Principal Conductor – Robert Guy

Photo of Robert Guy

British Conductor Robert Guy has established himself as one of the most exciting conductors of his generation. Robert, who hails from North Wales, was shortlisted for the Cadaqués and Besançon International Conducting Competitions, and is Artistic Director of the award winning NEW Sinfonia. As a regular Guest Conductor to the Manchester Camerata, Robert has worked with Tine Thing Helseth, recorded for Sony Playstation and conducted a new commission by Philip Venables for Manchester International Festival. Robert is part of the creative partnership team as conductor between Welsh National Opera, North Wales International Music Festival and the NEW Sinfonia.

Robert holds the MMus and FRSM qualifications, having studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester. He has acted as Assistant Conductor to the Britten-Pears Orchestra with Kirill Karabits. Robert was also chosen to work with the Berliner Philharmoniker Ensemble at the Conductors Lab in Aix-en-Provence, Berlin Sinfonietta with Michail Jurowski, Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Sian Edwards and Charles Peebles, and the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber Choir in Lübeck with Simon Halsey and Nicholas Fink.

Other notable career highlights include Conductor in Residence at the Inspire Arts Festival held in Jeju, South Korea and making his debut at St David’s Hall Cardiff, working with Allen Vizzutti in the gala concert of the Arcomis International Brass Festival.

Celebrated for their outstanding creative work, the NEW Sinfonia has been appointed as Orchestra in Residence at the North Wales International Music Festival, where he has worked with esteemed artists who include Federico Colli, Ye-Eun Choi, Tamsin Waley-Cohen and WNO artistes. In 2016, Robert conducted the World Premiere of Paul Mealor’s Symphony No.2 and worked with international pianist Llŷr Williams. Using music as a powerful therapy for supporting health and wellbeing, the NEW Sinfonia have taken their music making to communities in schools and hospitals, supported by Arts & Business Cymru Culture Step.

Robert is a passionate leader and active educator. He is Director of Choral Programme and Tutor in Conducting at the University of Manchester, and Tutor in Conducting at the University of Huddersfield. His conducting students have secured posts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus and Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. He is Principal Conductor to the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of Square Chapel in Halifax.

Student conductors

Matthew Quinn

Matthew Quinn is 19 and hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is currently studying music at the University of Manchester, having received unconditional offers to study voice at the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and aims to pursue vocal performance and musical direction/conducting as a career. Matthew’s passion for conducting started two years ago when he founded his own chamber choir, Lux, based in Belfast, with the intention of providing a platform for passionate singers in Northern Ireland to explore exciting and challenging repertoire in an extremely close and exposed environment. They have gone on to produce numerous extremely successful concerts across Northern Ireland in venues such as St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast and St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Other conducting experience includes having conducted St Peter’s Cathedral Choir in Belfast and the Mydel Choir in Macclesfield.

Aside from conducting, Matthew is a keen tenor and performance credits include being a finalist in the Bank of Ireland Catherine Judge Memorial Award 2015, tenor soloist in works such as Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan William’s Mass in G Minor and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with choirs such as the Ulster Youth Choir and St Peter’s Cathedral Choir and performing both Britten’s War Requiem (2014) and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius (2015) in the BBC Proms with the BBC Proms Youth Choir. He also has a passion for Opera and this year made his professional debut as the role of the ‘Typesetter’ in the premiere of Mysterious 44 by Kevin Malone

Robin WallingtonRobin Wallington is a conductor/composer based in Manchester. He has worked with conductors such as Paavo Jarvi and Mark Stringer, as well as professional instrumentalists and ensembles up and down the UK. Recent highlights include a three-week Research & Development Project on Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, and a performance of French orchestral works with the Bolton Symphony Orchestra. As a composer, he has had works performed by ensembles such as the Quatuor Danel and the RLPO’s 10/10 ensemble. A keen interest in British early-20th century music has led him to have articles printed in publications such as the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal. Robin currently studies conducting with Mark Heron, and composition with Laura Bowler.

Further information can be found at

Photo of Anna Beresford

Anna Beresford attended the RNCM’s Junior department until 2016, and is now in her second year at the University of Manchester as a first study cellist with Jennifer Langridge. She has played with the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain and Vacation Chamber Orchestras, and continues to love playing in chamber ensembles at university. Anna has been part of the University’s Baroque Orchestra, various university orchestral projects, and musical theatre productions.

Having always wanted to conduct, Anna has taken part in masterclasses over the last couple of years, including with Odaline de la Martinez, Alice Farnham and Ben Crick. In her final year with the North Yorkshire County Youth Orchestra she conducted Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, with the help of Simon Wright. For the 2017/18 year, Anna has been selected to be a Manchester University Music Society conductor for both orchestral and choral ensembles, and she is looking forward to working with Mark Heron and Robert Guy. She is excited to conduct the three university choirs, using her experience from singing with her local church choir and chamber choirs.

Alastair McNamara

Alastair McNamara studies music at the University of Manchester. He studies conducting under Mark Heron and Robert Guy and conducts choirs for the Manchester University Music Society as well as assisting with the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra.

He studies composition under Richard Whalley, composing music for plays by Manchester University Drama Society as well a professional productions in the city.

Alastair is a tenor, singing with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. He also takes on professional singing work and has sung in the choir at Hans Zimmer’s World Tour concert in Liverpool Echo Arena.