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Press Release Number 6


Principal Changes


at Milton Keynes City Orchestra  



Milton Keynes City Orchestra proudly announces the forthcoming baton handover between Principal Conductor Hilary Davan Wetton and Principal Guest Conductor Sian Edwards.  After over 30 years of distinguished service, having founded Milton Keynes City Orchestra, Hilary Davan Wetton will formally hand over his baton to Sian Edwards, who will become Principal Conductor of the Orchestra in September 2007.  Hilary Davan Wetton has accepted the future role of Conductor Emeritus with Milton Keynes City Orchestra and will continue to feature with the Orchestra in Milton Keynes and beyond.



“Milton Keynes City Orchestra has been at the centre of my artistic life for thirty-two years.  It is therefore a source of the greatest satisfaction to me that I am able to hand over to my dear friend and hugely respected colleague Sian Edwards.  I know that the Orchestra’s artistic standards will be maintained and enhanced under her leadership, and I look forward to continuing my association with the Orchestra as Conductor Emeritus”

Hilary Davan Wetton, Principal Conductor

Milton Keynes City Orchestra



“I think everyone recognises that Milton Keynes City Orchestra would never have got off the ground without Hilary’s vision and energy, and it certainly wouldn’t have continued all these years without his constant dedication and sheer hard work.  I am humbled by his achievement, and the achievements of the Orchestra.  I am delighted to be invited to become the second Principal Conductor of Milton Keynes City Orchestra.  I am looking forward enormously to working with you all and to a continuing happy association with Hilary.”

Sian Edwards, Principal Conductor from 2007

Milton Keynes City Orchestra




For further details, images and press tickets contact:

Anna J Denny, General Manager

Milton Keynes City Orchestra, 3 Theatre Walk, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3PX

T.  01908 558311                                F.  01908 558312                                W.  www.mkco.org






**This Press Release is available from http://www.mkco.org/press.htm

MILTON KEYNES CITY ORCHESTRA  is funded by Milton Keynes Council and Arts Council England, South East.

Milton Keynes City Orchestra is the live classical music resource for Milton Keynes and the surrounding area.  Over more than 30 years, it has built a national and international reputation through performances of outstanding quality.


The Orchestra works in partnership with Milton Keynes Theatre, where it presents an annual season featuring the great classics, and is the leading exponent of classical music in the area.  Concerts for children and their families – Music 4 Kids - are presented during the school holidays at Stantonbury Campus Theatre.  The Orchestra also performs regularly in London, and both regionally and nationally.


As Milton Keynes’ own professional orchestra, the Orchestra plays an important part in the cultural life of the city engaging particularly with the education sector, the business community and as a valuable arts resource.  Members of the Orchestra work within the community enabling people of all ages and experiences to participate and enjoy music and music-making through practical workshops, composition projects, family and schools concerts, coaching, orchestra training and other creative projects.  The Orchestra has a strong relationship with Milton Keynes Music Service and schools in the surrounding area. 



Sian Edwards – Biography

Sian Edwards won the first Leeds Conductors’ Competition in 1984 while still a student of IA Musin at the St Petersburg Conservatoire. Her first professional engagements were with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, and in 1986 she made her operatic debut with Scottish Opera, conducting Mahagonny (Weill). She then worked at Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Traviata, L’Heure Espagnol, L’Enfant et les Sortileges), Glyndebourne Touring Opera (Kat’a Kabanova, New Year, The Bartered Bride) and The Royal Opera (The Knot Garden, Rigoletto, Trovatore). Sian Edwards also continued to conduct symphonic and chamber repertoire, performing with, among others, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Deutsche Sinfonie Orchester.


Sian Edwards has conducted many world premieres, including Greek by Mark Anthony Turnage at the first Munich Biennale in 1988 and City Life by Steve Reich, both with the Ensemble Modern, and Blond Eckbert by Judith Weir at English National Opera. She continues to work frequently with the Ensemble Modern, as well as regularly conducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in New Music Forum concerts, and maintains a commitment to contemporary music.  Recent projects have included The Death of Klinghoffer for Finnish National Opera and El Nino with the Flanders Philharmonic, both by John Adams, and Jagd-und-Formen by Wolfgang Rihm for the Dublin Festival.


In 1993 she became Music Director of English National Opera, where she had already performed The Gambler and The Queen of Spades. Her most notable successes were new productions of Carmen directed by Jonathan Miller and Khovanschina directed by Francesca Zambello.

Sian Edwards left ENO in 1995 and has since been working as a freelance conductor. Recent projects include Peter Grimes and Macbeth (Bloch) for Oper Frankfurt, The Damnation of Faust for Finnish National Opera and symphony and chamber concerts throughout Europe. This season includes appearances with the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt and Dublin, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Barcelona, the MDR Sinfonieorchester in Leipzig, the Flanders Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Remix Ensemble in Porto and Ensemble Resonanz in Hamburg. Coming operatic performances include The Queen of Spades for Oper Frankfurt and Streetcar Named Desire and Dead Man Walking for Teater an der Wien.


Sian Edwards is a passionate advocate for music in education and the community, and as such is an active member of the board of English Pocket Opera, is principal guest conductor with the Milton Keynes City Orchestra where an extensive outreach programme is being developed, and in January 2006 took up a three-year partnership with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as performer and teacher.

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