Described by The Telegraph as “phenomenally promising”, the young British conductor Oliver Zeffman was the Classical Music nominee for The Times Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2018 South Bank Sky Arts Awards. For the 2019/20 season, Oliver was the Associate Conductor of the London Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured to the Mariinsky Theatre's Stars of the White Nights Festival.
In 2020, as the ongoing pandemic shut down live music, Oliver - collaborating with Apple Music - commissioned and recorded a new opera-film, Eight Songs from Isolation, with contributions from some of the leading composers of today, including Thomas Adès, Nico Muhly, Helen Grime and Julian Anderson.
Recent and upcoming debuts include with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Ulster Orchestra, KMH Symfonieorkester, Oulu Sinfonia, Urals Philharmonic Orchestra, Jersey Symphony Orchestra, West Green House Opera and Chelsea Opera Group.
Oliver has worked as an assistant to Valery Gergiev, preparing orchestras including the Rotterdam and Luxembourg Philharmonics; Daniel Harding, for whom he has prepared Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with both the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic; and to Gustavo Dudamel, Gianandrea Noseda and Vladimir Jurowski.
A keen advocate for contemporary music, Oliver has, to date, commissioned and premiered twenty-one new works from some of the most exciting composers of today; and has given the Russian premieres of a number of important 20th and 21st century pieces, including George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence, 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 Zeffman 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.”
“...memorable, musical, and put together by someone who not only knew what he wanted but, to an extraordinary degree for his age and experience, knew how to get it.”
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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
Selected video recordings