British conductor Duncan Ward is emerging as one of the most exciting talents of his generation. From 2012-14 he was Conducting Scholar of the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester-Akademie, to which he was appointed on the recommendation of Sir Simon Rattle. In 2015 he became Principal Conductor of Sinfonia Viva – one of the UK’s most dynamic and versatile ensembles, as well as holding the post of Associate Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Plans for the 2016/17 season include debuts with Bayerischer Rundfunk, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, MDR Leipzig, Ensemble Modern, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Aalborg Symphony, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and at the Lucerne Festival with the Festival Academy Orchestra, return visits to Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Bamberger Symphoniker, in addition to many and varied projects with Sinfonia Viva and assisting Sir Simon Rattle in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with London Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker.
He has recently made debuts with BBC Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, Glyndebourne on Tour (Don Pasquale), RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, New Japan Philharmonic, Basel Sinfonietta, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Luxembourg Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conducted a new Rolando Villazon production of La Traviata for Baden-Baden Festspielhaus.
Opportunities during his two years at the Berliner Philharmoniker included assisting and rehearsal conducting for Die Zauberflöte, Gurre-Lieder, Die Walküre, the Glagolitic Mass, Britten’s War Requiem, G.F.Haas ‘in vain’ and premieres by Wolfgang Rihm and Benedict Mason. He additionally conducted a special concert with the Berlin Philharmonic Strings to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, as well as a Webern concert with the principal players at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival and an all-Boulez programme with the Orchester-Akademie.
Following a month working in India in 2006, Duncan subsequently co-founded the WAM Foundation which sent young UK musicians each year to teach Western classical music in schools across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Kerala. The charity attracted the attention of the great late Ravi Shankar, who invited Duncan to study with him in California in 2010. Duncan is also closely involved with the South African charity MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment). He will conduct their orchestra in tours of Africa and Europe in the 2017/18 season.
Also an accomplished composer - winner of the 2005 BBC Young Composer of the Year – Duncan is now published by Peters Edition. Recent composing highlights include arrangements of Dvořàk songs for performances given by Sir Simon Rattle and Magdalena Kožená, a critically acclaimed orchestral work for the LSO, a work for his inaugural concert as Principal Conductor of Sinfonia Viva, and a theatrical version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt performed by members of the National Youth Orchestra at the Southbank’s “Imagine” Festival in 2014. He was appointed Composer for Coutts Bank's Family Business Awards in 2008.