November 12, 2012
Music Director, North Carolina Symphony
Grant Llewellyn is known throughout the world as a musician of great talent, versatility and passion. Born in Tenby, South Wales, Llewellyn won a conducting fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 1985 where he worked with Bernstein, Ozawa, Masur and Previn.
Llewellyn began his tenure as North Carolina Symphony Music Director in 2004. His sophisticated perspective has captured the interest and imagination of everyone he encounters. Critics and audiences alike have noted the passion and concentration of the orchestra under his baton and praise his “transcendent performances” and his “graceful and expressive direction.”
To date, Grant Llewellyn has held positions with three European orchestras: principal conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic, principal guest conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and associate guest conductor with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Notable recent European guest engagements have included the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic and BBC Symphony. He has also conducted the Johannesburg (South Africa) Symphony Orchestra.
Grant Llewellyn has conducted many orchestras in North America, most notably the symphonies of Atlanta, Boston, Calgary, Nashville, Houston, Montreal, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Kansas City and Toronto, as well as the Florida Orchestra. From 2001 to 2006, as music director of the Handel and Haydn Society, America’s leading period orchestra, Llewellyn gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the Baroque and Classical periods.
An accomplished opera conductor, Grant Llewellyn has appeared at the opera companies of English National Opera (The Magic Flute) and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where his repertoire has ranged from Handel’s Radamisto to Alexander Goehr’s Arianna. In 2001 he embarked on a collaboration with acclaimed Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng in a production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at Spoleto Festival, USA.
He has also conducted the North Carolina Symphony in two critically acclaimed recordings for the Swedish label BIS: American Spectrum with saxophonist Branford Marsalis and a 2010 release of concertos by Rachmaninoff and Medtner with pianist Yevgeny Sudbin.