Nicholas Ward


Born: 1952; Manchester, England  
Nicholas Ward is among the more important English conductors of his generation. He began his career as a violinist playing in orchestras and chamber ensembles, but eventually took up the baton and has since focused largely on works from the Classical and early Romantic periods, having recorded whole chunks of symphonies and string works by Haydn, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. But Ward's repertory extends into the twentieth century and includes music Read more by Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Berkeley, and other composers of the era. Ward has recorded extensively, the bulk of his work appearing on the Naxos label.

Ward was born in Manchester, England, in 1952. His parents were members of the Manchester-based Hallé Orchestra. Young Nicholas showed interest in music as a child, first trying his hand at the piano then, at age eight, turning to the violin. When he was 12 Ward formed a string quartet that remained active until he enrolled at Manchester's Northern College of Music five years later.

Ward was a student there for six years, studying under Barry Griffiths, Rudolph Botta, and Yossi Zivoni. He spent an additional year of study in Brussels with André Gertler, then, in 1977, relocated to London. It was here that he began his career with two somewhat modest steps, joining the Melos Ensemble and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as a violinist.

He remained with the RPO for five years and also had short stints with the London Mozart Players and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. In 1984 Ward was appointed co-leader of the City of London Sinfonia and leader of the Northern Chamber Orchestra. Soon after Ward was named music director of the latter ensemble in 1986, he began turning out a string of successful recordings with them.

Among his earlier efforts was the 1992 release on Naxos of Haydn's Symphonies No. 26, No. 35, and No. 49, part of a larger series, to which Ward and the NCO contributed six volumes. For the same label Ward and his group next recorded 26 Mozart symphonies, also as part of a complete cycle.

