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Guest Conductors

Michael Seal – Guest Conductor 2017


Michael Seal holds the position of Associate Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), a unique appointment which recognises his work as Assistant Conductor, and the special relationship he has built with the orchestra. His in-depth knowledge of orchestras from an insider’s position (he was a violinist with the CBSO for several years) gives him a unique perspective and he quickly builds rapport and trust with the orchestras he works with. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious and he has built a reputation for outstanding results, delivered with great charm and often on a typically British tight rehearsal schedule.
Michael has worked with many of the UK’s finest orchestras, frequently being invited as guest conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Ulster orchestras, as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Internationally, he has conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Orquesta Académica del Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires and both RTÉ Concert and National Symphony Orchestras.
Michael has a special bond with the CBSO Youth Orchestra, conducting it on numerous occasions, and being involved with it since its foundation. He is also Artistic Advisor and Conductor for the CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy, a chamber orchestra formed in 2007.
His love of opera led to critically acclaimed performances of Puccini’s Il Trittico at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He has also assisted both Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons in opera performances of Peter Grimes, Carmen, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde and The Flying Dutchman. 2016-17 engagements include several appearances with the CBSO, plus return visits to the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony and Orquesta Académica del Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón

Frank Zielhorst – Rehearsal Conductor 2017


Frank Zielhorst studied orchestral conducting with Jac van Steen and Kenneth Montgomery at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, after studying viola with Ferdinand Erblich. In June 2013 he received his Master’s degree “cum laude” following a concert with the Brabants Orchestra (Eindhoven). From September 2014 until August 2016, Frank held the position of Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
From the moment he started conducting, Frank received opportunities to work with professional orchestras. Early engagements included for example the première of Hochzeiten by Stockhausen at the Radio Kamerfilharmonie and Charles Ives’s Universe Symphony with the Noord-Nederlands Orkest (Groningen). Being the first student to graduate from the National Master Orchestral Conducting, he has been a guest with almost all orchestras in the Netherlands, either to conduct them in concert or to receive master classes. Since his graduation, he has been invited to work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the The Hague Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Future engagements include Philharmonie ZuidNederland, Ulster Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva.
Apart from symphonic conducting, Frank has a special love for stage works. He conducted amongst others performances of Madama Butterfly, Eugene Onegin, L’elisir d’amore and Victor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis at different companies. He also assisted for productions of Turandot, Orfeo ed Euridice, L’enfant et les sortilèges and Intermezzo. With his own ensemble in coproduction with the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, he produced a staging of the modern one-act opera “Death Knocks” by Christian Jost and Woody Allen.
In November 2013, Frank received the prestigious Kersjes Foundation conducting scholarship, enabling him to continue developing his conducting skills.