Described in 2011 by International Record Review as ‘one of the most gifted younger British conductors,’ Stephen Bell studied at the Royal College of Music under the renowned conductor Norman Del Mar, and now finds himself increasingly in demand with a wide variety of European orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Halle, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, ERT National Symphonic Orchestra (Athens), Brighton Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestras. A progressively challenging conducting schedule now affords Stephen the opportunity to conduct both at home and abroad, in venues such as London, Istanbul, Toronto and Athens.
Stephen’s recent discography includes critically acclaimed CDs on ASV, Naxos and Dutton labels, including two with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and most recently, a disc of Gordon Jacob for Dutton Records and three world premiere recordings with violist Roger Chase and the BBC Concert Orchestra. He also has extensive broadcasting experience, frequently appearing on BBC Radio, Classic FM and BBC television. In 2009, he was appointed Artistic Director of the City of Oxford Orchestra, and from the start of the 2013/14 Season, is delighted to take up the post of Associate Conductor, Halle Pops.
His diverse repertoire, versatility and aptitude for communication with audiences of all genres, has led to exciting conducting projects with an eclectic range of artists from Guy Johnston, Xeufei Yang, Alexei Grynyuk, Julian Lloyd Webber, Alan Opie, Peter Donohoe, Julian Bliss, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Mark Simpson, Joanna MacGregor, Stephen Hough and the BBC Singers, to Katie Melua, Alfie Boe, John Barrowman, Tony Hadley, Natasha Marsh, Chris De Burgh, Hayley Westenra and G4. Previous seasons’ highlights include the Queen’s Jubilee Concert at Chatsworth House, the Royal Festival Hall tribute concert for Stanley Black, conducting a gala event at Windsor Castle for Prince Charles, the Westminster Abbey Memorial Concert for Alastair Cooke, the award-winning Pitch Perfect at Wembley for BBCTV’s Children in Need and the televised Music Nation concert from the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow.
From 2005 to 2010, Stephen was invited to conduct the annual televised BBC Proms in the Park with the BBC Philharmonic, and since 2011, the live TV broadcasts of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Last Night of the Proms celebrations. The highly successful 2008 Doctor Who Prom represented his Royal Albert Hall Proms debut, and he returned to the BBC Proms in 2012 conducting the Northern Sinfonia. His 2013/2014 Season includes further engagements with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Halle, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, London Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, together with the release of his latest collaboration on disc with Roger Chase and the BBC Concert Orchestra for Dutton Records.