Stephen Bell appointed Principal Guest Conductor RTÉ Concert Orchestra

RTÉ today announced that Stephen Bell has been appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for the next two years.

Born in the northwest of England, Stephen Bell is in demand with a wide variety of international orchestras and is described by International Record Review as ‘one of the most gifted younger British conductors’. In recent years, he has been a regular and popular visitor with the RTÉ CO, his eclectic range and his gift for audience communication making him a great fit with the orchestra. Prior to this RTÉ CO role, he was appointed Artistic Director of the City of Oxford Orchestra in 2009 and since 2013 he has held the post of Associate Conductor of the Hallé.

Stephen’s distinguished conducting career follows on from an equally notable career as a horn player. Having studied French Horn and Conducting at the Royal College of Music – including studying under the renowned conductor Norman Del Mar – he went straight into a role playing with the BBC Concert Orchestra, where he remained until retiring as Principal Horn in 2015. Career highlights as a player included working on two of the Star Wars films with John Williams.

His recent discography includes a collaboration with award-winning vocalist Clare Teal on MUD Records, he appears frequently on Classic FM and on BBC radio and television, conducting projects have included a tribute concert for Stanley Black at the Royal Festival Hall and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with pop legends Texas in 2017.  Extensive BBC Proms appearances include the hugely successful Doctor Who Prom in the Royal Albert Hall in 2008.

Suitably given his Star Wars history, Stephen Bell’s first appearances with the RTÉ CO as Principal Guest Conductor will be a 90th birthday celebration of John Williams with concerts in Leisureland, Galway on Thursday, 10 February and University Concert Hall, Limerick on Friday, 11 February. Stephen will be on Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 talking about John Williams on the birthday itself, Tuesday 8 February, and talking about his new appointment on Marty in the Morning on RTÉ lyric fm on Thursday 10 February.

Stephen commented:
“Ever since my first appearance as a guest conductor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra back in 2015, I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Dublin and the opportunities work with this wonderfully talented and creative collection of musicians. Having spent over 30 years as a principal player in a broadcasting orchestra in the UK, I feel I bring a unique insight into this new role as Principal Guest Conductor, especially in terms of the huge variety of repertoire and musical styles the RTÉ CO are required to play. Their versatility and expertise is infectious, and I can’t wait to re-engage with the loyal and knowledgeable audiences at the National Concert Hall and further afield in the coming months and years. Of course, there is a legendary vibrant music scene in Ireland with a rich history and tradition, and, in addition, my aim is to bring as wide and varied a musical experience to as broad and diverse an audience as we can reach through our concerts and broadcasts. We look forward to welcoming you back to the joy of live music!”

For further information please contact:
Angela Rohan, PR & Marketing Executive
Mobile: 087 617 2531