Heralded by the British press as an up-and-coming conductor of international stature, Martyn Brabbins has actually been slow to establish himself as a presence outside England and Scotland. He has, however, made a significant mark through recordings not in standard repertory, but largely in music of contemporary Scottish composers and as one of the main conductors involved in Hyperion's extensive "Romantic Piano Concerto" series. A self-describedRead more late starter, Brabbins attended Goldsmith's College; he played in brass bands, but had little other performing experience before studying conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory from 1986 to 1988. Upon his return to England, Brabbins won the 1988 Leeds Conductors Competition. His professional debut came that year as a last-minute substitute with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Within a few years, Brabbins had guest-conducted all the BBC orchestras and major and minor ensembles throughout England and in Ireland. In 1992, he was named associate conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and later added to his schedule the job of principal conductor of the contemporary music group Sinfonia 21. Brabbins expressed particular enthusiasm for "anything after Beethoven," especially such Russian composers as Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. He has also landed many opera engagements, mainly with England's lesser houses, conducting works ranging from Mozart standards to Bliss' The Olympians and Tchaikovsky's The Slippers. In 1997, he conducted the first commercial recording of Korngold's Die Kathrin. Read less
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