Catherine Larsen-Maguire

A consummate artist who combines innate musicality with superlative technique, an astute musical ear and infectious dynamism on the podium, Catherine Larsen-Maguire is a sought-after conductor whose performances have been praised by critics as “charged with recreative energy, flexible tempi, scrupulous balance and interpretative reach” (The Arts Desk) and “difficult to think of a more committed, deeply involved and precise direction than that of Larsen-Maguire” (Scherzo). Particularly in demand for the clarity she brings to the romantic British repertoire, she remains supremely versatile, equally at home with Haydn, Brahms, Elgar or Mahler as with works by the composers of today.

Larsen-Maguire has in recent years conducted orchestras including the London Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, Orquesta de Extremadura, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Göttinger Symphonieorchester, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia and Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco. The closeness of the relationships she forms with orchestras and their audiences is reflected in the frequency of re-invitations; the 2023/2024 season saw returns to the Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle, Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa and Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, as well as débuts with the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra and Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle-Aquitaine. She has successfully worked with a diverse array of soloists in recent seasons including Carolin Widmann, Edgar Moreau, Adam Walker, Sean Shibe, Jean Rondeau, Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Guy Johnston and Sarah Wegener.

Embracing the challenges of contemporary music and fearless about the complexity of a new score, Larsen-Maguire also works closely with living composers and has given several world and national premières of works of composers including Alexander Goehr, Cathy Milliken, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Gordon Kampe, James MacMillan and Joey Roukens, and has collaborated with contemporary ensembles including Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Ensemble Resonanz, Ensemble Ascolta and Ensemble 10/10 of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

With a passion for mentoring the next generation of musicians, Larsen-Maguire places great emphasis on working with young people, both as conductor and educator. In 2023, following a highly successful series of concerts which was lauded across the Scottish press, she was appointed the first ever Music Director of the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland for the period 2024-2026.

Born in Manchester and now based in Berlin, Larsen-Maguire read Music at Cambridge University, followed by studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Karajan Academy in Berlin. She turned her focus exclusively to conducting in 2012 following a successful career as a bassoonist, which included 10 years as Principal at the Komische Oper Berlin.

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©Miguel Barreto