Cambridge born British conductor Harry Curtis began his musical studies singing for the Royal Family in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. He studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Sir Colin Davis and Colin Metters and later in Berlin at the University of Arts under Lutz Köhler. His teachers also included Pierre Boulez, Jorma Panula, Leonard Slatkin and Ilya Musin.
In 2002 he was a prizewinner in the Leeds Conducting Competition. He has conducted the London Symphony, Budapest Festival, Bournemouth Symphony, Berlin Symphony, English Symphony and Opera North Orchestras. He has conducted at the Berlin Staatsoper and London’s Battersea Arts Festival, where he performed Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse.
In 1996 Harry Curtis became Music Director of the London Chamber Group with which he has recorded several CDs and in 2001 he took on the London Pergolesi Sinfonietta. From 2005 to 2013 he worked as Assistant Conductor of the Bochum Symphony Orchestra in Germany, whom he conducted on a regular basis, working with renowned artists such as Tabea Zimmermann, Radu Lupu, Robert Levin, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Sol Gabeta, Antje Weithaas, Marc Andre Hamelin, Take Six and composers such as John Corigliano and Hans Werne Henze. He was in this time also Chorus Master of the orchestra’s Philharmonic Chorus. With this 120 strong choir he conducted a varied choral repertory of such works as Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Brahms’ German Requiem and Mahler’s Klagende Lied and Symphony of a Thousand.
In 2006 and 2007 he was conductor of the second orchestra in the internationally renowned RuhrTriennale production of the Zimmermann opera Die Soldaten (directed by David Pountney) which also enjoyed enormous success at the Lincoln Centre Festival in New York’s Armory. At the 2012 Ruhtriennale he led the musical preparation of orchestra and singers for the lavish and critically acclaimed production of John Cage’s Europeras 1&2.
From 2005 to 2013 Harry Curtis served as Music Director of Bochum’s Prinz-Regent-Theater, where he staged numerous productions including Nyman’s The man who mistook his wife for a hat, Cage’s Europera V, Pergolesi’s Serva Padrona, Brahms‘ Die schöne Magelone and the new commision “Mein lieber Schwan”. In 2008 for his conducting in “L’Histoire du Soldat/Behr-Kyrsch-Projekt” (Stravinsky/Moritz Eggert) Harry Curtis was pronounced best conductor in the Critics’ Vote of “Theater Pur” magazine. In 2009 he conducted works by Thomas Ades, Elliot Carter and Charles Neidich with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra at the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival. Since 2012 he is a regularly invited to guest conduct the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra.
Harry Curtis is also no stranger to unusual cross-over projects, having given orchestra l concerts with renowned Iranian tar player Keyvan Saket and with the Turkish Ensemble Sarband. In the pop and jazz field he performed with the cult singer John Cale at the 2011 Ruhrtriennale as well as working with Take Six and Herbert Grönemeyer.
Since 2013 Harry Curtis has a position as conducting teacher and orchestral conductor at the University of Arts Berlin and the International Conducting Academy Berlin (further information here >>).
In 2017 Harry Curtis was awarded the honour Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) for his significant contribution in the field conducting.