal Guest of the Guerzenich Orchester (2017-2022); he will tour Europe with all three orchestras in the 22/23 season. From 2016-2021 he was Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orkest in Den Haag (latterly also Artistic Advisor).
In Summer 2022 he conducted both the Finnish Radio Symphony and the Aurora Orchestra at the BBC Proms - the latter for their 13th visit, continuing their hugely popular memorized performances. Collon’s plans in Helsinki in 22/23 include a focus on Rachmaninov, a residency with composer Brett Dean, as well as repertoire ranging from JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion to Mahler and Messiaen. He also leads the Aurora Orchestra in their residencies at Kings Place and at the Southbank, where they have reinvented the concert format with their ‘Orchestral Theatre’ Series. Together they appear regularly at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Cologne Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and festivals such as Bremen, Rheingau and Gstaad.
Collon makes his Vienna debut this season, leading the RSO Wien in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at the Wiener Konzerthaus, and gives the world premiere of Dean’s Evolution Cantata with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Hallé and CBSO choruses. Having conducted the Minnesota Orchestra for the first time in 2022, he returns to the USA this season for his debut with the New World Symphony.
Collon has conducted over 250 new works, including the UK or world premieres of works by Unsuk Chin, Brett Dean, Phillip Glass, Colin Matthews, Anna Meredith, Nico Muhly, Olivier Messiaen, Krzysztof Penderecki, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Judith Weir, and Du Yun. He is a regular guest of the Orchestre National de France, Danish National Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and has also conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, DSO Berlin, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestra of Europe amongst many others.
His first CD release with the Finnish Radio Symphony in Spring 2022 (Sibelius on Ondine) received 5-star reviews in Finland and internationally; in Autumn 2022 they released a CD of works by Thomas Adès which won a Diapason d'Or. Past recordings have included discs for Deutsche Grammophon and Warner with the Aurora Orchestra, with whom he won the Echo Klassik Award for ‘Klassik Ohne Grenzen’ in 2015; and discs with the Danish Radio Symphony, Philharmonia and Hallé orchestras.
Opera productions have included Peter Grimes and Don Giovanni for Oper Koeln, Magic Flute at English National Opera, Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream at Welsh National Opera, Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Turn of the Screw at the Aldeburgh Festival with Aurora Orchestra. Born in London, Nicholas is a violist, pianist and organist by training, and studied as Organ Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge.
Guest conducting engagements
Academy of Ancient Music
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse
Orchestre National de Lyon
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Spanish National Orchestra
Helsingin Sanomat, September 2021
“Collon’s music-making is fresh, natural and joyful…this view of Petrushka worked a treat. It sounded marvellously fresh and with lovingly polished details…a fantastic performance which left this critic wanting more.”
Hufvudstadsbladet, September 2021
“Collon represents a modern, intellectually agile and non-authoritarian type of conductor, for whom the joy of music- making is what matters… This was a powerfully vivid and witty interpretation, where every phrase and gesture was meaningful.”
The Times, August 2021
"playing that thrilled with danger, passion and fiery warmth." - Five Stars