Gavin Sutherland has established a flourishing and varied career and is in international demand as a conductor,
composer/arranger and pianist. Born in County Durham, England, in 1972, he was active in music from a very early age.
He studied conducting, piano and orchestration at Huddersfield University and graduated with first-class honours, as well as
gaining the Kruczynski Prize for Piano and the Davidson Prize for Distinction Brought to the Institution.
Music for dance has played a very important part in Gavin’s career, beginning with his appointment as pianist and staff conductor for Northern Ballet Theatre from 1992 – 98. On the basis of his first CD, the critically acclaimed British Light Music
Discoveries on ASV, Gavin began a healthy relationship with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia in its roles on the concert platform and as the orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet (involving both national and international tours). Gavin has featured as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and has also guest conducted frequently for English National Ballet, National Ballet of Japan, Atlanta Ballet, New Adventures and South African Ballet Theatre.
In June 2008 he became Music Director of English National Ballet, becoming Principal Conductor in November 2010.
His prolific output of over ninety recordings have been made all over the world, predominantly with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, for labels such as Decca, EMI-Virgin, ASV, Sony, Warner Classics, Naxos Marco Polo, Dutton-Vocalion, Campion and Olympian. He has played a large part in the current revival
of British music chiefly through several popular series of discs, although he has recorded works as wide-ranging as Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and the chart-topping Carry On Album and the single release of the Radio 4 UK Theme.
In August 2009 he was appointed Chairman of the Light Music Society.
Gavin appears regularly in concert with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra (particularly as a conductor for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night), the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In May 2001, Gavin began another lasting relationship, as Principal Guest Conductor of the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, for whom he now conducts regularly both in Melbourne and Sydney Opera House. He has also guest conducted orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Macau Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Colonne (Paris), the Wellington Sinfonia, the Auckland Philharmonia, the North of England Concert Orchestra, Scottish Opera and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. 2016 also saw Gavin make his debut at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
In addition to his work as a conductor, Gavin is very well known as a composer/arranger. He regularly supplies arrangements performed by all of the BBC orchestras, the Australian Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Royal Opera House and Hallé Orchestras amongst many others, and his orchestration of Giselle for the Norwegian National Ballet was revived by Milwaukee Ballet in 2004. Recent compositions include a musical, Little Women, which premiered in London in summer 2000, a clarinet concerto, several chamber works and a one-act ballet, Revolting Rhymes. Recent work includes two ballets for children after music by Tchaikovsky, Angelina Ballerina’s Big Audition and Angelina’s Star Performance, for English National Ballet, the orchestration of Rachmaninoff piano music for the award-winning Wayne Eagling ballet Men Y Men, and most recently the score for Akram Khan’s Giselle (Reimagined).. He has also gained a reputation for transcription, thus rediscovering and performing works whose original performance materials had been lost, from TV themes to forgotten Russian ballet works.
His work as an arranger has also led to a fruitful relationship with Raymond Gubbay, arranging and musically directing many concerts for the company, including Anton and Erin – Cheek to Cheek, Anton and Erin – Steppin’ Out, We’ll Meet Again and Simply Gershwin, all enjoying sellout UK tours.
As a pianist Gavin performs regularly as a concerto soloist, often directing from the keyboard, and appears as a recitalist, accompanist and chamber musician. He has also released three volumes of solo piano improvisations, Piano Pastimes, for the Campion Cameo label. His work in the educational field is also extensive, with frequent conducting courses, orchestral repertoire sessions, concerto/vocal coaching and lectures given extensively throughout the UK and abroad. He has also given tuition in the use of music-engraving software, such as Sibelius and Finale, and has extensive knowledge both of recording production software and sequencing programmes.