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Wayne Marshall to remain Principal Conductor of the WDR Radio Orchestra until summer 2020

Cologne (ots)

Following six years as Principal Conductor of the WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne, the British conductor, organist and pianist Wayne Marshall now wants to dedicate himself more to his international career as of summer 2020. Under his direction, the light orchestra discovered the dazzling works of Gershwin and Bernstein in a totally new way. His unique interpretations and Marshall's grandiose improvisational skills thrilled audiences in NRW and all over Germany.

Wayne Marshall: The decision to bring the contract to an end was not an easy one for me, because I love being Principal Conductor of the WDR Radio Orchestra. The WDR Radio Orchestra is such a versatile orchestra that plays at the highest level, so that as its Principal Conductor you must devote a great deal of time to it. On the other hand, as a musician and conductor, I also must travel very frequently to concerts in Europe and internationally. I want to focus on that in the future. But I would very much like to continue to return as a regular guest to this orchestra which has grown so dear to my heart.

With "Symphonic Jazz", Wayne Marshall has set a major focal point of emphasis in the programme. In this series, tailored completely to Marshall, his love of improvisation and his soft spot for American composers are combined.

The successful WDR 3 web series "Wayne is interested" has already been running for over a year now. In the videos he improvises, talks about and explains music from baroque to jazz.

Valerie Weber, WDR Radio Director: I respect the decision. Even though I personally regret very much that we will no longer have this outstanding musician, this wonderful organist and charismatic entertainer with us as the Principal Conductor. He has inspired the WDR Radio Orchestra and made it so well-known that there are now waiting lists for the subscriptions for this season. I look forward to every production that he is prepared to take over as guest conductor in 2020.

The British conductor, organist and pianist Wayne Marshall (Born in 1961 in Oldham) has been Principal Conductor of the WDR Radio Orchestra since the 2014/2015 season.

Wayne Marshall has been organist in residence at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester since 1996. As an organist and pianist he is especially interested in the music of 20th century American composers, such as Gershwin and Bernstein, his interpretations of them are celebrated. He has recorded extensively for numerous labels, his CD "Gershwin Songbook" was rewarded with the award of the ECHO.

He has performed under the direction of such legendary conductors as Simon Rattle or Claudio Abbado among others, with the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and has given concerts in Vienna's Konzerthaus, the Konzerthaus Dortmund, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the National Grand Theater in Beijing and the Cathedrals of Florence and Paris (Notre Dame), among others. Wayne Marshall also regularly works together with top-class soloists such as Wynton Marsalis, Diane Reeves or Sabine Meyer.

In 2007 he became first guest conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. On his appearances as a guest conductor, he met top orchestras from all over the world, such as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Invitations have taken him on several occasions to the BBC Proms and to opera houses in Washington, Dallas, Montreal, Paris and Berlin.

In 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bournemouth University. In 2010, he became a "Fellow of the Royal College of Music".

Wayne Marshall lives with his wife and two children in Valletta, Malta.


Barbara Feiereis
WDR Cologne
Phone: +49 (0)221 220 7122

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