Gerry Cornelius was born in London and studied music and conducting at Durham University, the Royal Academy of Music and the State Conservatory of St Petersburg where he was in the class of Ilya Musin.
Since making his debut in the UK at the Almeida Opera Festival, he has gone on to conduct for many of the country’s leading orchestras, ensembles, opera and ballet companies. These include recent appearances with English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, English National Ballet, BBC Concert Orchestra, Spitalfields Festival and The Opera Group. He also regularly conducts in Europe, Asia and America and has recently enjoyed revisiting the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Bochumer Symphoniker, RuhrTriennale Opera Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr and New York City Ballet.
As well as mainstream opera, ballet and symphonic repertoire he is particularly in demand to conduct first performances of major new works. These include award-winning new operas and ensemble pieces by George Benjamin, Olga Neuwirth, Thomas Ades, Julian Anderson, Judith Weir, Richard Causton, Tansy Davies, Colin Matthews, Errollyn Wallen, Edward Rushton, Julian Philips and Elena Langer. He has recently worked with ensembles including musikFabrik Cologne, House of Bedlam and London Sinfonietta and for Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bregenzer Festspiele and Festival d’Automne Paris.
In education he has been a visiting conductor and tutor at the University of London – Goldsmiths, English National Opera Studio, The Royal College and Royal Academy of Music – the latter of which has just elected him an Associate. He was the Associate Conductor for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and recently conducted Music Mix concerts for children with the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as large scale community projects for WNO Max Department and Spitalfields Festival.
Recent performances include his debut for English National Opera in the world premiere of Tansy Davies’ BETWEEN WORLDS the British premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s AMERICAN LULU for the Opera Group at the Edinburgh Festival, Bregenz Festival and at the London Young Vic, the world premiere of Catherine Kontz’s NEIGE in Luxemburg, performances of RITE OF SPRING, GISELLE, THE NUTCRACKER, SWAN LAKE and ROMEO AND JULIET with English National Ballet including at Sadler’s Wells, Royal Albert Hall and London Coliseum and ROMEO AND JULIET and THE NUTCRACKER for the Hong Kong Ballet and concerts in Cambridge, Blackheath Halls, for the LPO in London, London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hallé Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall