Collon, Nicholas


Nicholas Collon is establishing an enviable reputation as a commanding and inspirational interpreter in an exceptionally wide range of music.  As founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra he has promoted imaginative programming that integrates challenging repertoire from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with masterworks of the Classical and Romantic eras.  Nicholas and Aurora were winners of Best Ensemble at the 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and Nicholas is the recipient of the 2012 Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent.

Having made a very successful debut at the BBC Proms in 2010, Nicholas has been re-invited each successive year with Aurora Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.  With Aurora Nicholas leads the New Moves series, a unique three-year cross-arts residency at LSO St Luke’s which has included critically acclaimed collaborations with capoeira, film, theatre, tango, and literature.

In addition to his work with Aurora, he is increasingly in demand as a guest conductor with other ensembles in the UK and abroad. In recent seasons Nicholas has worked with ensembles including the Philhamonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC and Royal Philharmonics, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Northern Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music and Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Nicholas has recently appeared with ENO with The Magic Flute, WNO for Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream, and Glyndebourne on Tour with Britten’s Rape of Lucretia.  Other operatic highlights have included  special projects at Glyndebourne conducting new works, The Knight Crew by Julian Phillips and Imago  by Orlando Gough. With the Opera Group he has conducted the first performances of Elena Langer’s The Lion’s Face and Luke Bedford’s Seven Angels, the latter with BCMG.

Image Credit: 
Maximilian Baillie



Founded in Manchester by the pianist and conductor Charles Hallé in 1858, The Hallé is Britain's longest established permanent professional symphony orchestra; its conductors include such distinguished figures as Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli.

The Hallé's family of ensembles includes the Hallé Choir - founded alongside the orchestra in 1858 - the Hallé Youth Choir, Children's Choir and Youth Orchestra; its pioneering education programme generates over 60 projects a year.

In 1996, the Hallé moved to its new home, The Bridgewater Hall, where it presents over 70 concerts a year. Making over 40 appearances annually throughout the rest of Britain, the Hallé attracts large and enthusiastic audiences both in Manchester and beyond

Sir Mark Elder became Music Director in 2000. In 2011, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic were awarded the South Bank Sky Arts Award for their performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony; the Hallé have previously won the South Bank Show Classical Music Award for collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic, the RNCM and the CBSO.

In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label: its recordings of Wagner's Götterdämmerung, and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair have both won Gramophone Awards.

Wigglesworth, Ryan


In recent seasons Ryan Wigglesworth has appeared with orchestras and ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Avanti!, Ensemble Modern and English Touring Opera. His repertoire stretches from the Baroque to the present day, with over forty premieres to date, including works by Birtwistle, Goehr and Carter. During the past year he made his second appearance at the BBC Proms, his debut at the Royal Opera House, appeared as pianist/director in performances of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17, and conducted Eugene Onegin at the Endellion Festival. Forthcoming concerts include a re-invitation to the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall, returns to the BBCSO and the Britten Sinfonia, and his debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestra at the Philharmonie, Berlin.

As a composer, his recent triptych of works for the BBCSO have met with widespread critical acclaim. Sternenfall (2007); The Genesis of Secrecy (2009), commissioned by the BBC Proms and premiered by Sir Andrew Davis; and Augenlieder (2009), an orchestral song cycle written for soprano Claire Booth and premiered under the direction of the composer at the Barbican in November 2009. Augenlieder won the vocal prize at the 2010 British Composer Awards. His most recent work - A First Book of Inventions (2010) - was premiered by the composer with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in November 2010.Upcoming projects include a work for tenor Mark Padmore and the Berlin Philharmonic's Scharoun Ensemble, and a Violin Concerto for Gordan Nikolic and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, as part of his residency with the NCO and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam.

Wigglesworth was educated at Oxford University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and between 2007-9 was a Lecturer at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College.

Image Credit: 
Benjamin Ealovega

Cornelius, Gerry


Gerry Cornelius was born in London of Irish and Sri Lankan parentage.  He read music at Durham University and went on to study conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then spent three years in the class of the legendary teacher Ilya Musin in St Petersburg.

Since making his debut in the UK at the Almeida Opera Festival, he has gone on to conduct for many of the country’s leading orchestras, ensembles, opera and ballet companies. These include recent appearances with Welsh National Opera, English National Ballet, BBC Concert Orchestra, Spitalfields Festival and The Opera Group.   He also regularly conducts in Europe and Asia and has recently enjoyed revisiting the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Bochumer Symphoniker, RuhrTriennale Opera Festival and Klavierfestival Ruhr.  

As well as mainstream opera, ballet and symphonic repertoire he is particularly in demand to conduct world premiere productions of major new works.  These include award-winning new operas and ensemble pieces by George Benjamin, Colin Matthews, Errollyn Wallen, Edward Rushton, Julian Philips, and Elena Langer.

In education he has been a visiting conductor and tutor at the University of London - Goldsmiths, English National Opera Studio, The Royal College and Royal Academy of Music – the latter of which has just elected him an Associate of the Royal Academy.   He is Conductor in Residence for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and conducted the recent Music Mix concerts for children with the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as large scale community projects for WNO Max Department and Spitalfields Festival.


BCMG was formed in 1987 from within the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and is established as one of Europe’s leading ensembles.   Sir Simon Rattle is the Group’s Founding Patron and has conducted BCMG in the UK, on tour in Europe and America, and on several EMI recordings. The Group has strong relationships with its two Artists-in-Association Oliver Knussen and John Woolrich, and also with Thomas Adès who conducts the Group during 2006/07 in Birmingham, London, Cologne and Paris, and with whom BCMG is invited to Carnegie Hall, New York in 2008. BCMG was awarded The Arts Ball 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award and has also won prestigious Prudential, Royal Philharmonic Society, Gramophone and PRS Millennial awards. In May 2005, BCMG was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Audience Development for its popular Rural Tours programme.
The core of BCMG's work is the performance of new music, and the Group has premiered over 100 new works by leading UK and overseas composers. Most have been commissioned with the help of a large number of individuals through BCMG’s ground-breaking Sound Investmentscheme. The Group regularly tours nationally and internationally. Recent UK engagements have included appearances at the Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Festivals, and at the BBC Proms with Birmingham Opera Company for Benjamin Britten’s CurlewRiver.  In April 2006, the Group toured the UK with New York-based jazz trumpeter, Dave Douglas, performing Blue Latitudes, a piece commissioned through BCMG’s Sound Investment scheme. Previous projects have included a European tour with Sir Simon Rattle in 2000, a tour of India in 2002 with Judith Weir and Indian storyteller Vayu Naidu and visits to the Berlin, Radio France Présences and Vienna’s Wien Modern Festivals, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal.   
BCMG is committed to engaging the widest possible range of people with its work, and runs extensive learning and audience-building programmes in pursuit of this aim. Projects with young people in and out of school and with adults in a range of community settings are complemented by free performance projects such as the Group’s popular ‘Rural Tours’, Late-Night performances and Meet-the-Composer days. BCMG broadcasts often on BBC Radio, has made TV programmes for BBC and Independent Television, and numerous CD recordings.  The relationship with NMC is particularly strong, with the recent launch of a new CD of Britten’s film music and several more discs planned.


Richard Causton - Millennium Scenes

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Hallé / Nicholas Collon conductor
BCMG / Gerry Cornelius, Ryan Wigglesworth conductors


Millennium Scenes was written in 1998-99: rather than an empty celebration of the turn of a century, the composer writes that 'I had in mind a series of fleeting images... - a TV commercial, perhaps, a couple arguing, laughter, a dead animal on the road, religious fervour, a child being hit - almost anything, in fact, but all of them real events taking pace around the turn of the millennium.'

By contrast with the massive orchestra of Millennium Scenes, Notturno explores the night landscapes evoked by poet Salvatore Quasimodo, while As Kingfishers Catch Fire exploits the colours of flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet.  Chamber Symphony, which closes the album, juxtaposes ideas of the mechanical and natural, partly inspired by the composer's fascination with the writings of William Blake.




5:4 BEST 40 ALBUMS of 2014 (No. 23)

'Causton is among our most imaginative composers, and these five works, all substantial, often with flaring brilliance, are almost too much to take in. They will repay many listenings'   Sunday Times

‘A significant release much to be celebrated. Causton’s ear for the ethereal is genuinely magnificent; it causes Kingfishers to transcend its mortal combat & enables The Persistence of Memory (an early work, composed in 1995) to manifest vividly the uncanny effects brought on by a nasty bout of delirium. The brute forces unleashed in the work’s twin movements are as breathtaking as they are intimidating.’ 5:4

'A skillfully made piece ... Causton is a fantastic orchestrator'  Hear and Now, BBC Radio 3

'An orchestral riot'    Hear and Now, BBC Radio 3

‘The composer’s huge dynamic contrasts and complex rhythms obviously pose no problems in performances that stand out for their executional finesse, painstaking balances and commitment.’ Gramophone

‘The first comment to make about this disc is ‘not before time’. Richard Causton has been a significant figure in contemporary British music for almost two decades now and this is the first release devoted entirely to his music. As an overview of his output over some 15 years, it confirms both the singularity and the consistency of his musical vision. An invaluable release.’ IRR

‘An ambitious style of writing and the dash to pull it off. It’s one of those indispensably new offerings no one can afford to miss.’ Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

‘'Causton’s Millennium Scenes offers the most intense blend of the personal and the political…the disc’s title work for large orchestra is by turns tumultuous and ethereal, combing mechanistic fury with passages of contained, luminescent sadness.’ Tempo 69 



This recording has been made with support from King’s College, Cambridge, Trinity College, Cambridge, and with support from the Faculty of Music of the University of Cambridge.

NMC Recordings is very grateful to the RVW Trust, the Boltini Trust and the John S Cohen Foundation for their support of this project.

With thanks to the trusts, foundations and individuals who have invested in NMC’s Debut Discs series:

The Astor Foundation
The John S Cohen Foundation
The Fenton Arts Trust
Nicholas and Judith Goodison
Mercers' Charitable Foundation
The Stanley Picker Charitable Trust
The Radcliffe Trust
RVW Trust
Jennifer Roslyn Wingate
& the individuals who donated through The Big Give Christmas Challenge December 2011



Millennium Scenes was recorded at Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester, on 29-30 October 2013.

Chamber Symphony was recorded live at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham on 15 February 2013. The Persistence of Memory, As Kingfishers Catch Fire and Notturno were recorded at the same venue on 12 and 15 September 2013.

DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer/ Producer
DAVID LEFEBER Digital Editing/Mastering
COLIN MATTHEWS Executive Producer for NMC

FRANCOIS HALL Graphic design

(P) 2013 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2013 NMC Recordings Ltd

Catalogue number:
NMC D192
Release Date:
3 March 2014