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Helen Harrison

Helen Harrison, guest conductor

A warm, natural and communicative presence on the podium, British conductor Helen Harrison inspires exciting and compelling performances from the artists she collaborates with from orchestras, opera companies and choirs.

Helen is the Music Director and Conductor for the Young Sinfonia, the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Youth Orchestra at the Sage Gateshead. She is a 2022/2023 Participant on the flagship programme for Women Conductors run by the Royal Philharmonic in partnership with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. Recent guest conducting includes the Royal Northern Sinfonia premiering ‘In the Swamp by the Light of the Moon’, book by Frann Preston-Gannon, music Iain Farrington, conducting ‘The Snowman’ live to film and the In Harmony NE 10th Birthday Side by Side Celebration Concert. She has conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva.

Helen is Music Director and Conductor of the award-winning Blackpool Symphony Orchestra, Preston Opera, Lytham St. Annes Choral Society and previously the Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra.

With a passion for opera, productions Helen has conducted include La Boheme, Carmen, Macbeth, Norma, The Merry Widow, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Don Giovanni and West Side Story; in 2023 she conducts ‘Eugene Onegin’.

Helen read Music at Cambridge University and studied Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. She is coached and mentored by Jessica Cottis.

Selected for the inaugural Women Conductors Course in September 2018 run by the Royal Opera House, the Royal Philharmonic Society and the National Opera Studio Helen has subsequently taken part in a range of courses run by the Royal Opera House working with Sian Edwards, Alice Farnham and Jessica Cottis. She has also conducted in International Masterclasses held at the RNCM.

As a comprehensive school student brought up in Lancashire in the North of England Helen is passionate about everyone having access to the life changing opportunities that music can bring and alongside her own work serves as a board member for Orchestras Live to bring world class orchestras to new audiences.

Helen has established a reputation as an engaging communicator. She is a skilled presenter and compere of concerts. Off the concert platform, she is an experienced panellist both as a host and a guest for live and online events; most recently she appeared on a panel for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Women’s Euros 2022 cultural events. Helen is a regular podcast contributor to the Operacast podcast covering the latest opera news, reviews and discussion from the world of opera.


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