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About Us: Meet the Conductors

The North Carolina Symphony is not just music; it's people. From composers to musicians, from conductors to staff, the Symphony is made up of a talented group of dedicated individuals who take immense pleasure and pride in bringing you the finest programs of show-stopping music season after season.

Conductors    |    Musicians    |    Staff    |    Boards


Full Conductor Listing
Grant Llewellyn  |  Music Director

Grant Llewellyn
Grant Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. Born in Tenby, South Wales, Llewellyn won a Conducting Fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 1985 where he worked with Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur and André Previn. As Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the early 1990s, he conducted concerts at the Tanglewood Festival, the Boston Subscription Series and in the “Boston Pops.”

Llewellyn began his tenure as North Carolina Symphony Music Director in 2004. Highlights of the 2014/15 North Carolina Symphony season include a collaboration with saxophone legend Branford Marsalis, performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica,” and a monumental production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in partnership with PlayMakers Repertory Company.

To date, he has held positions with three European orchestras: principal conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic, principal guest conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and associate guest conductor with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Recent guest engagements include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Llewellyn has conducted many orchestras in North America, most notably the symphonies of Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Montreal, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Toronto. As Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, America’s leading period orchestra, Llewellyn gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the Baroque and classical periods.

An accomplished opera conductor, 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 Handel’s Radamisto to Alexander Goehr’s Arianna. In 2001, he embarked on collaboration with acclaimed Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng in a production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at Spoleto Festival, USA. 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 with the North Carolina Symphony.

Llewellyn has led the North Carolina Symphony in innovative performances that include the Blue Skies concerts; two programs that showcased North Carolina traditional music; a staging of the play Amadeus with the PlayMakers Repertory Company; and the affecting memorial concert North Carolina Remembers 9/11, in collaboration with WRAL-TV and UNC-TV.

Maestro Llewellyn has conducted the North Carolina Symphony in two critically acclaimed recordings for the Swedish label BIS: American Spectrum with Branford Marsalis and a 2010 release with pianist Yevgeny Sudbin. His latest recording with the North Carolina Symphony is Britten’s Cello Symphony & Sonata with cellist Zuill Bailey on the Telarc label, described by CD Hotlist as “recommended to all classical collections.”




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