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Professor Joanna MacGregor

School of Creative and Performing Arts

Arts and Humanities

Joanna MacGregor is thought of as one of the world's most innovative musicians committed to expressing musical connections in increasingly diverse and original programmes. Artistic Director of Bath International Music Festival since 2006, she was also the curator of the 2010 multi-arts Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and from September 2011 became Head of Keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has performed in over sixty countries both in recital and as soloist with many of the world's leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with such eminent conductors as Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas and has premiered many landmark compositions including works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Django Bates, John Adams and James MacMillan. Joanna MacGregor made her conducting debut in 2002 and regularly directs her own orchestral projects including a Mozart programme with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Bach with the Hall. She enjoys a close artistic partnership as conductor and performer with Britten Sinfonia in programmes ranging from classical music to collaborations with jazz and world musicians. This ten-year relationship continued in the 2009/10 season with tours in Spain, Mexico and South America and a performance at the City of London Festival. She has toured South Africa with jazz artist Moses Molelekwa, recorded with pop artist and tabla player Talvin Singh and collaborated with Brian Eno. In 2003 she toured China with Crossborder. Created with Jin Xings Contemporary Dance Theatre of Shanghai it combined Chinese traditional music with computer technology and film. For Bath International Music Festival 2007 she curated the installation On The Edge of Life, a multimedia collaboration between paediatricians, artists and musicians, examining premature birth. This is now an annual event and in 2008 the series examined the impact of homelessness and in 2009 child human rights through the prism of fairytales with cultural historian Marina Warner. She opened the 2008 London Jazz Festival with a collaboration between Arabic singer and virtuoso Dhafer Youssef and Britten Sinfonia hailed by The Times as the future of music. As a recording artist Joanna MacGregor is a veteran of over 30 solo recordings, ranging from Bach, Scarlatti, Ravel and Debussy, to jazz and contemporary music. Her own record label SoundCircus – now in partnership with Warner Classical and Jazz - was founded in 1998 and has released many highly successful recordings including the Mercury prize nominated album Play (including music by Bach, Ligeti and Piazzolla), Neural Circuits with music by Messiaen, Arvo Pärt and Nitin Sawhney, Sidewalk Dances (arrangements of music by the New York street musician Moondog). Joanna was honoured in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list 2012, when she was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her services to music.


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