Helen Harrison

About Helen

The idea of becoming a conductor was sparked for me when I was asked to stand up and conduct the opening of Shostakovich’s Festive Overture in my Youth Orchestra; that was the moment - it was so thrilling and exhilarating!

After reading Music at Cambridge University, where I’d conducted the College orchestra, I pursued a successful career in the corporate sector but I didn’t feel true to myself. I had to follow my dream to become a conductor.

Today, I relish making music; conducting orchestras, opera and choirs. This year I’m excited to take up my role as the Music Director of the Young Sinfonia (Royal Northern Sinfonia’s youth orchestra at Sage Gateshead) and engagements guest conducting Sinfonia Viva, Leeds Conservatoire Chamber Orchestra, Northern Opera Group and Outreach Opera alongside my work as Music Director for Blackpool Symphony Orchestra, Preston Opera and Lytham Choral Society.

I’ve been supported in developing my skills and artistry through the RPS Women Conductors programme, Royal Opera House Masterclasses and as an RNCM Associate Student. I am coached and mentored by Jessica Cottis.

As a comprehensive school student brought up in Lancashire, music opened up life changing possibilities for me. This drives my own practice and I’m honoured to serve as a Board Member for Orchestras Live.


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(c) Rhian Hughes