The Welsh conductor, Grant Llewellyn, began developing his conducting reputation in 1985, when he was awarded a conducting fellow position at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts. There his mentors included Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur and André Previn. As Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the early 1990's he conducted concerts at the Tanglewood Festival, the Boston Subscription Series and in the “Boston Pops”.
Grant Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. To date, his career has led him to hold positions with three European orchestras. From 1990 to 1995, he was associate conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He was principal guest conductor of the Stavanger Symfoniorkester from 1993 to 1996. Llewellyn served as chief conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra (deFilharmonie) from 1995 to 1998. Notable recent European guest engagements have included the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Grant Llewellyn has conducted many orchestras in North America, most notably Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. As Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), America’s leading period orchestra, from 2001 to 2006, Llewellyn gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the Baroque and classical periods. He now holds the title of principal conductor of the Society. Among the highlights of his work with the Society have been staged performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in collaboration with director Chen Shi-Zheng, and J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion (BWV 244). Since July 2004, he has been music director of the North Carolina Symphony. His initial contract was for 4 years, and in November 2006, his contract was extended to 2012.
An accomplished opera conductor, Grant Llewellyn has appeared at the opera companies of English National Opera (The Magic Flute) and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where his repertoire has ranged from George Frideric Handel’s Radamisto to Alexander Goehr’s Arianna. In 2001 he embarked on a collaboration with acclaimed Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng in a production of Dido and Aeneas at Spoleto Festival, USA. In 2003 Llewellyn made his debut with Opera North in a new production of Jules Massenet’s Manon whilst in June 2005 he conducted the final of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, one of the world’s most prestigious singing competitions. His most recent opera project was a semi-staged production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in 2007, with the North Carolina Symphony.
His recent recording of American music with the North Carolina Symphony and Branford Marsalis for the Swedish label BIS has been released to critical acclaim with The Gramophone commenting “...the performances are more than just enthusiastic, with discipline remarkably tight...the result is a winner.”
Grant Llewellyn lives in Cardiff with his wife Charlotte and their four children.