Birmingham Royal Ballet announces Paul Murphy as new Music Director & Principal Conductor

Birmingham Royal Ballet announces Paul Murphy as new Music Director & Principal Conductor

Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced the appointment of Paul Murphy as the Company’s new Music Director and Principal Conductor leading the company’s orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. He will assume the role on 1 July 2024, following Koen Kessels stepping down as BRB’s Music Director on 30 June 2024. 

Carlos Acosta, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, said: ‘I couldn’t be happier for Paul. His unfailing energy and enthusiasm has been a source of inspiration to me, all of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia players, our dancers and the Company as a whole. While we are sad to see Koen leave, Paul is his natural successor and his appointment could not be more well deserved.’

Paul Murphy, who will take on his new role alongside his existing role as Principal Conductor, said: ‘I am thrilled and honoured to accept the position of Music Director and Principal Conductor of Birmingham Royal Ballet. I look forward to working alongside Carlos Acosta and Caroline Miller to build a strong and secure future for the wonderful Royal Ballet Sinfonia, expanding our partnerships and developing the hugely successful Constant Lambert Conducting Fellowship.’

Paul Murphy has been a member of Birmingham Royal Ballet for 31 years since he joined the company in 1992. He was appointed Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Principal Conductor in 1997 and has been instrumental to developing exceptionally talented young ballet conductors through the Constant Lambert Conducting Fellowship.

Paul Murphy is a regular guest conductor for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden since 1994, working with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. He has also been the conductor for the Royal Ballet School’s annual performance since 2005. He has conducted many of the UK’s finest ensembles including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Ulster Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata. Abroad, he has worked with such orchestras as the Bergen Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Osaka Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Washington National Opera Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, the Sofia Opera Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Teatro Massimo in Sicily. 

Paul has also been a guest conductor for New York City Ballet, Ballet du Rhin, the Royal Ballet of Flanders, Dutch National Ballet, The Australian Ballet, BalletBoyz, NDT 1, Acosta Danza, Finnish National Ballet, Sarasota Ballet and the Tokyo Ballet, with whom he conducted performances of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at La Scala, Milan in July 2019. He has been a frequent guest conductor with the National Ballet of Japan since 2008.

He has made numerous recordings for BBC Radio 3, BBC Television, Channel 4, and released CDs with the Hallé, the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 

He has also recorded DVDs of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House, The Tales of Beatrix Potter and Les Patineurs with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Aladdin and Sylvia with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and NHK broadcasts of Coppelia with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Swan Lake with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Paul studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music with Colin Metters, John Carewe, George Hurst and Sir Colin Davis. He was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1997.

In addition, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Principal, César Morales, has been appointed Artistic Director of the Santiago Ballet, a position which he will assume in March 2024. 

A former student of the Santiago Municipal Theatre Ballet School and former member of the Santiago Ballet, Morales has developed a vast and successful career spanning three decades in Europe.

Carmen Gloria Larenas, general director of the Municipal Theatre of Santiago said: ‘After an extensive selection process, we have announced the new Artistic Director of the Santiago Ballet, a person who knows the company and the Municipal Theatre of Santiago well. His international career and achievements through his artistic merits make him an artist loved by the public and admired by the media. César Morales returns home.’

Morales, upon being informed of his selection, said: ‘I am happy to return to the Municipal Theatre of Santiago to work with the company’s dancers. It is a new stage in my career that I am ready to face and I am sure that my European experience will be a contribution to the development of the company.’ 

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