Oliver Zeffman
Conductor

“Conducting was the staggeringly confident and competent Oliver Zeffman who […] is dynamite in a compact frame.” (Michael White, Classical Music, September 2017)

Contacts

Linda Marks +44 (0)20 3725 9120
Ed Milner +44 (0)20 3725 9178

Biography

Artistic Director: Melos Sinfonia

 

Described by The Telegraph as “phenomenally promising”, the young British conductor Oliver Zeffman has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and was the youngest of eight nominees for the Néstle-Salzburg Young Conductor’s Award in 2015. 

This season Oliver makes his debut with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and at West Green House Opera, conducting Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.  

In 2010 Oliver founded the Melos Sinfonia, an orchestra of young professionals, where he continues as Artistic Director. Together, they have given the Russian premieres of a number of important 20th century works – including Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Walton’s Façade and Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures, and over the last three years they have commissioned twelve new works from some of the most exciting young composers of today. Their most ambitious project to date is an international tour in autumn of 2017 of George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin, to venues including LSO St. Luke's in London and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.

Artistic Director: Melos Sinfonia

 

Described by The Telegraph as “phenomenally promising”, the young British conductor Oliver Zeffman has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and was the youngest of eight nominees for the Néstle-Salzburg Young Conductor’s Award in 2015. 

This season Oliver makes his debut with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and at West Green House Opera, conducting Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.  

In 2010 Oliver founded the Melos Sinfonia, an orchestra of young professionals, where he continues as Artistic Director. Together, they have given the Russian premieres of a number of important 20th century works – including Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Walton’s Façade and Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures, and over the last three years they have commissioned twelve new works from some of the most exciting young composers of today. Their most ambitious project to date is an international tour in autumn of 2017 of George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin, to venues including LSO St. Luke's in London and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. 

Oliver has worked with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, assisting conductors such as Ed Gardner, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck, and has also assisted Sir Mark Elder at the Hallé. At the request of Daniel Harding he recently undertook a number of rehearsals for Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with the New Japan Philharmonic. Current assisting projects include preparing orchestras such as the Luxembourg and Rotterdam philharmonics for Valery Gergiev with repertoire including Mahler Symphony No.7 and Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique.  

Having originally studied History and Russian at Durham University, Oliver also spent a year at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory under the direction of Alexander Polishchuk and has since taken part in masterclasses at the Tanglewood Music Centre and with the London Sinfonietta.

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Contacts

Linda Marks +44 (0)20 3725 9120
Ed Milner +44 (0)20 3725 9178

Reviews

“Zeffman revels in the score’s jagged climaxes and spine-chillingly eerie textures.” (***** Richard Morrison, The Times, October 2017)

“Zeffman’s impressively lucid conducting and the Melos Sinfonia’s totally assured playing ensured that the rainbow of colours that Benjamin conjures from a large orchestra containing exotica […] were vividly conveyed.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, October 2017)

“More impressive than the sheer violence of the sonic effects here is the detail of the quieter passages, lovingly shaped by Zeffman and his band. […] Zeffman and the Melos Sinfonia, have definitely made their mark […]. Ambitious and expert, it won’t be long before they’re making their mark on larger stages.” (theartsdesk, October 2017)

“[Oliver Zeffman] took a historically informed approach, albeit with modern instruments (natural trumpets excepted), and the score emerged with captivating freshness, whether in passages of exquisite, floating delicacy or an epic Act 2 quartet that rode a wave of energy”. (Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, October 2017)

“Zeffman revels in the score’s jagged climaxes and spine-chillingly eerie textures.” (***** Richard Morrison, The Times, October 2017)

“Zeffman’s impressively lucid conducting and the Melos Sinfonia’s totally assured playing ensured that the rainbow of colours that Benjamin conjures from a large orchestra containing exotica […] were vividly conveyed.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, October 2017)

“More impressive than the sheer violence of the sonic effects here is the detail of the quieter passages, lovingly shaped by Zeffman and his band. […] Zeffman and the Melos Sinfonia, have definitely made their mark […]. Ambitious and expert, it won’t be long before they’re making their mark on larger stages.” (theartsdesk, October 2017)

“[Oliver Zeffman] took a historically informed approach, albeit with modern instruments (natural trumpets excepted), and the score emerged with captivating freshness, whether in passages of exquisite, floating delicacy or an epic Act 2 quartet that rode a wave of energy”. (Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, October 2017)

“Oliver Zeffman conducts the Melos Sinfonia with the right combination of sensitivity and exuberance” (MusicOMH, August 2017)

“Oliver Zeffman’s invigorating conducting ensuring that the orchestral support maintains sparkling momentum” (Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, August 2017)

“Oliver Zeffman is a sensitive, highly accomplished conductor.” (Seen and Heard International, May 2016)

“Oliver Zeffman is a young conductor but there was no sense of ‘work in progress’ about this performance: it was an authentically satisfying achievement.” (Opera Magazine, May 2016)

“This was a ‘performance of Puccini’s opera to match what one might hear in the most exalted of houses… Try as I might I could not find anything to fault.” ( Seen and Heard International, May 2016)

“memorable, musical, and put together by someone who not only knew what he wanted but, to an extraordinary degree for his age and experience, knew how to get it…he’s phenomenally promising, with the ability and will to go far.” (The Telegraph, July 2014)

“Oliver Zeffman is a sensitive, highly accomplished conductor.” (Seen and Heard International, June 2015)

“Zeffman guided the score not only ably but perceptively…These are clearly an orchestra and conductor who merit our attention.” (Boulezian, January 2014)