Buxton International Festival is pleased to announce the appointment of conductor Adrian Kelly as the new Artistic Director of the Festival. Adrian Kelly joins the Festival having been the Music Director of the Salzburg State Theatre since 2017, where was previously first Kapellmeister from 2010-17. Next season in Salzburg, he will conduct Massenet’s Manon and a cycle of the three Mozart/da Ponte operas. He has conducted numerous productions in Salzburg, including Verdi‘s Rigoletto in the Haus für Mozart, Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf, and Massenet’s Werther as well as the critically acclaimed Austrian premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain.

Although most of his career to date has been spent with European companies, including the Salzburg Festival, Hamburg State Opera, Theater Erfurt and Oper Zürich, Adrian Kelly was born in the UK and trained as a Choral Scholar at King’s College Cambridge and later at the RNCM. He was then chosen to participate in the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House where he collaborated with Sir Mark Elder and Sir Antonio Pappano.

Adrian Kelly has worked regularly at the Salzburg Festival, and has been Musical Director of the Young Singers Project since 2015, conducting the Mozarteum Orchestra. He is a jury member for the KBS Singing Competition 2018 in Seoul, Korea. He conducted Le nozze di Figaro at Central City Opera, Colorado and led a tour to North and South America of the The infernal Comedy with actor John Malkovich and the Los Angeles based baroque orchestra Musica Angelica.

Felicity Goodey Chairman of Buxton International Festival commented “We are delighted to welcome Adrian Kelly, one of the exciting new generation of international conductors. Together with our recently appointed Chief Executive, Michael Williams, we have a partnership which promises much excitement and change while building on the very high-quality programming produced by their predecessors.”

Michael Williams CEO of Buxton International Festival said “Adrian has the wonderful combination of studying at Royal Northern College of Music, working in the early stages of his career at Royal Opera House and then taking on Music Director responsibilities at the Salzburg State Theatre, which make him the ideal fit for Buxton International Festival. He cares passionately about young singers and developing new audiences, creating an atmosphere of excellence around music-making and exploring repertoire that deserves more public attention. I am thrilled that he has accepted the post and looking forward to creating a magnificent 40th Anniversary Festival."

Adrian Kelly said “I am delighted to have been offered the position of Artistic Director of the Buxton International Festival. As the Festival celebrates its 40th Anniversary season, I plan to build on the excellent work of my predecessors, and to entice performers of the highest quality to Buxton. I am looking forward to the challenge of planning and delivering a truly diverse programme of opera and concerts. I also share Michael Williams’ desire to bring opera to a wider audience, and we are already working on some exciting and innovative ideas in this direction.”

Adrian’s first programmed Festival will be in 2019, a year which marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Festival in 1979. His programming for the 2019 Festival will include a new commission, two further new productions, a guest production (TBC) and a Gala performance.


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