New job for maestro Mark

New job for maestro Mark


norman lebrecht

November 10, 2021

The gifted British baton Mark Wigglesworth, on the loose since escaping English National Opera’s slow collapse five years ago, has taken on the role of principal guest conductor with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

It’s a good call for both sides. Mark, 56, is local, lives in Sussex and starts right away.

He says: ‘I have so enjoyed working with the wonderful musicians of the Bournemouth Symphony and am delighted to be able to continue to do this on a more regular basis. The magnificent way the orchestra responded to the pandemic revealed very clearly to me the commitment the whole organisation feels to its audience and to music itself. They kept music alive at a time when we all needed it most, and proved beyond doubt what a vital role music plays in helping us all stay connected, inspired, and hopeful.’


  • steveb says:

    It seems that he hasn’t had a position since ENO. Is that right? Does anyone know why? I have been very impressed by his recordings and concert relays.

    • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

      Yes, I’ve never understood why his career didn’t develop that way it promised. Way back, he made a sensational debut in Philadelphia, which prompted long-time concertmaster Norman Carol to proclaim that MW was the most impressive young conductor he’d experienced (and this was someone who worked with Muti when he was young). Then MW seemed to campaign to be Sawallisch’s successor, and wasn’t invited back after the second visit.

  • Steve says:

    When I was growing up a stone’s throw from the BSO’s then home (the Bournemouth Winter Gardens), we wouldn’t ever have considered Sussex as “local”. Since then the orchestra has moved west rather than east, so even less so now.

    • Dave says:

      Indeed. The furthest west he could live in Sussex would be Chichester, over an hour and a half from the BSO’s base in Poole, and that’s with the traffic on its best behaviour. By train, add twenty minutes. Local by US standards, maybe.

  • Wesley says:

    Mark Wigglesworth is one of those largely unheralded British conductors, who are solid performers in concert and make excellent records – Jonathan Nott being another. The BSO under Karabits has become an excellent orchestra.

  • Player says:

    Bit like Reggie! Even down to a stint in Bournemouth. Marmitical.

  • He did an outstanding Mahler 10 (Cooke, et al.) years ago in Cleveland, but they only had him back once. It’s a shame, because his music making is far more interesting than a lot of non-entities they’ve had wander through as guests.

  • Mark says:

    25 years ago he did great programming with BBC Nat Orch Wales . 20 th century music with lots of Shostakovich..Messiaen etc .used to go regularly for 3 years in Cardiff

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    I think Mark Wigglesworth is a good musician & frequently inspired interpreter. But doesn’t he have a reputation as a rather difficult & hypersensitive individual? This may offer some explanation of why he’s never secured a front rank position- may be wrong.