A conductor of "tremendous ardour and shrewd dramatic timing" (The Telegraph, 2023), Oliver is widely seen as one of today's most intrepid young musicians.
Alongside recent concerts and recordings with the likes of the Philharmonia, CBSO, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, Oliver is recognised as "an entrepreneurial tour de force" (BBC Music Magazine, 2023), "with a record for getting things done" (Gramophone, 2023)
Recent projects include Music x Museums: a series of concerts in partnership with London museums such as the V&A, Cutty Sark and Science Museum, all filmed for Apple Music, and Eight Songs from Isolation: an opera-film comprising eight new works from several of today’s leading composers that was shot, at the height of the pandemic, right across Europe, Asia and America, and was nominated for five Opus Klassik Awards. Most recently, he conducted the CBSO in Classical Pride at the Barbican, including the world premiere of a new commission from Julian Anderson. Hosted by DJ Nick Grimshaw, this was the first concert by any major orchestra or concert hall in Europe to celebrate Pride, and was described by one senior industry executive as "achieving so much more for inclusivity in classical music than the last ten years of strategic planning by the sector."
A firm advocate for contemporary music, Oliver has commissioned and premiered over 25 new pieces from some of the most exciting composers of today. In previous years, he gave the Russian premieres of a number of important 20th- and 21st-century works, including George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence, Birtwistle’s The Triumph of Time, Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Walton’s Façade and Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Oliver originally studied History and Russian at Durham University and also spent a year at the St Petersburg State Conservatory.
“Oliver Zeffman is a highly talented and enterprising young conductor. His programming is adventurous and dynamic - he has performed a large amount of contemporary music alongside traditional repertoire - and he brings drive and flair to the concert platform. I am very happy to warmly recommend him and his work.”
“The champagne of Bernstein's Candide overture was brilliantly uncorked... Finally came Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, played with tremendous ardour and shrewd dramatic timing under Zeffman's baton.”
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LIVE AT THE V&A
MOZART Violin Concerto no.3 in G major K.216
BACH Adagio from Violin Sonata no.1 in G minor BWV 1001 and Largo from Violin Sonata no.3 in C major BWV 1005
HONEGGER Pastorale d'été H.31
Viktoria Mullova, violin
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Oliver Zeffman, conductor
Marquee TV/Platoon, June 2021
EIGHT SONGS FROM ISOLATION
New works by Thomas Adès, Freya Waley-Cohen, Huw Watkins, Julian Anderson, Ilya Demutsky, Helen Grimes, Du Yun and Nico Muhly, commissioned and conducted by Oliver Zeffman.
With Sophie Bevan, Toby Spence, Julia Bullock, Katalin Karolyi, Ricardo Gallardo, Andrei Kymach, Sarah Connolly, Shenyang, Wu Wei, Wu Man, Iestyn Davies and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Apple Music, September 2020