Lee Bracegirdle To Be Woollahra Philharmonic’s Chief Conductor

Lee Bracegirdle
Lee Bracegirdle

The Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra has announced the appointment of Lee Bracegirdle as its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director.

A published scholar, composer and outstanding French horn player, Lee will conduct the WPO’s September concert featuring flautist Bridget Bolliger and clarinettist Dimitri Ashkenazy.

About Lee Bracegirdle

Sydney audiences will be familiar with Lee Bracegirdle as Associate Principal Horn with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1980 – 2012). He has made numerous recordings for the ABC as a soloist, chamber musician and principal horn. He has edited horn études for the I.M.C. in New York, and published his own original studies and chamber music through 3-C Musikverlag in Germany. He has given master classes at Juilliard (New York), the Curtis Institute (Philadelphia), the Mozarteum (Salzburg), the Chopin University of Music (Warsaw), the University of Illinois, and the Conservatorio Esteban Salas in Cuba.

Lee Bracegirdle studied conducting at Salzburg’s Mozarteum with Michael Gielen and in Sydney with Sir Charles Mackerras, Carlo Felice Cillario, Vernon Handley, and Eduardo Mata. He made his conducting debut with the Orchestra of the Mozarteum and presently guest conducts in Australia and Latin America.  Since 1996 he has been Musical Director of the Australian Chamber Ballet.

Bracegirdle began his early musical training in Philadelphia, choosing the French Horn at age 14 which he studied at the Philadelphia Musical Academy and at the Juilliard School in New York, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He was a member of the Juilliard Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. His compositional style has been influenced by mentors who include Pierre Boulez and Vincent Persichetti. He has performed as principal horn with classical and jazz ensembles in New York, including Dave Brubeck, and has worked in Mexico and Germany where he co-founded Germany’s premier brass quintet, Rekkenze Brass.

In 1998 Lee was awarded 1st Prize in the Zoltan Kodaly International Composers’ Competition for his first orchestral work, Divertimento for Orchestra. He was later commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to write 3 new compositions: Variations for Orchestra (2002), Ammerseelieder (2005), and Euphonium Concerto (2007). In 2007 the American Wind Symphony Orchestra commissioned and premiered his Threnos for Horn and symphonic winds, and in 2014 the Sydney Symphony premiered his Legends of the Old Castle for solo-harp, winds and percussion.  His Violin Concerto was premiered in Sydney in 2015 with the SSO’s ex-concertmaster Michael Dauth as soloist.

He was Composer-in-Residence in 2003 and 2013 at Bundanoon and in 2012 and 2014 at the “Brahmshaus” in Baden-Baden, Germany.  He resides in Sydney, is represented by the Australian Music Centre, and his compositions are published by C.F. Peters.

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