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, London Mozart Players, Red Note Ensemble, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and many performances for Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet and Raymond Gubbay Ltd across the British Isles. For seven years, he was Assistant Music Director of the Lyrique-en-Mer summer opera festival in Brittany.
He is Principal Conductor of John Armitage Memorial (JAM), a trust promoting the commissioning and performance of new music. For thirteen 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, India, Sweden, Holland, Germany, the Faroe Islands and France. He conducted the RSNO at the Commonwealth Games Games’ Celebration concert and at recent Hogmanay Gala concerts in Glasgow. He made his debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015 conducting Mozart’s Requiem with the London Philharmonic Choir.
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. In September 2015, he travelled to Brisbane to direct a choral project at the Queensland Conservatorium. 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, Paul Mealor, 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, Bergen Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Scottish National and Scottish Chamber Orchestras including concerts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Audi Summer Concerts festival in Bavaria. Organ recital invitations have taken Bawtree to all the major British cathedrals, Westminster Abbey, Auckland Town Hall, Notre-Dame de Paris, Washington National Cathedral and across the USA and Scandinavia.