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Nigel Bates


English percussionist, manager, writer and speaker Nigel Bates is Music Administrator for The Royal Ballet. He was Section Principal Percussion of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House 1993–2009 and was appointed to his current position with The Royal Ballet in 2012. His other work at the Royal Opera House includes production on the BBC series ‘Maestro at the Opera’ and ‘Pappano’s Classical Voices’, as well as continuing to perform with the Orchestra. He is a regular contributor to the Royal Opera House programmes and is the chair of the Staff and Artists Charity Project.

Bates began his career as a percussionist with the Band of the Scots Guards. He was principal percussionist with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra 1979–83 and has worked as a freelance percussionist with nearly all the London orchestras and ensembles, including BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He has taught percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, among other schools, and has lectured on music and the arts around the UK and Australia. Former roles include directing the music consultancy and technology companies Acorn Audio and Artslink International.

Bates lived in Australia 2009–11, during which time he directed the Central Queensland Messiah Project. He was a founding member of the advocacy group Arts Central Queensland, and in 2011 was General Manager of the Sydney Fine Music Radio station (formerly known as 2MBS).

Posts by Nigel Bates

Joby Talbot on depicting jealousy through music in his score for The Winter's Tale

27 March 2014
Joby Talbot on depicting jealousy through music in his score for The Winter's Tale

The composer on his score for Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet and how you depict drastically different settings in one cohesive score.