PETER ASH - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Peter Ash was born in Iowa, USA and studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London. As conductor, he has worked with many major orchestras in Europe and America, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, St Petersburg Camerata, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin, Estonian State Symphony and the National Orchestra of Latvia. Opera work includes Los Angeles Opera, Lisbon Opera, Istanbul State Opera and English Bach Festival. His taste is eclectic and ranges from baroque opera to contemporary music. The Hungarian Cultural Centre recently awarded him their Bartók prize for his performances of the composer’s music and in particular for a performance of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle. Career highlights include the world premiere of Tobias Picker's opera Fantastic Mr. Fox for the Los Angeles Opera, several premieres at the Salzburg Festival with Scharoun Ensemble (members of the Berlin Philharmonic), three Haydn operas at Garsington Opera (UK), and The Minpins - his own arrangement of orchestral music by Sibelius in St. Petersburg.
He has also composed two operas. Keepers of the Night, was first presented by the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus in 2007. There, it was lauded by Alan Rich in Variety for its “charm, sophistication and deep beauty... a series of ensembles of truly bewitching complex harmonies.” His most recent opera, The Golden Ticket, based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was premiered by Opera Theatre St Louis in June 2010 to enthusiastic acclaim. The critic of Opera Today praised Ash’s “unique aural palette,” while the Chicago Tribune described the show as “deliciously droll … an artful blend of simplicity and sophistication.” Further performances followed at the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (October 2010) and then in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, where Ash conducted. A recording released in November 2012 and based on these performances was described by Gramophone as “...an enchanting opera....(an) adroit transformation of Dahl’s book...into an uproarious and endearing operatic adventure.”
He has recently written a piece for violin and piano called A Major Chase to be premiered in May 2015 and is currently working on a new choral piece to celebrate Roald Dahl’s centenary in 2016. He is also developing his third opera project.
Ash resides in London where he is Artistic Director of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. He has led the orchestra for over ten years and taken them on tour all over Europe, as well as to Turkey and Japan.