Nicholas Braithwaite

Biography

Born: August 26, 1939; London, England  
Though Nicholas Braithwaite has spent many years conducting orchestras in Australia, England, and throughout Europe, he is probably best known to audiences for his work in opera. Braithwaite has led performances of more than 70 operas at various world venues, including at the English National Opera where he conducted an acclaimed Wagner Ring cycle. His repertory takes in the Italian classics by Verdi, Puccini, and Donizetti, as well as other Read more staples by Bizet, Offenbach, and Britten. In addition, he has led performances of contemporary operas, most notably Penderecki's The Devils of Loudun. As a conductor of symphonic music, Braithwaite has held several posts in Australia, England, and Europe, and has freelanced in England and abroad. Ironically, most of his recordings have been of orchestral music performed by the major orchestras of London in repertory by lesser-known nineteenth and twentieth century British composers, including Bennett, Berkeley, Bridge, Holst, Rawsthorne, and Stanford. Most of his recordings have been issued by Lyrita and Koch.

Nicholas Braithwaite was born in London on August 26, 1939. His father was well-known conductor Warwick Braithwaite. The younger Braithwaite studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music with Maurice Miles and later took instruction in Vienna from famed conductor Hans Swarowsky.

Braithwaite's official debut came in 1966 at the Welsh National Opera in a performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale. In 1970 he conducted at Sadler's Wells (Offenbach's Contes d'Hoffmann), an event that led to his appointment there the following year as resident conductor, then later as associate principal conductor.

After departing Sadler's Wells in 1974, Braithwaite held two important operatic posts. The first was as music director of the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1976-1980, and the latter, in Gothenburg, as music director at the Stora Theater Opera, from 1981-1984.

Braithwaite next began conducting both symphonic and operatic music in Australia, eventually serving as chief conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 1987-1991. During this time he also served as principal conductor of the Manchester Camerata. Braithwaite also held posts with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and several others.

In the new century Braithwaite has been active in the recording studio and has freelanced much of the time in both opera and symphonic music. Among his available recordings is a reissued series that contains symphonies, overtures, piano concertos, and other orchestral works by William Sterndale Bennett, released by Lyrita in 2007. Read less