Born in Sussex, England, Mark Wigglesworth studied music at Manchester University and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He won the Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in The Netherlands in 1989, and since then has worked with many of the leading orchestras and opera companies of the world.
In 1992 he became Associate Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and further appointments included Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Highlights of his time with the BBCNOW included several visits to the BBC Proms, a performance of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony at the prestigious Amsterdam Mahler Festival, and a six-part television series for the BBC entitled Everything To Play For.
In addition to concerts with most of the UK’s orchestras, Mark Wigglesworth has guest conducted many of Europe’s finest ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic; Amsterdam Concertgebouw; La Scala Filarmonica, Milan; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Rome; Stockholm Philharmonic; Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He has been just as busy in North America having been invited to the Cleveland Orchestra; New York Philharmonic; Philadelphia Orchestra; Chicago Symphony; Los Angeles Philharmonic; San Francisco Symphony; Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal; Toronto Symphony; and the Boston Symphony. He often visits the Minnesota Orchestra, and has an on-going relationship with the New World Symphony. Further a field he regularly works with the Symphony Orchestras of Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Tokyo.
Mark has a commitment to making music with young people. Having conducted the Dutch National Youth Orchestra on several occasions since 1990 he has collaborated with many of Holland’s finest musicians from the earliest stages of their careers. Passionate about passing on his experiences to a younger generation, he has also performed with the European Union Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, as well as giving Conducting Masterclasses in London, Stockholm, and Amsterdam.
Equally at home in the Opera House, Mark Wigglesworth started his operatic career with a period as Music Director of Opera Factory, London. Since then he has worked regularly at Glyndebourne (Peter Grimes, La Boheme, Le Nozze di Figaro); Welsh National Opera (Elektra, The Rake’s Progress, Tristan und Isolde); and English National Opera (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Cosi fan Tutte, Falstaff, Katya Kabanova, Parsifal). He has conducted at the Netherlands Opera (Peter Grimes); La Monnaie (Mitridate, Wozzeck, Gurrelieder, Pelleas et Melisande); The Sydney Opera House (Peter Grimes, Don Giovanni); The Metropolitan Opera, New York (Le Nozze di Figaro); and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg).
In the studio, Mark’s recordings have centred around a project with BIS Records to record all the symphonies of Shostakovich. This cycle has received critical acclaim throughout the world. Live performances of Mahler’s Sixth and Tenth Symphonies have been issued by the Melbourne Symphony on the MSO Live label, and the Brahms Piano Concertos played by Stephen Hough and the Mozarteum Orchestra are available on the Hyperion label.
Future highlights include returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Tokyo Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Sydney and Melbourne symphony orchestras, a BBC Prom with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Owen Wingrave at the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals.
In 2015, Mark becomes Music Director of English National Opera.