Described by The Telegraph as “phenomenally promising”, the young British conductor Oliver Zeffman has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and was the youngest of eight nominees for the Néstle-Salzburg Young Conductor’s Award in 2015.
In summer 2017 Oliver made debuts with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and at West Green House Opera conducting Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
In 2010 Oliver founded the Melos Sinfonia, an orchestra of young professionals, where he continues as Artistic Director. Together they have given the Russian premieres of a number of important 20th century works – including Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Walton’s Façade and Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures – in concerts in the St Petersburg Philharmonic and The Mariinsky orchestras. They will return there later this year as part of an international tour of George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin which also includes performances in Cambridge and London where it will feature in a series of events in collaboration with the V&A and the Royal Opera House as part of their Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition. Over the last three years the Orchestra has commissioned twelve new works from some of the most exciting young composers of today.
Oliver has worked with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, assisting conductors such as Edward Gardner, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck, and has also assisted Sir Mark Elder at the Hallé. At the request of Daniel Harding he undertook a number of rehearsals for Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with the New Japan Philharmonic, and more recently prepared the Orchestre Philharmonic du Luxembourg for concerts with Valery Gergiev in a programme including Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Future projects include working with Maestro Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, to prepare them for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No.7.
Having originally studied History and Russian at Durham University, Oliver also spent a year at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory under the direction of Alexander Polishchuk, as well as taking part in masterclasses at the Tanglewood Music Centre, and the London Sinfonietta. He will be one of David Zinman’s chosen students for his world renowned masterclasses this coming autumn.