Oliver ZEFFMAN, 25
Described by The Telegraph as “phenomenally promising”, the young British conductor Oliver Zeffman has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and was the youngest of eight nominees for the Néstle-Salzburg Young Conductor’s Award in 2015.
In summer 2017 Zeffman made débuts with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and at West Green House Opera conducting Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
In 2010 Zeffman founded Melos Sinfonia, an orchestra of young professionals, where he continues as Artistic Director. Together they have given the Russian premières of a number of important 20th-century works – including Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Walton’s Façade and Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures – in concerts in the St Petersburg Philharmonia and the Mariinsky, where they return later this year as part of an international tour of George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin which also includes performances in Cambridge and in London where it will feature in a series of events in collaboration with the V&A and the Royal Opera House as part of their Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition. Over the last three years the orchestra has commissioned 12 new works from some of the most exciting young composers of today.
Zeffman has worked with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, assisting conductors such as Ed Gardner, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck, and has also assisted Sir Mark Elder at the Hallé. At the request of Daniel Harding he undertook a number of rehearsals for Mahler’s Symphony No 8 with the New Japan Philharmonic, and more recently prepared the Luxembourg Philharmonic for concerts with Valery Gergiev in a programme including Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. Future projects include working with the Rotterdam Philharmonic for Maestro Gergiev preparing the orchestra for performances of Mahler Symphony No 7.
Having originally studied History and Russian at Durham University, Zeffman also spent a year at the St Petersburg State Conservatory under the direction of Alexander Polishchuk. As well as taking part in masterclasses at the Tanglewood Music Centre and with London Sinfonietta, he will be one of David Zinman’s chosen students for his world-renowned masterclasses this autumn.