Atherton, David


In 1967 Atherton was co-founder of the London Sinfonietta[4] and, as its Music Director, a position he held until 1973, gave the first performance of many important contemporary works. Also in 1967 he was invited to join the music staff of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, by Sir Georg Solti. In 1968 he became the youngest conductor ever to appear there, conducting Il Trovatore. He spent twelve years as Resident Conductor giving over 150 performances. Also in 1968 he was the youngest conductor in the history of the BBC Proms Concerts and subsequently appeared in thirty contiguous seasons.[5][6]

In 1976 he conducted for the first time at La Scala in Milan, Italy. In 1978 he conducted at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California in the United States. Then in 1980 he was appointed Music Director of the San Diego Symphony, a post he held until 1987 and Principal Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. In 1989 he founded the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego and was appointed Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he held until 2000. In recognition of his services to the music of Hong Kong, he was awarded the OBE and the title of Conductor Laureate of the orchestra.

He has also been the Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales[5] and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has also devised and conducted festivals in London featuring the complete works of Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern and Edgard Varèse with the London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Opera House.
He has also appeared with the English National Opera, Canadian Opera Company and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, as well as the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, which he returns to regularly. He also returns to California each summer to direct the Mainly Mozart Festival.
He has opened the Prague Spring International Music Festival and the Berliner Festspiele with the Berlin Philharmonic, and travels widely, in particular to the United States where he regularly visits many of the leading North American orchestras.

Image Credit: 
Ken Jacques
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