The English conductor, Nicholas Paul Dallon Braithwaite, is the son of the conductor Warwick Braithwaite. Nicholas completed his formal musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, at the Festival master-classes in Bayreuth, and with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna.
In the 1960’s, Nicholas Braithwaite was Associate Conductor to Constantin Silvestri of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He served as resident conductor at Sadler's Wells Opera for three seasons, from 1971 to 1974, where he conducted Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. In 1976, he was named music director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera., and served in that post until 1980. With the Manchester Camerata, Braithwaite was Principal Guest Conductor from 1977 to 1984, and Principal Conductor from 1984 to 1991.
In Australia, Nicholas Braithwaite was principal conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, from 1987 to 1991, and also held the same post with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. His years with the two Australian orchestras were acclaimed by critics, public and players, and were notable for raising both standards and attendances. The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra grew to be recognised as one of Australia’s finest ensembles, and when ABC Classics released his recording with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra of Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 8, the Canberra Times said “Since his appointment as Chief Conductor, Braithwaite has brought the ASO to a high performance standard at which they can match any of the eastern states orchestras” He has also served as Permanent Guest Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Nicholas Braithwaite has been a frequent guest conductor for all the major orchestras in the UK both in concert and on record, and has toured Japan and Korea with the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Associate Conductor to Sir Georg Solti. He has appeared with, among others, the Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Odense Symphony, Aarhus Symphony, Aalborg Symphony, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Orchestra, West Australian Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony and Collegium Musicum Copenhagen.
Nicholas Braithwaite saw his first opera at the age of two months - a dress rehearsal conducted by his father, Warwick Braithwaite. This was the start of a life long involvement with opera during which he has conducted more than 70 different operas with many companies around the world. He has held positions as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Gothenberg’s Stora Teater (1981-1984), Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera and Associate Principal Conductor of English National Opera, where his performances of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen received widespread critical and public acclaim. In 1987 he took the Gothenburg Stora Teater production of Katerina Ismailova to the newly restored Semper Oper in Dresden. He has also appeared with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Norwegian Opera, State Opera of South Australia, Opera Australia and New Zealand Opera with whom in recent years he has conducted productions of Peter Grimes and Boris Godunov.
The last few years have seen the release of many recordings conducted by Nicholas Braithwaite with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra. Soloists include internationally renowned artists such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Simon Preston. His recording of Wordsworth’s Symphonies No. 2 & 3 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra won a 1991 Record of the Year Award from Gramophone Magazine, and his recording of Flute Concertos with Alexa Still and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra for Koch was nominated for a 1992 Grammy award in the USA. In January 2000 he recorded a CD of orchestral music by the Swedish composer Franz Berwald for BBC Music Magazine. Recent CD’s include D. Shostakovich Symphonies No. 6, 7 and 9 with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Henry J. Wood’s orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Coleridge Taylor’s Violin Concerto with Lorraine MacAslan and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Nicholas Braithwaite has also served as the Dean of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts from 1988 to 1991. He married Gillian Agnes Haggerty in August 1985. They have one son and one daughter.