Iain Sutherland, conductor, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1967 he was appointed Conductor of the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra in Glasgow. Previously he had been an orchestral and session violinist in London playing in the LPO, Philharmonia and ECO under such conductors as Boult, Sargent, Groves, Solti and Klemperer. Sutherland was the conductor of the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra until a major restructuring was initiated by BBC in 1972 to reduce its coverage of light music. The orchestra was officially closed in 1981.
In 1973 Sutherland returned to London and was regularly invited by BBC Radio 2 as guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra for the "Friday Night Is Music Night" programme. In the 1980s he was appointed the principal conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra and worked with other orchestras across Europe. These include the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Hallé, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic, Graz Symphony, BRTN Philharmonic (Brussels), NDR Philharmonic (Hannover), Dessau Philharmonic, Brazilian National Symphony, Flemish Radio Philharmonic, Maribor Philharmonic, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Cape Philharmonic Orchestra(Capetown)and the orchestras of SWF (Kaiserslautern), NRK (Oslo) and NOS (Hilversum). In 1988 he formed the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra, which he continued to conduct until 1997. Between 1988 and 2008 he conducted annually at Kenwood House, Glamis Castle and other stately homes during the annual Summer Proms Season. From 1999 until 2008 he was guest Conductor of the annual English Haydn Festival. International soloists with whom he has performed include Larry Adler; Moira Anderson; Nicola Benedetti; Shirley Bassey; Alfie Boe;Sarah Brightman; Ronald Rrautigam; Marlene Dietrich; Helga Dernesch; Maria Ewing; Michael Feinstein; James Galway; Evelyn Glennie; Chloe Hanslip; Van Johnson;Nigel Kennedy; Elaine Stritch; Lebeque Sisters; Julian Lloyd-Webber; Tasmin Little; Benjamin Luxon; Kenneth McKellar; Sherrill Milnes; Julia Migenes:Denis O'Neill; Joshua Rifkin; George Shearing; Mel Tormé; Robert Tear; Willard White.
Iain Sutherland's varied repertoire encompasses baroque, classical,romantic and contemporary works as well as the light repertoire of Vienna, Hollywood, Broadway and International Light Music.He conducted Britten's "War Requiem" in Bratislava with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus commemorating the 50th. anniversary of the end of WW2, and the Mozart "Requiem" in London with the London Orpheus Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra on 7th.July,2008, the first anniversary of the "7/7" terrorist attack. Iain Sutherland was Musical Director for a series of BBC radio recordings of classic musicals: "Guys and Dolls"; "Finian's Rainbow";"My Fair Lady"; "The Music Man"; "Kiss Me Kate"; "Sweet Charity" and Stephen Sondheim's legendary "Follies" which was recorded at a Gala concert at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane which Sondheim attended. All-star casts for these recordings included: John Barrowman, Tom Conti, Mary Carew, Anita Dobson, Jim Dale, Janie Dee, Marilyn Hill Smith, Bonnie Langford, Julia Migenes, Julia McKenzie, Ron Moody, Donna McKechnie, Claire Moore, Milo O'Shea, Denis Quilley and Elizabeth Seal. For NDR Hanover he recorded Bernstein's "Candide" and "West Side Story" with the NDR Philharmonic and Principal artists of Hanover Opera.
Sutherland was a director of the Performing Artists' Media Rights Association, a member of the Committee of the British Music Writers Council and of the Central Music Advisory Committee of the BBC and the inaugural Council of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and Warden of the Performers and Composers section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians of which he is an Emeritus Fellow. He is a member of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain and is Hon.Vice President of the Clan Sutherland Society and a Companion of the Television and Radio Industries Club.
The Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra can be heard regularly on Classic FM, where his last four albums of International Light Music were all chosen as Featured Album. "Orient Express: 20 Light Classics Europe and beyond"(2014):"Manhattan Playboys:American Light Classics"(2013):"The Merrymakers:British Light Classics"(2012):"In London Town: A musical tour of the historic sights of London"(2011). Other recordings include: "Scotland's Tunes of Glory": "The Classics Collection" (4 albums; Scottish/Irish/Viennese/Christmas). "Schindler's List" with Tasmin Little: "Simply Maria" with Maria Ewing and "Waltzing In The Clouds"(The music of Robert Stolz) with Julia Migenes.
He has also been honoured to conduct for many Royal Charity concerts with star soloists and the English Chamber Orchestra, at St.James' Palace and Whitehall Palace attended by the Royal Patrons of the charities involved, and also the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium. Laying aside his baton he has taken part in many varied radio and television programmes including the panel game "Call My Bluff", and he has also spoken at the Oxford Union. Iain Sutherland is not related to fellow-conductor Gavin Sutherland, nor to the pop duo Sutherland Brothers whose names coincidentally are Gavin and Iain.