Gerry Cornelius was born in London and studied music and conducting at Durham University, the Royal Academy of Music and the State Conservatory of St Petersburg where he was in the class of Ilya Musin.
Since making his debut in the UK at the Almeida Opera Festival, he has gone on to conduct for many of the country’s leading orchestras, ensembles, opera and ballet companies. These include recent appearances with Welsh National Opera, English National Ballet, BBC Concert Orchestra, Spitalfields Festival and The Opera Group. He also regularly conducts in Europe, Asia and America and has recently enjoyed revisiting the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Bochumer Symphoniker, RuhrTriennale Opera Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr and New York City Ballet.
As well as mainstream opera, ballet and symphonic repertoire he is particularly in demand to conduct first performances of major new works. These include award-winning new operas and ensemble pieces by George Benjamin, Colin Matthews, Errollyn Wallen, Edward Rushton, Julian Philips, Elena Langer and Olga Neuwirth. This season he is working with ensembles including musikFabrik Cologne, House of Bedlam and London Sinfonietta and for Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bregenzer Festspiele and Festival d’Automne Paris.
In education he has been a visiting conductor and tutor at the University of London - Goldsmiths, English National Opera Studio, The Royal College and Royal Academy of Music – the latter of which has just elected him an Associate. He is the Associate Conductor for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and recently conducted Music Mix concerts for children with the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as large scale community projects for WNO Max Department and Spitalfields Festival.
Engagements in the 2013/14 season include the British premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s AMERICAN LULU for the Opera Group at the Edinburgh Festival, Bregenz Festival and at the London Young Vic, the world premiere of Catherine Kontz’s chamber opera in Luxemburg, performances with English National Ballet and concerts in Cambridge, Blackheath Halls, for the LPO in London and London Sinfoneitta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.