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Introducing… Jessica Cottis

By Ailie Crerar

8th October 2019

Conductor Jessica Cottis sits on the Artistic Advisory Board, as well as maintaining a busy guest conducting schedule worldwide.

 

Q&A

What was your first professional job?

Conducting the premiere of Anna Meredith’s opera ‘Tarantula in Petrol Blue’ at Aldeburgh.

 

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I prefer to eat quietly, but coffee with Leonardo da Vinci, Jean Cocteau, Proust, Beethoven, Wittgenstein, Ada Lovelace, George Eliot, and Derek Jarman would be super interesting. I appreciate this would take some metaphysics.

 

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

Trust yourself.

 

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Listen, actively, to everything. There is music and wonder all around us.

 

What excites you about working with young musicians?

There’s a remarkable energy, a real sense of discovery and adventure. Anything is possible. It is imperative we support and nurture young musicians, they are our now and our future.

A bit more about Jessica

Jessica Cottis maintains a busy guest conducting schedule worldwide, working with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Houston Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Scottish Opera, Opera North, and regularly at the BBC Proms. This season she made notable debuts with the LA Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, and conducted a new opera by Israeli composer Na’ama Zisser for the Royal Opera House, where she returns this year to conduct the premiere of The Monstrous Child by Gavin Higgins.

 

Born in Australia, Cottis was awarded a first class honours degree in organ, piano and musicology from the Australian National University and continued her studies in Paris, winning awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society and Royal College of Organists. A wrist injury halted her keyboard career and she began conducting studies at the Royal Academy of Music where she graduated with distinction. In 2015 she was appointed Associate Member of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM), an honorary award for former students who have made a significant contribution to the music profession.

 

“The director was the extraordinary Jessica Cottis, Anglo-Australian conductor, who last night led the orchestra as a queen. Full of energy and verve, Cottis was repeatedly able to tear applause even in the middle of scenes.” Claudio Biazzetti, Rolling Stone Magazine

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