Nicholas Braithwaite, F.R.A.M
Born in London, Nicholas Braithwaite completed his formal musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music, at the Festival Masterclasses in Bayreuth, and with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna.
Mr Braithwaite’s career has been unusually wide-ranging, both musically and geographically. He has held positions as Music Director or Principal Conductor from Norway to New Zealand and many places in between. His years as Principal Conductor of the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras were acclaimed by critics, public and players, and were notable for raising both standards and attendances. The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra grew to be recognised as one of Australia’s finest ensembles, and when Polygram released his recording with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra of Shostakovich Symphony No. 8, the Canberra Times said “Since his appointment as Chief Conductor, Braithwaite has brought the ASO to a high performance standard at which they can match any of the eastern states orchestras”.
Concurrently with his Australian activities he was Principal Conductor of the Manchester Camerata, having been the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor for many years. Other orchestral appointments have included Permanent Guest Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and Associate Conductor to Constantin Silvestri of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Mr Braithwaite has been a frequent guest conductor for all the major orchestras in the UK both in concert and on record, and has toured Japan and Korea with the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Associate Conductor to Sir Georg Solti.
He has appeared with, among others, the Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre National de France, the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Odense Symphony, Aarhus Symphony, Aalborg Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Queensland Orchestra, West Australian Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony and the Collegium Musicum Copenhagen.
In the recording studio Mr Braithwaite has worked with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestra. Soloists include internationally renowned artists such as Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Simon Preston. His recording of Wordsworth’s Symphonies No. 2 & 3 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra won a 1991 Record of the Year Award from Gramophone Magazine, and his recording of Flute Concertos with Alexa Still and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra for Koch was nominated for a 1992 Grammy award in the USA. In January 2000 he recorded a CD of orchestral music by the Swedish composer Franz Berwald for BBC Music Magazine. Of his recording of Verdi’s Requiem with the Auckland Phliharmonia and Opera New Zealand Chorus, Paradise.net said “In sum, I think Braithwaite’s interpretation amongst the finest available, supported by playing and singing which, one senses, holds nothing back - a prized quality considering the norm of squeaky-clean, standardised performances that abound on modern recordings of much-played pieces such as this one.”
On the recent ABC Classics release of a CD of Elgar’s music – the Cello Concerto with Li Wei, Sea Pictures with Elisabeth Campbell, and the Prelude to the Kingdom - conducted by Mr. Braithwaite with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Limelight Magazine comments “……, modulated exquisitely by Braithwaite's dramaturgical response. He elicits some top-notch playing from the Adelaide musicians.”
In recent years Lyrita Recorded Edition have released more than 28 CDs of Mr. Braithwaite conducting the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras in music by Holst, Cooke, Bridge, Berkley, Moeran, Rawsthorne, Stanford, Sterndale Bennett, Coleridge Taylor and several other composers plus a CD of orchestral arrangements by Henry Wood, including his version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition – all to extremely enthusiastic reviews. There are currently several more CDs conducted by Mr Braithwaite awaiting release including Shostakovich Symphonies No. 6, 7 and 9 with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for ABC Classics.