New Zealand-born Holly Mathieson is currently Assistant Conductor at the RSNO (2016-18), Resident Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Junior Orchestra, and has guest engagements across NZ, the UK and America. In the current season, these include concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, RSNO, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Farnborough Symphony Orchestra, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra and Corinthian Chamber Orchestra, a tour with Scottish Ballet, and a trial as music director of the Illinois Philharmonic. Forthcoming projects include a commercial recording of works by John McLeod with Dame Evelyn Glennie and the RSNO, and concerts with London’s Southbank Sinfonia and Salomon Orchestra.
Highlights of recent seasons include holding one of the world's most prestigious fellowships for young conductors, the Leverhulme Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; a a critically acclaimed London debut as the 2015 Christine Collins Young Artist Conductor in Associate at Opera Holland Park; debuts with Southbank Sinfonia and the Auckland Philharmonia; working as assistant conductor with Opera North, Garsington Opera and Longborough Festival Opera; and making the finals in the competition for assistant conductor, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
In the past, she has assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen and Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), Donald Runnicles at the BBCSSO, and Marin Alsop at the BBC Proms. 2013 saw success in being chosen as one of four young conductors from around the world to participate in the Interaktion Dirigentenwerkstatt des Kritischen Orchesters with players from the Berlin Philharmonic and other German orchestras, and a place as one of Dartington International Summer School's advanced conducting fellows. She was immediately reinvited to Dartington in 2014 as a guest conductor.
Awards for Holly's work include a 2013 Professional Development Grant from Creative NZ, the 2012 AMP Regional Scholarship from Roost Mortgages, the 2009 Patronage Award from Adrienne, Lady Stewart and the NZ Arts Foundation, and the Elman Poole Travelling Scholarship (2006). Holly was named a Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellow in 2008. She was also given a high commendation in the 2013 Taki Concordia Fellowship. In 2016, Zonta NZ named her as one of New Zealand's Top 50 Women of Achievement.
Holly holds a PhD in Music Iconography, entitled "Embodying Music: The Visuality of Three Iconic Conductors in London, 1840-1940" and a MusBHons(1st class) in composition and analyisis from Otago University, and an MMus in orchestral conducting from the University of Melbourne Conservatorium. She has published papers in Music in Art, and been invited to present papers at conferences in London, New York and New Zealand. An online copy of the Doctoral dissertation is available here.
2016 Zonta NZ, Top 50 NZ Women of Achievement