PETER ASH - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Peter Ash was born in Iowa, USA and studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London. As conductor, he has worked with many major orchestras in Europe and America, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, St Petersburg Camerata, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin, Estonian State Symphony and the National Orchestra of Latvia. Opera work includes Los Angeles Opera, Lisbon Opera, Istanbul State Opera and English Bach Festival. His taste is eclectic and ranges from baroque opera to contemporary music. The Hungarian Cultural Centre awarded him their Bartók prize for his performances of the composer’s music and in particular for a spectacular Barbican Hall performance of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle. Career highlights include the world premieres of Tobias Picker's opera Fantastic Mr. Fox for the Los Angeles Opera, three Haydn operas at Garsington Opera (UK), and The Minpins - his own arrangement of orchestral music by Sibelius - in St. Petersburg.
He has composed two operas. Keepers of the Night was first presented by the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus in 2007. Alan Rich in Variety lauded it for its “charm, sophistication and deep beauty... a series of ensembles of truly bewitching complex harmonies.” Three years later, The Golden Ticket, based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was premiered by Opera Theatre St Louis to enthusiastic acclaim. The critic of Opera Today praised Ash’s “unique aural palette,” while the Chicago Tribune described the show as “deliciously droll … an artful blend of simplicity and sophistication.” Further performances followed at the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland and then in Atlanta, Georgia. A recording released in November 2012, conducted by Ash, was described by Gramophone as “an enchanting opera....(an) adroit transformation of Dahl’s book...into an uproarious and endearing operatic adventure.”
He has recently written a piece for violin and piano called A Major Chase. He is currently developing his third opera project.
Ash resides in London where he devotes much of his creative energies to being Artistic Director of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. He has led the orchestra for nearly twenty years and taken them on tour all over Europe, as well as to Turkey and Japan.