Music Director - Dominic Grier
Dominic Grier is widely acknowledged as a young conductor of distinction, equally at home in opera, ballet and symphonic work as well as contemporary music and orchestral training. He was a permanent staff conductor at the Royal Opera House from 2008-10, affiliated with the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, and has since served as a regular guest conductor with many of the foremost ballet companies in the UK and Europe including The Royal Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Flanders Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet and Scottish Ballet. He enjoys a particularly strong connection with Birmingham Royal Ballet, where he has conducted a wide repertoire every season since 2012.
In the field of opera, he made a critically acclaimed guest conducting début at the Opéra National de Lyon in March 2010, with the French premiere of Copland’s The Tender Land, and had formerly worked as an Assistant Conductor there, where his repertoire included Siegfried (2007), Porgy and Bess (2008 and 2010) and Death in Venice (2009). He has also assisted on Peter Grimes at the Aldeburgh Festival, and has served as rehearsal conductor to the Britten-Pears Orchestra. Most recently, he conducted Malcolm Arnold’s opera The Open Window with the Berkeley Ensemble. He is a regular coach and pianist for the Royal Opera House, working with many of the current and former singers of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.
He has served as Music Director of the Ashover Festival Orchestra (2007-9) and of the King's College London Symphony Orchestra (2009-12), Principal Conductor of the London International Orchestra of Academia (2006-8) and Assistant Conductor for British Youth Opera (2007). He is increasingly active as a teacher of conducting, and is on the academic staff at the Royal Academy of Music as Tutor in Undergraduate Conducting.
On the concert platform, he has worked recently with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy, the Orchestre de Limoges et du Limousin, the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, the Tokyo City Philharmonic, the Orquestra do Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, the Salomon Orchestra and the Chandos Symphony Orchestra, among others. His performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, France Musique, and throughout the UK as part of the Royal Opera House’s live screenings, as well as having been released on DVD for the Opus Arte label.
Recent engagements include The Nutcracker for The Royal Ballet, Scheherazade for Ballet Vlaanderen a new version of Eugene Onegin for Maribor Opera and Ballet in Slovenia, David Bintley’s acclaimed production of Cinderella for Birmingham Royal Ballet, and concerts with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and the Purcell School Symphony Orchestra.
Dominic read music at the University of Cambridge and initially studied conducting with the late George Hurst, then subsequently at the Royal Academy of Music under the tuition of Colin Metters, Sir Colin Davis and Mark Shanahan. He graduated with distinction and was awarded the prestigious DipRAM for outstanding final performances and the Fred Southall Memorial Prize. He was a major prizewinner in the 2006 Alliance Cornhill Conducting Competition.
Leader - Rita French
Rita needs very little introduction in Worthing as she has been part of the local music scene for many years, leading the Worthing Philharmonic since 1982. She also co-leads Southern Pro-Musica. the south's leading professional chamber orchestra, conducted by Jonathan Willcocks, and leads a series of annual children's concerts in Guildford, Chichester, Southampton and Petersfield.
Rita enjoys all aspects of music making, combining a busy orchestral schedule with solo, recital work and chamber music. Rita has toured Spain and France with a London based chamber ensemble and she leads the Sussex Camerata, described as one of the finest chamber groups in the South of England, who regularly perform in London and the South East. She has featured as soloist in many of the great concertos, including Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy and the famous G minor; Beethoven; Dvorak; Glazunov and Prokofiev plus the Brahms Double and Beethoven Triple Concertos
Her career has included teaching at an advanced level and she has many former students playing and teaching professionally all over the world.
Assistant Conductor - Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis comes from Liverpool and began his orchestral career as a member of the Merseyside Youth Orchestra playing in the horn section with Simon Rattle as a member of the percussion section. After completing his studies in organ and horn at the Royal Manchester College of Music he became a peripatetic brass teacher in Edinburgh independent schools. As a member of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra he appeared in the BBC Promenade Concerts in London and at the Edinburgh Festival working with conductors such as John Barbirolli, Adrian Boult, Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett. In 1970 he was appointed principal horn of the SABC Symphony Orchestra in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he stayed for three years.
On his return to the UK Peter Lewis taught music in Yorkshire and from 1977 until his retirement in 2004 he was Director of Music at Lancing College during which time he conducted bands, orchestras and directed musical productions. In 1992 he undertook a one year teaching exchange to Melbourne, Australia, and following his retirement, he was appointed temporary Director of Music at Aiglon College in the Swiss Alps. Peter deputises as an organist in local churches and has been a member of the Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra since 1978.
Associate Guest Conductor- Roland Melia
Roland Melia began his wide-ranging career as a cellist playing with National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, English National Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, City of London Sinfonia. and the contemporary ensemble Lontano.
Following studies with David Robertson and Ilya Musin he conducted orchestras in Britain such as Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia and Royal Ballet. Abroad he worked with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and St Petersburg Philharmonic as well as Symphony Orchestras in Portugal, Mexico and Chile.
Melia has been the Artistic Director of Leicester Symphony Orchestra and Cyprus Symphony Orchestra.
Roland is currently Music Director of White Horse Opera and Hereford Symphony Orchestras and has most recently guested with Salisbury Sinfonia and Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has worked in CD production, composed music for theatre and documentary film and delivered creative workshops to groups of students. He has worked in promotion for Pharos Arts Foundation in Cyprus and Cegin Productions in UK for which he is currently Artistic Director.
He teaches conducting technique to all ages having been Professor of Conducting at the Arte Music Academy in Nicosia, Cyprus2008-2012. In the summer of 2017 he was the conducting coach on the Pro Corda Intermediate and Senior Courses. He has students at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Composer In Residence-James Olsen
Composer James Olsen (‘Brilliantly imaginative’—Tom Service, The Guardian), born in London in 1982, has seen performances of his music by leading international orchestras and ensembles in the UK and continental Europe including the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Britten Sinfonia, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the BBC Singers and Tête à Tête opera. He read music at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a double starred first, and studied composition with Wolfgang Rihm in Germany and with Julian Anderson, Colin Matthews, Robin Holloway, Michael Finnissy and Adam Gorb in the UK.
His second #lionopera was performed around the UK in summer 2018, and forthcoming commissions include a music theatre piece for Deutsche Schule London, and a piano trio commissioned by Trio Gaspard, as well as Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra's very own 70th Anniversary Commission. He supervises undergraduates at the University of Cambridge, and publishes a regular vlog on YouTube to give aspiring young composers and musicians an insight into the life of a professional composer.