Barry Wordsworth is Music Director 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, a role he resumed in 2006 after a 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. At the end of the 2014/15 Season Wordsworth steps down as Music Director of The Royal Ballet to become Principal Guest Conductor of the Company.
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.
News and features
Watch: Song of the Earth discussed - 'The unique quality of the choreography and wonderful score make it a masterpiece'
Monica Mason, Barry Wordsworth and Grant Coyle on Kenneth MacMillan's acclaimed ballet.
How do beautiful performances emerge from such dark, cramped conditions?
Monica Mason rehearses with Claudia Dean, and Barry Wordsworth demonstrates how to conduct a work built on revolutionary rhythms.