Throughout the 1990s and into the first decade of the new century, Ward (who leads the orchestra from the violin section) helped the NCO build a reputation as one of the finest chamber ensembles from England. Typically, Ward and his group have concertized in a variety of locales throughout northern England, including Blackpool, Ludlow, and Lancaster University. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 67 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    My First Classical Albums
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8509003 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  John Adams  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Jénö Jandó,  Jürgen Schuster,  Idil Biret  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Marin Alsop,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Éder String Quartet,  Danubius String Quartet,  German Wind Soloists  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 2.
    Handel Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95050 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Anonymous
    Performer:  Micaela Comberti,  Lucy Carolan,  Alison Bury,  Susan Sheppard  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Max Pommer,  Nicol Matt,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne,  L'Ecole d'Orphée,  Harmonices Mundi  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 3.
    Geoffrey Bush: Small Pieces For Orchestra
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 341 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Geoffrey Bush,  John Ireland
    Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch
    Conductor:  Nicholas Ward
    CD: $18.99
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  • 4.
    My First Orchestra Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578253 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Larionoff
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop,  Gerard Schwarz,  Nicholas Ward,  Anthony Bramall  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 5.
    Mozart: Complete Symphonies / Ward, Wordsworth, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Capella Istropolitana
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501109 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Nicholas Ward,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Chamber Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana
    CD: $68.99
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  • 6.
    Great Classical Masterpieces: Bestselling Recordings 1987-2012
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578217 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hildegard of Bingen,  Johannes Brahms,  Carl Orff,  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki  ... 
    Performer:  Norbert Kraft,  Klára Körmendi,  Takako Nishizaki,  Kathryn Selby  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeremy Summerly,  István Bogár,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Antoni Wit  ... 
    CD: $5.99
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  • 7.
    Arnold: Cello Concerto; Symphony For Strings; Fantasy For Recorder And String Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572640 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Arnold
    Performer:  John Turner,  Raphael Wallfisch,  Esther Ingham,  Carl Raven
    Conductor:  Richard Howarth,  Nicholas Ward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Sinfonia,  Northern Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 8.
    The Mozart Effect: Music For Children
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 85005 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Dag Ingram,  Michael Copley,  Takako Nishizaki,  Hana Mullerova  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Richard Edlinger,  Nicholas Ward,  Stephen Gunzenhauser  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Buskers,  Capella Istropolitana,  German Wind Soloists
    CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    The Mozart Effect: Music For Little Ones
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 85007 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Leopold Mozart
    Performer:  Karl Heinz Schickhause,  János Sebestyén,  Jénö Jandó,  József Balogh
    Conductor:  Peter Maag,  Hans Stadlmair,  Wolfgang Sobotka,  Harald Nerat  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Chamber Orchestra,  German Wind Soloists,  Ensemble Villa Musica  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 10.
    Weber: Grand Pot-pourri; Spohr: Concerto In A Minor; Reicha: Concerto In A Major
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5868 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Reicha,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Danzi,  Louis Spohr
    Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch
    Conductor:  Nicholas Ward
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    Adagio - The Ultimate Collection Vol 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578062-63 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Godard,  Carl Stamitz,  Pierre Rode,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Chloë Hanslip,  Kálmán Berkes,  Friedemann Eichhorn,  Hae-won Chang  ... 
    Conductor:  Kirk Trevor,  Nicolás Pasquet,  Bohdan Warchal,  Barry Wordsworth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Southwest German Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern  ... 
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  • 12.
    Adagio - The Ultimate Collection
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570015-16 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schmidt,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Niklas Eklund,  Hana Mullerova-jouzova,  Jirí Válek  ... 
    Conductor:  Kenneth Jean,  Michael Halász,  Nils-Erik Sparf,  Stephen Gunzenhauser  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Budapest Symphony Orchestra,  Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    Haydn: The Complete Symphonies / Gallois, Ward, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503400 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 34
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Tamás Zalay,  Tibor Gátai,  Irina Zahharenkova
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth,  Helmut Müller-Brühl,  Nicholas Ward  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Capella Istropolitana,  Cologne Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $148.99
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  • 14.
    A Portrait Of Igor Stravinsky - His Works, His Life
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558186-87 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Peter Hill,  Ian Bostridge,  Alison Wells,  Alan Ewing  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Stravinsky,  Stefan Sanderling,  Nicholas Ward,  Brett Kelly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta,  International Piano Quartet  ... 
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 15.
    Label: Selections   Catalog: 8571075 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Idil Biret,  Norbert Kraft,  János Bálint,  Nora Mercz  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Ward,  Béla Drahos,  John Georgiadis,  Géza Oberfrank  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Virtuosi,  Capella Istropolitana
    CD: $4.99
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  • 16.
    Ninos Clasicos - Lo Mejor De Mozart
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84404 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Georg Hölscher,  Jénö Jandó,  Jean-Claude Gérard,  Russell Braun  ... 
    Conductor:  Harald Nerat,  Nicholas Ward,  Barry Wordsworth,  Walter Babiak  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Chamber Orchestra,  Northern Chamber Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    The Very Best Of Bach
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8552103-04 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  József Mukk,  Judit Németh,  Ingrid Kertesi,  János Tóth  ... 
    Conductor:  Géza Oberfrank,  Helmut Müller-Brühl,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Nicholas Ward  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Failoni Chamber Orchestra,  Hungarian Radio Chamber Choir,  Cologne Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    El Efecto Mozart: Música Para Bebés Vol 2
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84391 Release Date: 04/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Jószef Balogh,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Harald Nerat,  Nicholas Ward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danubius String Quartet,  Capella Istropolitana,  Éder String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 19.
    Boccherini: Cello Concertos Vol 3 / Wallfisch, Ward
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557589 Release Date: 01/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini
    Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch
    Conductor:  Nicholas Ward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 20.
    Classical Kids - The Best Of Mozart
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84383 Release Date: 10/19/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Michael Thompson,  Russell Braun,  Adriana Braun  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sobotka,  Michael Thompson,  Walter Babiak,  Barry Wordsworth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta,  Studio Arts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    Chill With Handel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556787 Release Date: 04/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Claron McFadden,  Elisabeth Scholl,  Susanne Rydén,  Simon Lindley  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Kopelman,  Joachim Carlos Martini,  Charles Medlam,  Bradley Creswick  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Frankfurt Junge Kantorei Baroque Orchestra,  London Baroque  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 22.
    Telemann: Don Quixote Suite, Etc / Ward, Northern Co
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554019 Release Date: 07/15/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Conductor:  Nicholas Ward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 23.
    The Instruments Of The Orchestra / Jeremy Siepmann
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558040-46 Release Date: 12/03/2002   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Idil Biret,  Tedi Papavrami,  Maria Kliegel  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Antoni Wit,  Richard Edlinger,  Takuo Yuasa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ulster Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 24.
    Life And Works - Mozart / Jeremy Siepmann, Nicholas Boulton
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558061-64 Release Date: 11/19/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Muzio Clementi,  Gregorio Allegri,  Leopold Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Bloch,  Joanna Borowska,  John Dickie,  Andrea Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Mátyás Antal,  Johannes Wildner,  Barry Wordsworth,  Piergiorgio Morandi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concentus Hungaricus,  Slovak Philharmonic Chorus Bratislava,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 25.
    Italian Oboe Concertos - Platti, Salieri, Rosetti, Besozzi
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554772 Release Date: 01/15/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Rosetti,  Carlo Besozzi,  Antonio Salieri,  Giovanni Benedetto Platti
    Performer:  Anthony Camden,  Peter Lloyd
    Conductor:  Nicholas Ward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
    CD: $9.99
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