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Music student, 20, lands top job

28 Jun 2012

A third year University of Manchester music student is to become the Hallé’s youngest ever assistant conductor.

Jamie Phillips, 20

Jamie Phillips, 20, from Birmingham, who landed the job at the internationality renowned orchestra, will start his new role in September.

The conductor, set follow in the footsteps of fellow Manchester alumnus Andrew Gourlay, also signed with one of the world’s leading music agencies Intermusica earlier this year.

Jamie, who graduates in a few weeks time, has been invited to conduct a concert at the 2013 Salzburg Festival - one of classical music’s most prestigious events.

He is a product of the University’s elite conducting programme taught by Mark Heron, and is set to follow in the footsteps of other star alumni conductors, including Mark Wigglesworth and Paul McCreesh.

The Assistant Conductor works with the Hallé’s Music Director, Sir Mark Elder, to help prepare concerts, conducts Hallé concerts in Manchester and around the country, and acts as Music Director and conductor of the Hallé Youth Orchestra.

Jamie said: "I am absolutely delighted to be given this role and feel very privileged  to be able to work with Sir Mark Elder.

"The conducting opportunities at The University of Manchester are unrivalled anywhere else in the UK - the chance to have so much contact time with ensembles with the guidance of expert teaching is fundamental to developing skills required to stand in front of musicians with confidence."

Dr Rebecca Herissone, Head of Music at The University of Manchester, said: “We are absolutely delighted the department’s current and former conducting students are having such an impact internationally, and that we have been able to create an environment that has helped them break into this highly competitive career.

“The combination of tuition and guidance, together with significant opportunities to conduct a wide range of orchestras and ensembles in very diverse repertoires is unrivalled in an undergraduate context.”

Mark Heron said: “Credit must go to the music department at Manchester for having the vision to create an environment in which these students’ undoubted natural ability has been able to develop so rapidly.

“Of course, having such talented conducting students has a very positive impact on the quality of music-making on offer to all of the students who play in the University orchestras and ensembles.”

John Summers, Hallé Chief Executive said: “We are delighted about Jamie’s appointment as Assistant Conductor. He was the unanimous choice of the selection panel from an extremely talented field. Jamie follows a number of outstanding conductors who have held this role, from Edward Gardner in 2002 through to Andrew Gourlay.”

Sir Mark Elder said: “We are all very thrilled to welcome Jamie into the Hallé family, and look forward to working with him closely over the coming years”