Mark Wigglesworth

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Mark Wigglesworth (born 19 July 1964[1]) is an English conductor. Born in Sussex, he attended Bryanston School,[2] Manchester University, and the Royal Academy of Music in London.[3] He won the Kondrashin Conducting Competition in Amsterdam in 1989.

John Drummond appointed him associate conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1991, a post he held until 1993.[4] Wigglesworth was principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 1996 until 2000. He was principal guest conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2001.

Wigglesworth led his first opera production in 1991, conducting Cosi fan Tutte for Opera Factory in London. He made his first conducting appearance with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November 2002.[5] He has also conducted at the Welsh National Opera,[6][7] the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera,[8][9] and Glyndebourne.[10] In 2005, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut conducting Le Nozze di Figaro. In April 2006, Wigglesworth had been named the next Music Director of the La Monnaie opera, Brussels, succeeding Kazushi Ono. After a season of working together with the company's then-music director, Kazushi Ono (2007–2008), Wigglesworth had originally been scheduled to assume sole control as Music Director with the 2008–2009 season.[11] In April 2008, La Monnaie announced that Wigglesworth would not take up the post of music director at La Monnaie.[12]

In January 2014, English National Opera (ENO) named Wigglesworth its next music director, succeeding Edward Gardner effective September 2015.[13] Shortly into his tenure, Wigglesworth expressed disapproval of proposals by ENO management for economising measures, such as a reduction in the contract of the ENO chorus.[14] On 22 March 2016, he resigned from the music directorship of ENO, effective at the close of the 2015–2016 season. The resignation report indicated that he was to honour existing conducting commitments with the company. In a separate letter to ENO musicians, Wigglesworth said:[15]

"The company is evolving now into something I do not recognise, and as hard as I have tried to argue to maintain what I believe to be the fundamental pillars of our identity, I have failed to persuade others of this necessity.”

Wigglesworth has recorded commercially for such labels as BIS.[16][17]

Wigglesworth is married to the University College London archaeologist Annemieke Milks. The couple have a daughter and live in Sussex.[18]


  1. ^ "July 19, 2007: Birthdays". The Times. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Richard Morrison (20 May 2003). "Glynde born-again". The Times. Retrieved 30 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian, 11 February 2005,,,1409789,00.html
  4. ^ Rupert Christiansen (9 November 2002). "The Mr Motivator of the pit". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Rupert Christiansen (14 November 2002). "Nurnberg's dark heart bypassed". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  6. ^ Rupert Christiansen (2 October 2006). "The mating season". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  7. ^ Rian Evans (2 October 2006). "Tristan und Isolde". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  8. ^ Rupert Christiansen (31 May 2002). "Passing the Così test". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  9. ^ Erica Jeal (19 October 2004). "Falstaff". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  10. ^ Erica Jeal (8 July 2003). "Le Nozze di Figaro". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  11. ^ Vivien Schweitzer (20 April 2006). "Mark Wigglesworth Appointed Music Director of Belgium's La Monnaie". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  12. ^ Shirley Apthorp (10 April 2008). "Feisty Orchestra Fuels Brussels Opera Changes". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  13. ^ Service, Tom (23 January 2014). "At ENO: exit Edward Gardner, enter Mark Wigglesworth". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Mark Brown (3 January 2016). "ENO's woes: opera company begins new year in offstage turmoil". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  15. ^ Mark Brown and Imogen Tilden (22 March 2016). "ENO music director Mark Wigglesworth quits". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  16. ^ Andrew Clements (21 June 2012). "Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 1, 2 and 3 – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  17. ^ Andrew Clements (23 April 2014). "Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 1 and 15 review – Netherlands RSO/ Wigglesworth". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  18. ^ Katie Law (8 September 2015). "Mark Wigglesworth, the new musical director at English National Opera: 'a completely fresh set of challenges is healthy'". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Tadaaki Otaka
Music Director, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Succeeded by
Richard Hickox
Preceded by
Edward Gardner
Music Director, English National Opera
Succeeded by
Martyn Brabbins