"Unusually for me, I wrote a few notes for this review. One of them read, simply "HOLLY!!!". It's hardly the most eloquent or insightful thing one can say about a conductor, but it's a reflection of the inspired and brilliant work of Holly Mathieson." (Sarah Noble, critic and opera blogger)

Holly is Artistic Director of the Horizont Musik-Kollektiv (Berlin), and co-directs the Reuleaux Ensemble (London). She has worked in performance or masterclass with players from the Berliner Philharmoniker, NZ Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Berlin Staatskapelle, St Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, London Serenata, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Dartington Festival Orchestra, London Repertoire Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Southern Opera, Southern Sinfonia, Opera Otago, the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Chorus in Australia.

Image by Kate Mount Photography.

Highlights of the 2013/14 season include assisting Marin Alsop at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the BBCSO at the Last Night of the Proms, and with the Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra on their recent European tour, and assisting Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Philharmonia Orchestra (London). Earlier in the current season, she debuted with St Matthew's Chamber Orchestra (NZ) the Vanbrugh Ensemble (London) and Opera Holland Park (London), and was cover conductor to Chris Warren-Green at the Charlotte Symphony (US). 2013 also saw her 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. In addition, she studied at the Järvi Academy and Dartington International Summer School over the summer, and in December will compete in her first competition, the acclaimed Cadaqués Orchestra International Conducting Competition.

Past opera work includes several seasons with Opera Otago (NZ), including their critically acclaimed production of Cosi fan Tutte at the 2008 Otago Festival of the Arts, the southern hemisphere premiere of Salieri's Falstaff (2006), and the world premiere of Anthony Ritchie's The God Boy (2004). As Artistic Director of the Solid Energy Chorus and Assistant Conductor at Southern Opera in 2009 and 2010, Holly collaborated on productions of Aida, Gianni Schicchi, Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream and The Magic Flute. She also assisted conductor Tecwyn Evans in the University of Otago's seasons of Madama Butterfly (2003) and Carmen (2006).

Awards for Holly's work include the 2012 AMP Regional Scholarship from Roost Mortgages, the 2009 Patronage Award from Adrienne, Lady Stewart and the Arts Foundation of New Zealand 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, and receives ongoing mentoring from Marin Alsop as a result of her prize.

Holly holds a BMus(hons) in composition, conducting and analyisis from Otago University, an MMus in orchestral conducting from the University of Melbourne Conservatorium and a PhD in Music Iconography, entitled "Embodying Music: The Visuality of Three Iconic Conductors in London, 1840-1940". She has published papers in Music in Art, and presented papers at conferences in London, New York and New Zealand. An online copy of the Dissertation is available here.

Holly's compositional output includes Murmurations for string orchestra (in progress); Big Spirits Little Feet for percussion ensemble (2011); Meditation: Urlicht for full orchestra (May 2011); Sinfonietta for orchestra (2000); and Night songs: a Cycle for Soprano, Baritone and piano (1999).


Holly Mathieson, Dirigentenwerkstatt 2013, Berlin - Probe
First half of Shostakovich's Kammer Sinfonie, 1e Satz, conducted by Holly Mathieson, Dirigentenwerkstatt
Born Dunedin
First-class honours degree at Otago University 
Principal Conductor, Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra
Masters in orchestral conducting from the University of Melbourne Conservatorium
Began working as a frelance conductor in New Zealand;Began writing a PhD in Music Iconography;Conducted world premiere of Anthony Ritchie's The God Boy
Conducted Opera Otago's Cosi fan Tutte
Appointed Artistic Director of the Solid Energy Chorus of Southern Opera;Debuted with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in their Big Bang education concert;Arts Foundation Award for Patronage donation recipient from Adrienne, Lady Stewart
Completed her PhD in Music Iconography;Took up appointment with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London
Co-Director the Reuleaux Ensemble, London
Recipient of an AMP scholarship
Assistant Conductor to Marin Alsop at the BBC Last night of the Proms; Assistant Conductor to Christoph von Dohnanyi with the Philharmonia Orchestra (London)
Leverhulme Conducting Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Appointed Assistant Conductor at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO)