Chorus Director

Michael Bawtree

A musician with a wide-ranging international career, British conductor and organist Michael Bawtree has directed the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and many performances for Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet and Raymond Gubbay Limited across the British Isles. In Scotland, he has conducted La Clemenza di Tito, Albert Herring, The Okavango Macbeth, Falstaff and King Arthur; for seven years, he was Assistant Music Director of the Lyrique-en-Mer summer opera festival in Brittany, where he worked on productions of operas by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Donizetti. He assisted Martyn Brabbins for a production of Louis Andriessen’s opera La Commedia with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and will again work alongside Brabbins for a performance of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Last Supper in Glasgow.

For eleven seasons Bawtree has been Chorus Director of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union and Music Director of Glasgow Chamber Choir. He has also worked with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the RSNO chorus and toured with other choirs across Europe, North America, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include concerts in Australia, Sweden, Holland, Germany, the Faroe Islands and France. He conducted the RSNO at the Commonwealth Games’ Celebration concert and at recent Hogmanay Gala concerts in Glasgow. He made his debut at the Royal Albert Hall last yearconducting Mozart’Requiem with the London Philharmonic Choir, and performed the same work at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in November.  

Bawtree spent the summer of 2014 living in Mumbai, directing a choral project with 250 children from all walks of life: slum children sang alongside the most privileged on the stage of the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Last month, he travelled to Bribane to direct a choral project at the Queensland Conservatorium. Earlier this year, he directed the music for Janice Kerbel’s Turner Prize-nominated work ‘DOUG’ over a four-month period at the Tramway in Glasgow. A keen advocate of contemporary music, Bawtree has conducted many premieres and works regularly with Scotland’s foremost composers including the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sir James MacMillan, Thea Musgrave and Sally Beamish. 

Michael Bawtree studied music and the organ at Christ’s College, Cambridge University, and conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As organist and continuo player, he has performed with the London Symphony, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestras including concerts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival. Organ recital invitations have taken Bawtree to all the major British cathedrals, Westminster Abbey, Notre-Dame de Paris, Washington National Cathedral and across the USA and Scandinavia.

Follow him on Twitter: @michaeljbawtree