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Prof. Toby Purser

Conductor, Educator

Head of Conducting Department, Royal College of Music, London

“Such musical energy” - The Times

“Galvanising” - The Telegraph

"Conducted with superb authority by Toby Purser” - The Observer

“Toby Purser…so eloquent is his phrasing, and so naturally does he let the music blossom and soar”

 - Gramophone

Toby Purser’s conducting is recognised for its combination of passion and intellect, poetry and drama. Recent operatic collaborations were nominated for an Olivier Award (Best New Opera Production - Britten The Turn of the Screw with ENO/Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and an International Opera Award (Best Rediscovered Work - Stanford The Travelling Companion with New Sussex Opera).


Head of Conducting at London’s Royal College of Music, he is recognised as a world leader in the conducting community, and launched ‘Conductors in Isolation’ at the beginning of Covid Pandemic in 2020, an online forum which now has over 1800 members worldwide.


This season’s engagements include debuts with the Philharmonia (Beethoven 9, Royal Albert Hall), and at the Vienna Musikverein, conducting Hänsel und Gretel for the Vienna Opera Festival.  He also worked for the first time with Britten Sinfonia, making a recording of the songs of Ernest Kaye.


Recent work has also included the UK première of Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers for Opera della Luna; Belle Lurette for New Sussex Opera; and a second CD with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and tenor Jesús León.


He has received guest invitations from English National Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Philharmonia and London Concert Orchestra, amongst others. For Raymond Gubbay Ltd, he regularly conducts Christmas at the Movies, Zimmer vs Williams,  and The Music of the Lord of the Rings and Beyond at all the leading UK concert venues.


As musical director of the Vienna Opera Festival and Academy, he recently conducted performances of Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. He is music director of New Sussex Opera, with whom he conducted Stanford’s The Travelling Companion, Offenbach’s La Belle Helène and two further Offenbach rarities: The Princess of Trebizonde and Belle Lurette.


As principal guest conductor for Opera della Luna, he has conducted productions including The Daughter of the Regiment, Orpheus in the Underworld, and Johann Strauss’s The Queen’s Lace Handkerchief. He has also conducted La Bohème and Fidelio for Lyric Opera, Ireland.


During Covid, he conducted the world premiere of A Feast in the Time of Plague for Grange Park Opera and a streamed charity gala from the stage of English National Opera.


Toby is Artistic Director of the Peace and Prosperity Trust which supports charitable projects for young artists in the Middle East.

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