Opera Scotland

Kenneth Montgomery Suggest updates

Born Belfast, 28 October 1943.

Died Amsterdam, 5 March 2023.

Northern Irish conductor.

Kenneth Montgomery was appointed OBE in 2010 for services to music in Northern Ireland, having become the first musician from Northern Ireland to be appointed principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra.

He studied at the Royal Belfast Academical Institute, then in London at the Royal College of Music. He studied conducting under Sir Adrian Boult, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Sergiu Celibidache and Sir John Pritchard.

He worked on the music staff at Glyndebourne and then Sadler's Wells (conducting six operas on tour in Scotland). In 1973 he was appointed conductor of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and in 1985 artistic and music director of Opera Northern Ireland.  He was appointed principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in 2007.  With Scottish Opera he conducted Werther and Orfeo ed Euridice and he also came to Scotland with the Glyndebourne Tour (Idomeneo).

In 1975 he became principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, later also of the Netherlands Radio Choir. He eventually settled permanently in the Netherlands and in 1991 he became director of opera studies at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague.

In the USA he worked for many years at Santa Fe Opera and became conductor laureate in 2013.

He also conducted orchestras in Paris, Rome and Vancouver.

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