British conductor Christopher Seaman has an international reputation for inspirational music making. His diverse musical interests are reflected in his range of repertoire and he is particularly known for his interpretations of early 20th century English music, Bruckner, Brahms and Sibelius.
With a long and distinguished career in the US, Christopher was Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (New York) until 2011 and was subsequently named Conductor Laureate. During his 13-year tenure – the longest in the orchestra’s history – he raised the orchestra’s artistic level, broadened its audience base and created a new concert series. This contribution was recognised with an award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Other key positions have included Music Director of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor-in- Residence with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Advisor of the San Antonio Symphony, and in the UK he was Principal Conductor with both the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Northern Sinfonia.
As a guest conductor, Christopher has recently performed with the Aspen Music Festival, Detroit, Houston, St Louis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Seattle symphony orchestras, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North and Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais in Brazil. He frequently visits Australia and Asia where he has conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Taiwan, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Singapore symphony orchestras, amongst others.
In May 2009, the University of Rochester made Christopher an Honorary Doctor of Music, acknowledging his outstanding leadership as conductor, recording artist, teacher and community arts partner. In 2013 the University published his first book, Inside Conducting, illustrating Christopher’s wealth of experience as a conductor and a teacher. In the words of Stephen Johns, Artistic Director of the Royal College of Music: “Christopher’s book is so helpful and practical and required reading for conducting students.” The book was chosen by both The Financial Times and Classical Music magazine as one of their books of 2013; while The Spectator wrote that it “demystifies the art and the figure of the conductor.”
Christopher makes a point of encouraging young talent and was the Course Director of the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Programme in Australia for many years, devoting a number of weeks each year to teaching and directing training programmes for young conductors, many of whom have gone on to conducting posts with major orchestras. He has led masterclasses with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and has also worked with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
As a recording artist Christopher has worked with the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia orchestras amongst others, and his recordings with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra have received great critical acclaim - The Sunday Telegraph described their 2012 harmonia mundi recording of Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony as a “fine recording of an English classic ... as impressive as I have ever heard.” In the 2018/19 season, Christopher conducted the Britten Sinfonia and Guy Johnston for a recording of Howells’ Cello Concerto in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge with Hyperion Records. He also recorded Malcolm Arnold’s Bridge on the River Kwai Suite with the BBC Concert Orchestra for a television broadcast on the BBC’s Our Classical Century documentary in April 2019.