The orchestra has no permanent conductor. Instead, the orchestra chooses a conductor for just one concert at a time. Although some conductors will be invited back, it will not usually be in the same year. This provides variety for the audience, helps the orchestra's musical development, and makes it more interesting for the players.
   Some of our conductors whom we have asked more than once are:

Jacques Cohen

Formal portrait of Jacques Cohen

Jacques Cohen has been a regular conductor of Hertforshire Philharmonia since 2000. Jacques read music at Oxford where he conducted the main university orchestra and performed several of his own compositions. When leaving Oxford, he was awarded the Conducting Scholarship at the Royal College of Music where he later won the Tagore Gold Medal, the College's prize for its most outstanding student. Since then he has won several other awards including the August Manns Conducting Prize and the Constant and Kit Lambert Award. He took First Prize in the British Reserve Conducting Competition and was also a prize winner in the Leeds Conductors' Competition.

He then went on to work as Assistant Conductor to the London Symphony Orchestra and later with the Royal Philharmonic and worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Neville Marriner, Vernon Handley and Oliver Knussen.

He has conducted a highly successful series of concerts in Bucharest with Romania's premier orchestra, the George Enescu Philharmonic and has guest conducted orchestras throughout Europe and the UK. He was for a period Principal Guest Conductor of the Bombay Orchestra in India and is currently Principal Conductor of the Aylesbury Orchestra and Lloyd's Choir. He has also been Musical Director of several major opera productions and was appointed as Music Director of the NPO in 2001.

He has recorded CD's for a variety of labels and broadcasts for radio and television. He is also Visiting Professor of Conducting at the Royal and Trinity Colleges of Music.

Jacques conducts an extremely wide repertoire from Monteverdi to the present day and is a passionate advocate of music by living composers. He is also an enthusiastic communicator and has a growing reputation for his ability to explain music in an entertaining way and get audiences more involved in concerts.

His many compositions include Quiet Music, which is regularly performed by British and American orchestras;Three Nottingham Dances, commissioned by the NPO and performed to great acclaim; a Tuba Concerto; a one-act opera, Magic Potions; and several award winning works for choir including his dramatic setting of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. His Fantasias, Canons & Fugues and the prize winning Elegy on a Floating Chord have been performed many times in Europe and on both sides of the Atlantic.

Visit Jacques Cohen's web site


Patrick Bailey

Patrick Bailey rehearsing with the orchestra summer 2006

Patrick Bailey has notched up more than a dozen concerts at the helm of Hertfordshire Philharmonia, making him our most widely used conductor to date. Patrick Bailey held the conducting scholarship at the Royal College of Music where he worked as assistant conductor to, amongst others, Sir Andrew Davis and Diego Masson. Further study was made possible by a generous scholarship from the Wall Trust. Whilst at the Royal College he won prizes for both conducting and composition including the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal and the Constant & Kit Lambert Award. He has since won bursaries to continue his studies at the Britten-Pears School as assistant to Oliver Knussen and at the Dartington International Summer School. He has conducted concerts with Sinfonia 21, New Music Players, Britten-Pears Orchestra, Feinstein Ensemble at the Barbican, South Bank and St. John's Smith Square and at festivals in Aldeburgh, Brighton, Salisbury and Warwick. For The Opera Group he has conducted tours of Shostakovich's The Nose and Peter Maxwell Davies' The Martyrdom of St. Magnus and also conducted opera for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Dartington Festival, Solaris Music Theatre and the London College of Music. Patrick has also given concerts in France, Germany, Dubai, India and the USA. Other recent engagements include concerts with the Orchestra of the Royal Marines, for Music for Youth at the Royal Festival Hall and in festivals at Thaxted, Bath, Buxton and York as well as a Radio 3 broadcast with the New Music Players. Patrick is Head of Conducting at the London College of Music & Media where he directs the Orchestra and Composer's Ensemble. He is the Music Director of the City University Symphony Orchestra and the Hertfordshire Schools Symphony Orchestra and is the Principal Conductor of the Essex Chamber Orchestra.

Anthony Weeden

Anthony Weeden portrait

Anthony studied music at both the University of Durham (1993-6) and then the Royal College of Music (1997-1999) as a conductor.

At the end of his first year at Durham University, Anthony was appointed conductor of the Durham University Symphony Orchestra, keeping the post of his remaining two years. In 1997, Anthony won a scholarship to study conducting at the Royal College of Music. He studied with Neil Thompson, Edwin Roxburgh and John Carewe, took masterclasses with Daniele Gatti, Jorma Panula and Gerhard Markson, and prepared the RCM Symphony orchestra for the distinguished visits of Lorin Maazel and Daniele Gatti.

After winning the August Manns prize for conducting two years consecutively, he then became the first ever winner of the Norman Del Mar conducting prize in 1999, receiving one of the later Norman Del Mar's batons from Sir David Willcocks. Soon after graduating from the Royal College of Music in 1999, Anthony worked with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain as Orchestral Manager for a year, working behind the scenes with one of the largest and most exciting orchestras in the country.

