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Musical Director

Chris Clark

Chris Clark is thrilled to have been appointed Music Director of the Salford Symphony Orchestra from the 2019/2020 season. He is particularly honoured to follow in the footsteps of so many great artists who have worked with the SSO over its long history, including Joseph Needham (a protégé of Sir Henry Wood) and Sir John Barbirolli. Chris previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of the SSO and has enjoyed a long relationship with the Orchestra and the Salford community. Chris looks forward to continuing to work with the ensemble's many talented musicians and to further building the Orchestra's presence in Salford and across the country.

Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Chris is a UK-based conductor with an international career. In 2012 Chris was the recipient of the Pettman DARE International Performance Scholarship, a highly sought-after award for young leaders in opera, including a year long immersive leadership experience at Opera North, New Zealand Opera, University of Leeds. In August 2014 Chris concluded his role as Assistant Conductor of Orchestra Wellington, during which he conducted innovative orchestral education projects throughout the region. After completing his post-graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Chris received an endorsement for exceptional talent from Arts Council England in 2017, enabling him to return to the UK to pursue his career. Winner of the prestigious Dame Malvina Major Arts Excellence Award for international conducting studies, Chris would also like to acknowledge the generous support of the Adam Foundation, Philip and Dianne Pattison, Waverley Fund, James Wallace Arts Trust, Todd Trust and The Lion Foundation.

In addition to his deep commitment to the North of England, Chris can trace his ancestry back to Bolton and Bury in the early nineteenth century. Chris is in demand across the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East. He is currently working on a collaborative project with an Egyptian visual artist where he will conduct orchestras in Cambridge, London, Cairo and across the Gulf Region. Chris’s approach as a conductor is rooted in the belief that music has the power to unite: it transcends cultures, physical borders and societal differences. Through his work with musicians from a variety of backgrounds and traditions, and through the pursuit of music at the highest levels, he aims to bring beauty and unity to an increasingly divisive world.


 4th Mov from Beethoven Symphony No.5 from July Concert 2019

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Peel Hall October Concert 2018 with The Ayoub Sisters