British conductor Duncan Ward enjoys working regularly with some of the world’s leading ensembles and opera houses. In January 2020, he was appointed by Festival d'Aix-en-Provence as Music Director of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra. Recent highlights have included engagements with Finnish Radio Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and London Symphony Orchestra. He continues to build relationships with Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Radio Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Bamberger Symphoniker.
From 2012-14 he was Conducting Scholar of the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester-Akademie, to which he was appointed on the recommendation of Sir Simon Rattle. And from 2015-2017, he was Principal Conductor of Sinfonia Viva. He also held the post of Associate Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Plans for the 2019/20 season include debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Aurora Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, as well as return visits to Gürzenich Orchester Cologne and New Japan Philharmonic. Duncan gave the German premiere of Brett Dean’s »Hamlet« at Cologne Opera at the beginning of the 19/20 season.
He is as at home working with period instrument ensembles such as Balthasar Neumann, elite chamber ensembles such as Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the symphony orchestras of the BBC as directing the world’s foremost contemporary music ensembles like Ensemble Modern. This is not to mention his acclaimed work with the homeless performers of Streetwise Opera or directing 500 amateur musicians in a supersize Riley »In C« at the Elbphilharmonie, Indian classical collaborations with Anoushka Shankar and with celebrated Nordic folk band Dreamers' Circus.
Operatic engagements have included Dutch National Opera for a double bill of Bernstein’s »Trouble in Tahiti« and Macmillan’s »Clemency«; »Don Pasquale«, »Cendrillon« and »Hamlet« for Glyndebourne-on-Tour, »La traviata« at Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, Saariaho’s »La Passion de Simone« at Deutsche Oper and a chamber version of »Manon Lescaut« with the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival. Opportunities during his two years at the Berliner Philharmoniker included assisting and rehearsal conducting for »Die Zauberflöte«, »Gurre-Lieder«, »Die Walküre«, »Le Grand Macabre«, Britten’s »War Requiem«, G. F. Haas »in vain« and premieres by Wolfgang Rihm and Benedict Mason.
Following a month working in India in 2006, Duncan subsequently co-founded the WAM Foundation which sent young UK musicians each year to teach Western classical music in schools across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Kerala. Duncan is also closely involved with the South African charity MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment) and led the MIAGI Orchestra on an acclaimed summer festivals tour.
Also an accomplished composer Duncan is now published by Peters Edition.