Accessibility links

Barry Wordsworth

Biography

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

Barry Wordsworth is Music Director of The Royal Ballet, and one of the foremost ballet conductors today. 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. He recently became Music Director Laureate of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and has worked with companies around the world including the Tokyo Ballet, Leipzig Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet.

Born in Surrey, Wordsworth’s first experience of conducting was a performance of Handel’s Messiah at school. He won a scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music at the age of 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

Watch: Insights into The Rite of Spring

Watch: Insights into The Rite of Spring

5 November 2013

Monica Mason rehearses with Claudia Dean, and Barry Wordsworth demonstrates how to conduct a work built on revolutionary rhythms.

Barry Wordsworth appointed Music Director Laureate of Birmingham Royal Ballet

Barry Wordsworth appointed Music Director Laureate of Birmingham Royal Ballet

28 November 2011

Conductor will retain position as Music Director of The Royal Ballet.

Photos