In March 1999 Anthony was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio 3, conducting the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra in Debussy's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune as part of the Youth Orchestra's of the world programme, and the same year by Lyric FM appearing with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (RTE) in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, conducting Brahms' First Symphony and then again the following year conducting Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.

As well as working as a freelance conductor throughout the UK, Anthony also performs internationally and has appeared in local and national television. Orchestras he has conducted include the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra, Hertfordshire Philharmonic Orchestra, Santa Clarita Valley Symphony (Los Angeles), and Horsham Symphony Orchestra amongst others. He is a staff conductor and teacher at the Royal Academy of Music, Junior Academy and also Trinity College of Music, London and is Musical Director if the contemporary music ensemble Avenue-a.

Earlier in 2002, Anthony was a Western Europe finalist of the prestigious Maazel/Vilar International Conducting Competition.

Visit Anthony Weeden's web site

Bjorn Bantock

Bjorn Bantock"Bantock infects the orchestra with vigour...extracting musical sensibility and technical excellence in equal measures." THE STRAD
[Information provided by Bjorn Bantock, June 2010]:
The conductor Bjorn Bantock has an extensive performance schedule conducting numerous ensembles and orchestras in the United Kingdom, Europe and the rest of the world. Some of his recent engagements include the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town, the European Bienniale in Naples, the Svanker Music Festival and the International String Orchestra Festival in Malta with concertmaster Matthias Wollong (Leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe). He also has conducted the Watford Philharmonic Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, the Hertfordshire Philharmonia, the Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin, the Orchestra of the Royal Conservatoire of Music in Copenhagen and the Moscow Philharmonic. Bantock is the principal conductor for the London Chamber Strings and the Europa Ensemble. He has recently been appointed as the principal conductor for the St Albans Symphony Orchestra and will take up the position in September 2010.

Now based in London, Bantock recently returned from a tour of South America performing in Chille, Argentina and Brazil. He has worked as conductor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Contemporary Dance School and was recently invited to conduct and give a series of lectures for the Classical Live Exhibition at the London Olympia. He is also principal conductor for the 100 piece Film Score Spectacular Orchestra.

Bantock conducts for the ASKOV and Open Strings Festivals in Denmark, the Oxford Cello School and the Alpine Summer Course in Geneva and the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain. Bjorn is regularly invited to give master classes, most recently for Pro Corda, King's College Wimbledon, the European String Teachers Association at the Royal College of Music, the Amersham Music Festival and Crantock Bay Summer School. He also has a cello class at Cambridge University with pupils from Trinity, St John, Caius, Kings, Pembroke, Clare, and St Catharine's Colleges.

Winner of the 2003 Contemporary Music Prize, Bantock is actively involved in the performance of contemporary music and participated in broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, performing works by James Macmillan. Bantock has won numerous prizes, bursaries and scholarships including first prize in the Sir John Barbirolli competition and a full four year Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music International Scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he was also awarded the highest performance accolade of the RNCM, a PPRNCM. Bantock studied conducting with Colin Metters, Head of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Visit Bjorn Bantock's website


Rufus Frowde

Rufus Frowde read music at Oxford University (where he was Conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia, Organ Scholar of Merton College and a tenor in Schola Cantorum). He then became Organ Scholar of Worcester Cathedral. Following a career in teaching, Rufus took up his current post as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. This has included playing for the Queen and accompanying Kiri te Kanawa and José Carreras. He combined this with postgraduate study in Choral Direction and Church Music at the Royal Academy of Music, being awarded prizes in both disciplines.

Rufus appears on the Divine Art and Diversions labels and has participated in workshops with the BBC Singers, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Royal Academy of Music Chamber Choir as well as conducting in the London Master Classes under Benjamin Zander. Amongst numerous conducting appointments he recently became Musical Director of Vivamus, a vibrant young London-based chamber choir who perform primarily at St James's Church, Piccadilly.

Recent performances include numerous UK cathedrals, the Royal Albert Hall, the Spitalfields Festival, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, New Chamber Opera, La Madeleine (Paris), Cologne Cathedral and Neresheim Abbey (Germany), as well as Dave Brubeck's Cantata The Gates of Justice (European Premiere). He has accompanied Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle in Rome under the direction of Sir David Willcocks and conducted the West Forest Sinfonia and the Centenary Chorus in a capacity performance of Verdi's Requiem in Guildford Cathedral. He has also recently accompanied the trumpeter Crispian Steele Perkins in a concert with the English Arts Chorale and has just completed a tour playing continuo with the acclaimed violinist Lara St John and the London Baroque Ensemble. He is also the regular accompanist for The Knack Singers (a recital series for recent graduates of ENO's training scheme 'The Knack').

Visit Rufus Frowde's website