Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony and Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, Grant Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. Born in Tenby, South Wales, Llewellyn won a Conducting Fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 1985 where he worked with Bernstein, Ozawa, Masur and Previn.
Llewellyn began his tenure as North Carolina Symphony Music Director in 2004 and has also conducted widely across North America, most notably the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Toronto. As Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, America’s leading period orchestra, he gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the Baroque and classical periods.
Recent guest engagements include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, amongst others. Llewellyn has a continuing relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales whom he led on tour to Patagonia and South America and last season joined their 90th anniversary celebrations. He returns to conduct their Proms in the Park in September 2018 when he also begins his fourth season as Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne.
An accomplished opera conductor, Grant Llewellyn has appeared at the opera companies of English National Opera, Opera North and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where his repertoire has ranged from The Magic Flute to Alexander Goehr’s Arianna. Recent productions include the US premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Fidelio with the Opéra de Rennes.
Recent recordings include Prokofiev’s violin concerti with Matthew Trusler and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a disc of Lowell Liebermann’s orchestral works with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Notable discs with the North Carolina Symphony include American Spectrum featuring 20th century works with the saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and Britten’s Cello Symphony and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante with the cellist Zuill Bailey.
Deeply committed and passionate about engaging young people with music, Llewellyn regularly leads education and outreach projects with both his orchestras as well as specialist events such as ‘Feel the Music’ with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2017 he led the first ever “relaxed” BBC Prom with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a concert specially designed for those with autism, sensory and communication impairments, and learning disabilities.