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Martin Yates



Conductor Martin Yates made his Royal Ballet debut in 2004 conducting Agon. He has since conducted every season with the Company, in productions including Manon, Mayerling, L’Invitation au voyage, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and The Seven Deadly Sins, and orchestrated and conducted Carlos Acosta’s production of Don Quixote and Acosta’s Carmen, for which he created the orchestral arrangement. Other compositions include the original score for Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth, inspired by the music of Tudor composers. Yates has regularly conducted for the Company’s international tours.

Yates studied as a pianist, composer and conductor and made his professional debut with Israel National Opera, later conducting at the opera houses of Helsinki, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo and Rome. He is best known for his recordings of British and French music and his work in ballet. He has conducted for companies including Paris Opera Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Norwegian National Ballet, National Ballet of Tokyo and Hong Kong Ballet, in repertory including Manon, The Sleeping Beauty, Onegin, The Nutcracker, The Rite of Spring, The Firebird, Petrushka, Pulcinella, Four Last Songs, The Four Sections and Don Quixote. He is a prolific conductor on the concert platform, conducting orchestras such as the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester, London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with which he has made more than thirty recordings.

Yates’s orchestrations and completions include Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in E, Elgar’s Pageant of Empire, Moeran’s Symphony no.2, Arnell’s Symphony no.7, Ireland’s Sarnia and, in ballet, Hans van Manen’s Four Schumann Pieces and Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon.

News and features

Ballet Essentials: Kenneth MacMillan's Manon

30 March 2018
Ballet Essentials: Kenneth MacMillan's <em>Manon</em>

A quick guide to MacMillan’s passionate ballet with a captivating heroine at its heart.

Dance Theatre Essentials: Elizabeth

4 January 2016
Dance Theatre Essentials: <em>Elizabeth</em>

Our quick introduction to Will Tuckett’s portrait in dance, music and text of Queen Elizabeth I.

Watch: Conductor Martin Yates – ‘I knew Don Quixote would be something exceptional’

23 March 2015
Watch: Conductor Martin Yates – ‘I knew Don Quixote would be something exceptional’

The conductor introduces Ludwig Minkus, ‘one of the founding fathers of Russian ballet music’, through the music of Don Quixote.