Leader

Soloist, conductor and composer, Peter Fender has been leader of the NLSO since 2011. Born in York, he studied music at the City University in London and has since worked as a freelance violinist, both in Britain and around the world, variously as a soloist, orchestral leader and chamber musician.

Since 2007, when he founded Philharmonia Britannica, conducting has been a major part of Peter’s life, and he is currently musical director also of the Angel Orchestra in Islington, the Mid-Sussex Sinfonia, Opera Nova and Another Opera. Besides Britain, he has conducted in Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and Romania. Through Philharmonia Britannica in particular he seeks to combine music with other art forms, such as drama, poetry, dance, video and even comedy.

Recent highlights have included playing all Mozart’s symphonies over a weekend, visiting Sicily with the Angel Orchestra – with which he has carried out exchanges with other groups in Italy – and conducting a performance of Elgar’s violin concerto with the virtuoso Swiss soloist Alexandre Dubach. Forthcoming projects include operas by Handel. Rameau and Milhaud, and a rare performance of the first symphony of the 19th century French composer Louise Farrenc, who was hightly regarded in her time but is little heard today.

Depsite this busy schedule, Peter has found time to write music of his own, and a recording of his compositions called Speechless, which includes works with solo parts for cello, saxophone and mezzo-soprano, has been released.

In addition, Peter teaches the violin to children and adults and leads conducting workshops in London, including days when non-musicians can be introduced to the conductor’s art.

And in his spare moments he pursues a keen interest in the Italian language and Italian culture.