JAM is thrilled to announce that the wonderful conductor and organist, Michael Bawtree, has accepted the position of Principal Conductor of JAM. He has conducted many JAM events since 2010 in London, Scotland and Kent. With JAM he has performed with the London Mozart Players, Onyx Brass, Red Note Ensemble, BrassLab and the choirs of St Andrews, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities and Selwyn College, Cambridge in concerts across the United Kingdom. JAM Chairman, Edward Armitage said, “I am thrilled that Michael has accepted the role of Principal Conductor, embedding him further into JAM as an essential part of our music-making and leadership.”
Bawtree takes over the position from Nicholas Cleobury, who has worked with JAM since 2003. “We are indebted to Nick for his long service to JAM, during which he has directed multiple world premieres in some of our most important concerts, many broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Nick is a great friend to JAM, and stepping down is certainly not a ‘goodbye’, but more an ‘until we meet again’; we very much look forward to working with him again in the near future,” commented Armitage.
A musician with a wide-ranging international career, Glasgow-based British conductor Michael Bawtree has directed the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and many performances for Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet and Raymond Gubbay Ltd across the British Isles. For seven years, he was Assistant Music Director of the Lyrique-en-Mer summer opera festival in Brittany.
For thirteen seasons Bawtree has been Chorus Director of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union and Music Director of Glasgow Chamber Choir; he is Artistic Director-elect of Edinburgh University Chamber Choir. He has worked with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the RSNO chorus and toured with other choirs across Europe, North America, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include concerts in Australia, India, Sweden, Holland, Germany, the Faroe Islands and France. He conducted the RSNO at the Commonwealth Games’ Celebration concert and at recent Hogmanay Gala concerts in Glasgow. He made his debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015 conducting Mozart’s Requiem with the London Philharmonic Choir.
Bawtree spent the summer of 2014 living in Mumbai, directing a choral project with 250 children from all walks of life: slum children sang alongside the most privileged on the stage of the National Centre for the Performing Arts. In September 2015, he travelled to Brisbane to direct a choral project at the Queensland Conservatorium. A keen advocate of contemporary music, Bawtree has conducted many premieres and works regularly with Scotland’s foremost composers including the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Paul Mealor, Sir James MacMillan, Thea Musgrave, Rory Boyle and Sally Beamish.
Michael Bawtree studied music and the organ at Christ’s College, Cambridge University, and conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As organist and continuo player, he has performed with the London Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Scottish National and Scottish Chamber Orchestras including concerts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Audi Summer Concerts festival in Bavaria. A prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, he continues to pursue a busy recital schedule: recent invitations have taken Bawtree to many of the major British cathedrals, Westminster Abbey, Auckland Town Hall, Notre-Dame de Paris, Washington National Cathedral and across the USA and Scandinavia.