Benjamin Bayl is co-founder and Principal Guest Conductor of the period instrument Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra (ARCO), Associate Director of The Hanover Band, and Artistic Director of Odissea. Holding both Dutch and Australian nationalities, he was the first Australian Organ Scholar of King’s College Cambridge, and then studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music with Colin Metters and George Hurst. An alumnus of the National Opera Studio, he became Assistant Conductor to the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer in 2006, and was also mentored by and assisted Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Richard Hickox, Harry Bicket and Ivor Bolton. From 2007-2010 he served as Assistant Artistic Director to the Gabrieli Consort & Paul McCreesh, and also worked with Fischer and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
He recently made his conducting debut in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Collegium Vocale Gent and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and was immediately re-invited to conduct them on a European tour with the music of CPE Bach in the 18/19 Season. Working extensively in the early music field (both as conductor or directing from the keyboard) recent and regular collaborations include The Hanover Band, Concerto Copenhagen, Concerto Köln, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, and Warsaw Chamber Opera.
In the realm of opera, he has conducted at Wiener Staatsoper (Fatima oder von den mutigen Kindern), Dutch National Opera (Il matrimonio segreto), Staatsoper Berlin (Fairy Queen / AscheMond), Royal Danish Opera (Don Giovanni), Danish National Opera (Così fan tutte), Opera Vlaanderen (Idomeneo), Opera Australia (Orlando), Opera de Oviedo (Agrippina & Le nozze di Figaro), Budapest State Opera (Fairy Queen), Polish National Opera (La clemenza di Tito), Deutsche Oper am Rhein & Teatro Comunale di Sassari (Carmen), NorrlandsOperan (Le nozze di Figaro), Warsaw Chamber Opera (Pigmalion) and Nordic Opera (L’incoronazione di Poppea & Cavalli’s Gli amore d’Apollo e di Dafne), working with stage directors such as Claus Guth, Mariame Clément, Ivo van Hove, David Bösch and Guy Joosten.
Benjamin has made highly successful debuts in recent seasons with such orchestras as Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Musikfest Berlin in the Berlin Philharmonie, and Ruhrtrienniale Festival), Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Bochumer Symphoniker, Britten Sinfonia, Netherlands Youth Orchestra, Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano, and Orchestra Filharmonica di Torino, as well as numerous orchestras throughout Scandinavia, conducting a broad range of repertoire from the great Viennese classics, historically informed Baroque and Romantic music, and new commissions. He is often invited to present the oratorios of Bach, Handel, Mozart and Haydn.
Current and forthcoming season highlights include concerts with Malaysian Philharmonic & Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, his debut at Den Norske Opera conducting Don Giovanni, his USA debut conducting Partenope for Opera Neo San Diego, Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano, Orchestra Sinfonia G.Rossini, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Bremer Philharmoniker, ARCO, Orchestra of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in the Melbourne Festival, Orchestra i pomeriggi musicali, Croatian Baroque Orchestra, a tour of China with The Hanover Band, a tour of Europe with B’Rock and Vocalconsort Berlin, La finta semplice and Lully’s Armide at Warsaw Chamber Opera, La Clemenza di Tito at Polish National Opera, Così fan tutte at the Cartagena Festival in Colombia, and performances in Oviedo, Wroclaw, London and Sydney.
"All the colours of Rossini's Alpine tone poem - the Overture to William Tell - registered vividly on the Hanover Band's period instruments, and Bayl steered this familiar music with fresh imagination."
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"Benjamin Bayl led the famous overture with vivacity and ease, to which the orchestra responded fluently, creating beautiful atmospheres throughout the evening."
"We heard one of the most gripping performances of Messiah I can recall. The main reason for this was Australian conductor Benjamin Bayl… His primary aim was to make the music dance, and the musicians responded with infectious and lively energy…"
"A golden apple and a few flirtatious glances aside, this was a concert performance but a pleasingly sung one, directed from the harpsichord by Benjamin Bayl, who revelled in Arne’s dapper tunes, busy violin descants and sizzling coloratura."