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Barry Wordsworth

Conductor

Biography

Barry Wordsworth in action.
Barry Wordsworth, Music Director of The Royal Ballet, conducting a rehearsal of As One

Barry Wordsworth is Principal Guest Conductor of The Royal Ballet. He has a long relationship with The Royal Ballet, having first been appointed as Assistant Conductor to the Company’s touring orchestra in 1972. The following year he became Principal Conductor of the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and served as Music Director of The Royal Ballet from 1990 to 1995 and from 2006 to 2015, after a middle period with Birmingham Royal Ballet. He recently became Music Director Laureate of BRB, and has appeared as a guest conductor with companies around the world, including Tokyo Ballet, Leipzig Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. He was appointed to his current position at the start of the 2015/16 Season.

Wordsworth was born in Surrey. His first experience of conducting was a performance of Handel’s Messiah at school. He won a scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music aged 13, followed by a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Adrian Boult.

Wordsworth has had a distinguished parallel career as a symphonic conductor. In 2006, he was appointed Conductor Laureate of the BBC Concert Orchestra, having been its Principal Conductor for many years. He has conducted at every BBC Proms season since 1989 and in 1993 conducted the Last Night of the Proms. Wordsworth holds honorary doctorates from the University of Brighton and the University of Central England in Birmingham, and is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music in London.

Videos

News and features

Sky Arts set to broadcast seven ROH productions during autumn 2015

Sky Arts set to broadcast seven ROH productions during autumn 2015

24 August 2015

A number of recent Royal Opera and Royal Ballet productions will be shown on Sky Arts over the coming months.

Watch: Song of the Earth discussed - 'The unique quality of the choreography and wonderful score make it a masterpiece'

Watch: Song of the Earth discussed - 'The unique quality of the choreography and wonderful score make it a masterpiece'

29 April 2015

Monica Mason, Barry Wordsworth and Grant Coyle on Kenneth MacMillan's acclaimed ballet.

Going Underground: A day in the life of the orchestra pit

Going Underground: A day in the life of the orchestra pit

22 January 2015

How do beautiful performances emerge from such dark, cramped conditions?

Photos