Alongside Anna-Maria Helsing, Chief Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, Edwin’s role will support the ensemble’s position as the most versatile orchestra in the UK

close up of Edwin Outwater smiling to camera with blue and yellow background

I love that this orchestra both understands the importance of our great traditions, and enthusiastically embraces the possibilities of what an orchestra can be in contemporary culture. My career has followed a similar path, and I can’t wait to see what we create together in the years ahead.— Edwin Outwater

Edwin Outwater has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor and Curator of the BBC Concert Orchestra, beginning 1 September 2024. Edwin will work closely with Director Matthew Swann to deliver an exciting range of concerts, community and education work. Alongside Anna-Maria Helsing, Chief Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, Edwin’s role will support the ensemble’s position as the most versatile orchestra in the UK.

Edwin first conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra in 2022 when he made his BBC Proms debut with the Cynthia Erivo in the Legendary Voices Prom. Since then, he has conducted the hugely successful Northern Soul Prom of 2023, which was a total sell out in the Royal Albert Hall, the most watched programme on BBC Two the night it was broadcast, and has since racked up over a million plays on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds. For the past two years, he has curated annual Christmas Gaiety events at the Royal Albert Hall.

This year, Edwin has two upcoming concerts with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The first is at the BBC Proms on 2 September with Ultra Lounge – a Henry Mancini and Beyond, a recreation of music from one of the greatest composers in the history of film music. In addition, Edwin will appear with the orchestra at the London Jazz Festival on 24 November at the Southbank Centre with a symphonic tribute to the life, work and genius of John Coltrane – arranged and curated by Carlos Simon and which he premiered with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in May 2024.

Edwin Outwater says: “I am thrilled to join the BBC Concert Orchestra team. Our work together so far has covered quite a lot of musical ground, and it all has been an absolute joy. I love that this orchestra both understands the importance of our great traditions, and enthusiastically embraces the possibilities of what an orchestra can be in contemporary culture. My career has followed a similar path, and I can’t wait to see what we create together in the years ahead”

Matthew Swann, Director of the BBC Concert Orchestra says: “After collaborating with Edwin on various projects in recent years, it is a delight for all of us at the BBC Concert Orchestra to now welcome him as our Principal Guest Conductor and Curator. As we continue to deliver exciting, relevant and impactful performances around the UK, at the BBC Proms and beyond, Edwin’s dynamism, versatile creativity and innovative approach as a conductor make him a brilliant fit for the BBC Concert Orchestra. Reflecting on his outstanding ability to bring different genres together, Edwin’s upcoming concerts with us include the BBC Proms and the London Jazz Festival.”

In addition to the Ultra Lounge – a Henry Mancini and Beyond Prom, the BBC CO will be featured in Prom 2: Everybody Dance! The Sound of Disco, Prom 13: Sarah Vaughan – If You Could See Me Now, Prom 18: Sam Smith, and at the BBC Proms residency in Nottingham for the BBC Young Composer Prom and the Music of Sherwood Forest Prom. In the autumn the BBC CO will return to the Southbank Centre with Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, performed by Senja Rummukainen, and Sir Lenny Henry will present a special concert at the Royal Albert Hall to mark 50 years of Black-owned soul music label Philadelphia International Records.

About the BBC Concert Orchestra

The mission of the BBC Concert Orchestra is to bring inspiring musical experiences to everyone, everywhere, with the ensemble’s versatility as the key. The orchestra performs at the BBC Proms, regularly at London’s Southbank Centre and Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, and at venues across the UK and beyond. For BBC Radio 3, the BBC Concert Orchestra explores a wide selection of music, ranging from classical to contemporary, and can be heard weekly on BBC Radio 3’s Friday Night Is Music Night. Additionally, the orchestra has performed on countless BBC soundtracks, including Blue Planet and Call the Midwife, and each February collaborates with world-leading artists for BBC Radio 2’s Piano Room Month for BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds. They are also involved in BBC Ten Pieces, the BBC Young Composer competition and the BBC Open Music programme. The orchestra is in two partnerships, one with Orchestras Live for Create Yarmouth and another with Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University, providing workshops and concerts that reach schools, universities and local communities, and are designed to improve quality of life and wellbeing and provide support to the regional music sector.