Sydney Opera House

Nicholas Milton


Australian-born conductor Nicholas Milton has established an outstanding reputation for his charismatic stage presence and thrilling interpretations of an extensive repertoire spanning both concert and opera. Renowned for his dynamic conducting style, energy, and compelling musical integrity, the immediacy of Milton’s rapport with musicians continues to captivate orchestras and audiences alike.

Appointed as one of the youngest-ever concertmasters of a major Australian orchestra, Milton enjoyed a distinguished career as a violinist and chamber musician before dedicating himself exclusively to conducting.  The European-based conductor is now a regular guest at several leading opera houses.  He has appeared for six consecutive seasons as a guest conductor at the Volksoper in Vienna, where he has conducted countless performances of Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute, La traviata, Carmen, and Hänsel und Gretel.  In 2013, he conducted the acclaimed new John Bell production of Tosca for Opera Australia in Sydney. Other recent productions include La fanciulla del West in Innsbruck, The Flying Dutchman in Dortmund, Don Pasquale in Linz, Don Giovanni in Leipzig, The Magic Flute at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, Munich, and Carmen and Die Fledermaus at the Komische Oper in Berlin.  Forthcoming opera highlights include return visits to Berlin (The Tales of Hoffmann) and a new production with Rolando Villazón in Vienna in 2015.

Concert engagements of recent seasons include appearances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, SWR Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Dortmund Philharmonic, Staatsorchester Wiesbaden, Staatsorchester Darmstadt, Orchester des Nationaltheaters Mannheim, Staatskapelle Halle, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Tonkünstler-Orchester, Brabants Orkest, MAV Orchestra Budapest, Odense Symphony, China National Symphony Orchestra and the Taiwan Philharmonic.  In 2013, he served as Assistant Conductor to Mariss Jansons on an extensive European and United States tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Nicholas Milton was Concertmaster of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (1996–2002) and leader of Australia’s renowned Macquarie Trio (1998–2005).  He served as General Music Director of the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra from 2004 until 2010.  Since 2001, he has been Chief Conductor of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and, since 2007, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.  Milton studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Juilliard School and holds Masters Degrees in Violin, Conducting, Music Theory and Philosophy and a Doctorate in Music from the City University of New York.  Mentored at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki by Jorma Panula, he won the 1999 Symphony Australia Conductor of the Year Competition and was a prize-winner in the Lovro von Matačić International Competition of Young Conductors.  In 2001, Nicholas Milton was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society and the Advancement of Music.

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