Conducting

Howard Moody works in many different styles of music as conductor, composer and keyboard player. He is principal conductor and artistic director of La Folia and has also conducted London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Sarum Chamber Orchestra, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, London Mozart Players, Bournemouth Orchestras, La Monnaie, Orchestra delle Toscana, Wroclaw Philharmonic, Bristol Ensemble, Endymion Ensemble, Opera Factory, The Icelandic Opera, Netherlands Radio Chorus, Romanian State Chorus, Schola Cantorum of Oxford, Salisbury Festival Chorus, Monteverdi Choir and numerous choral groups throughout Europe. He has recorded for BBC, Netherlands Radio, Chandos, and ECM.

Whilst working in Holland he made many studio recordings with the Netherlands Radio Choir and worked closely with Robin Gritton, Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Chailley, Edo de Waart and Henry Lewis, preparing the chorus for recordings with the Dutch Radio Orchestras and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. He then joined the music staff of English National Opera and Glyndebourne before working extensively with the opera director David Freeman, conducting productions for Opera Factory, The Icelandic Opera and in London's West End. He has conducted two of his own operas at La Monnaie, Brussels.

conducted with precision and energy by Howard Moody

Hilary Finch, The Times, 9 May 2009, on a Festival Hall performance of Carmina Burana

The ever masterly Howard Moody drew a fine performance from his orchestra.

Stewart Collins, Salisbury Journal, October 2008

The other hero of the hour was the conductor, Howard Moody. The quality of assiduous rehearsal really told. Moody, whose musicianship can be judged instantly from his playing with the English Baroque Soloists, is a conductor who puts himself last and the music and his performers first. With his Sarum Orchestra, even Beethoven's Violin Concerto (soloist: Ken Aiso) got an orchestral delivery that ranked as pretty near first class. Stari Most gleamed in its newly constructed state, thanks to a conductor whom orchestras such as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra should hasten to work with.

Roderic Dunnett, Church Times October 2008

It is rare to hear singers building phrases with such unanimity of purpose and structural concern but Howard Moody is clearly a motivator of rare persuasion with a strong faith in the virtues of thorough preparation.

Yorkshire Post, August 1988

Amazing voyage of a musical lifetime. To describe Ultimate Voyage as a musical journey would be a disservice, it was an amazing performance of saxophone virtuosity, John Surman seamlessly switching saxophones and his interchanging with pianist Howard Moody in the improvisation section was nothing short of brilliant. The fusion of jazz and classical as musical genres worked perfectly and the sheer joy on the faces of the musicians was infectious. Following this with Beethoven's well known and popular Fifth Symphony could have been something of a let down after an electric first half but conductor Howard Moody positively lifted Beethoven's majestic piece making it sound fresh and vibrant. Howard Moody managed to suppress the quiet pizzicato passage in the third movement before the rousing and triumphant grand finale. This was orchestral music of the highest calibre, absolutely brilliant.

Salisbury Journal, February 2003

Howard is artistic director of La Folia, a musical production company that aims to bring music projects and performances to audiences who may otherwise not experience live music. As an organisation it grew from being the Sarum Orchestra into a diverse group of musicians who combine with other artists to make creative projects. They have completed a newly devised version of The Ring Cycle, working over a four year period with a special school and an autistic unit, and other projects including Magna Songs and Evening Songs.

Much of Howard's other conducting work has brought this openness to other groups. The premiere performance that he conducted of John Surman's Proverbs and Songs became an ECM recording that received a Mercury nomination. Together with John Surman and John Taylor, Howard has conducted the piece in jazz festivals throughout Europe, involving the conductor as a bridge between different genres of music. Likewise with his work with Paco Peña, bringing flamenco and the European choral tradition together. Howard conducted the Requiem Flamenca at the opening concert of the first concert series in the newly re-furbished Royal Festival Hall in September 2007.

Working with Opera Factory and David Freeman, the new piece The Snake Sheds its Skin was a commission from Habib Faye (song writer for Youssou N'Dour). As musical director Howard worked with a huge variety of musical disciplines, both vocal and instrumental, translating the music that was never written down into a coherent piece of music theatre. His work with David Freeman has also included conducting The Icelandic Opera (Cosi fan Tutte) and, as a music director in the West End, the rock/pop musical Romeo and Juliet.

His work with pop and rock singers has involved him both as an arranger and a conductor. With Marianne Faithfull and Marc Almond he has conducted and arranged for symphony orchestras, fusing the different worlds of music making.

Through the promotions by the Salisbury International Arts Festival, he has been given opportunities to collaborate with artists as diverse as Paco Peña (Misa Flamenca and Requiem Flamenco), John Surman (Proverbs and Songs), Abdullah Ibrahim (new choral and orchestral arrangements), Station House Opera (Salisbury Proverbs, directed by Julian Maynard-Smith), Marianne Faithfull (new arrangements of her songs). 

In addition to these innovative projects, he has conducted a vast amount of the orchestral and choral repertoire. His work with the Netherlands Radio Chorus (1989-92) included three years of conducting recordings of a wide range of repertoire in addition to working as chorus master for conductors such as Robin Gritton, Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Chailley, Edo de Waart and Henry Lewis.

Howard is often asked to conduct the first performances of his own music, especially the large scale pieces that involve many performers. Since 2009 he has conducted the annual performances of his symphonic variations with the London Symphony Orchestra and the participants of the Next Generation project. He also conducted and recorded his symphonic work Border Lines with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 2011 and 2014 he conducted his two operas commissioned by La Monnaie, The Brussels Requiem and Sindbad - A Journey Through Living Flames. Opera productions in 2015 include Cavalli's La Calisto for Days Bay Opera, New Zealand and Dido and Aeneas for Glyndebourne Youth Opera.