Credit: Laurent Guizard

Grant Llewellyn

CONDUCTOR
Music Director Laureate: North Carolina Symphony
Representation: General Management

Music Director Laureate of the North Carolina Symphony, Grant Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy, and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. Born in Tenby, South Wales, Llewellyn won a Conducting Fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 1985 where he worked with Bernstein, Ozawa, Masur, and Previn.

Having concluded his tenure as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Bretagne after eight years, he returns this year to conduct their final concert of the season featuring Hodinott, Walton and Brahms’ Symphony No.3. Last season, under Llewellyn’s direction, the orchestra performed the world premiere of Sarah Lianne Lewis’ L’Île des jamais trop tard, a symphonic tale exploring and reflecting upon the sounds of seascapes and the threats of climate change, and finished the season with a spectacular concert at Festival Saint Denis in Paris with Bryn Terfel and Carlos Nunez.

Elsewhere, Llewellyn’s guest engagements have included the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, amongst others. Llewellyn enjoys a continuing relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales whom he led on tour to Patagonia and South America as well as joining their 90th anniversary celebrations and conducting their Proms in the Park in September 2018.

An accomplished opera conductor, Grant Llewellyn has appeared at the opera companies of English National Opera, Opera North, and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where his repertoire has ranged from The Magic Flute to Alexander Goehr’s Arianna.  Productions include the US premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Fidelio with the Opéra de Rennes, where he recently led Mathieu Bauer’s production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, which received the Claude Rostand prize from the Syndicat Français de la Critique for Best Opera Outside of Paris (meilleur spectacle lyrique en régions).

After seventeen years as the North Carolina Symphony’s Music Director, Llewellyn currently holds the post of Music Director Laureate. Llewellyn returns there twice this season for a symphonic programme, and an education project. Llewellyn has conducted widely across North America, most notably the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Toronto and recently at Caramoor Festival with the Orchestra of St Luke’s. During his time as Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, America’s leading period orchestra, he gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the baroque and classical periods.

Notable recordings with the North Carolina Symphony include American Spectrum, featuring 20th century works with the saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and Britten’s Cello Symphony and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante with the cellist Zuill Bailey; and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra he recently recorded a disc of Lowell Liebermann’s orchestral works.

Deeply committed and passionate about engaging young people with music, Llewellyn regularly leads education and outreach projects; in 2017 he led the first ever “relaxed” BBC Prom with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a concert specially designed for those with autism, sensory and communication impairments, and learning disabilities.

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact James Brown Management to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Isabella Hopkins

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News

Llewellyn: Sensory Friendly concert in North Carolina

May 31st, 2024

On Saturday 1st June, Music Director Laureate Grant Llewellyn returns for his second sensory-friendly concert with North Carolina Symphony. This concert experience is welcoming to all families – it is specially designed for those with autism, sensory and communication impairments, and learning disabilities and includes repertoire such as Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and Offenbach’s Can-Can. GrantRead more ›

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Viviane Hagner returns to Rennes

April 3rd, 2024

Following the success of Viviane Hagner’s Bach Inspiration concerts in December, Viviane returns to Rennes for her final concert as Artist in Residence with the Orchestre National de Bretagne. She is currently preparing Walton’s Violin Concerto, under Welsh Conductor Grant Llewellyn. The Orchestre National de Bretagne is joined by members of the BBC National OrchestraRead more ›

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Grant Llewellyn returns with Beethoven Celtique in Brittany and Paris

June 22nd, 2023

Following the success of the Beethoven Celtique programme with the Orchestre National de Bretagne in 2021, Grant Llewellyn is reunited with Bryn Terfel and Carlos Núñez for an encore of this unique celebration of Beethoven and Celtic culture. This time, Llewellyn is also joined by traditional singers and instrumentalists for this special programme, which Llewellyn conducts inRead more ›

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Grant Llewellyn returns to North Carolina

April 24th, 2023

This week, Music Director Laureate Grant Llewellyn brings a flavour of France to North Carolina. Llewellyn conducts an all-French programme including Debussy/Pépin: Hommage à Rameau from Images, Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1, featuring Sterling Elliott, and Bizet’s Roma. Find out more here.

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Grant Llewellyn gives World Premiere of L’île des Jamais Trop Tard

March 10th, 2023

A ten-year-old North Atlantic islander, Lise, polar animals stranded by melting sea ice, and the looming climate threat: under the baton of Grant Llewellyn, L’Orchestre National de Bretagne gives the world premiere of L’île des Jamais Trop Tard (The Island of Never Too Late), a symphonic tale by composer Sarah Lianne Lewis and playwright StéphaneRead more ›

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Discography

PROKOFIEV VIOLIN CONCERTOS 1 & 2 Released on the Orchid Classics label, Matthew Trusler (violin) joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Grant Llewellyn for Prokofiev’s Violin Concertos 1 & 2
ORC (2017)

MARK BOWDEN – SUDDEN LIGHT
“Sudden Light” traces Bowden’s works between 2005 and 2015 during which time he was a resident composer for four years with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Grant Llewellyn conducts the orchestra with soloists Oliver Coates (cello) and Julian Warburton (percussion).
NMC (2016)

BRITTEN – CELLO SYMPHONY & CELLO SONATA
Zuill Bailey (cello) with Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony.
TELARC (2014)

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Imogen Morris
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