Musical Director - Ian Holmes
Ian Holmes’ career as a conductor, pianist and tuba player has included working with a wide variety of orchestras, choirs and brass bands, even starring in the National Lottery Christmas television advert 2013!
Ian studied at the University of York, Banff Center of Fine Arts in Canada and the Royal College of Music where he studied tuba, conducting and piano accompaniment. Career highlights include conducting at the National Brass Band Championships in the Royal Albert Hall, working with actor Robert Hardy CBE and Henry Goodman, touring Italy as principal tuba with the London Brass Virtuosi, broadcasting live on BBC Radio 2 and accompanying virtuosi trumpet player Allen Vizzutti. Ian was Musical Director of the renowned City of Hull Youth Symphony Orchestra, working with eminent soloists such as Jack Brymer, Don Lusher and Johnny Morris, and as a choral conductor has conducted large-scale works including Belshazzar’s Feast, Carmina Burana and African Sanctus.
Ian has worked with many brass bands throughout England and Wales including Musical Director of Parc and Dare (winner Radio Wales Band of the Year) and Jaguar Landrover Band, leading them to sixth place out of seventy-six bands in the Greenfield section of the Whit Friday marches in 2014. He was Resident Conductor of Buy as you View Cory Band when they won the British Open and National Finals competitions in 2000. He was appointed Principal Conductor of Tongwynlais Temperance Band in June 2017, taking them to the National Brass Band Championship Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2017 and winning the South East Wales Brass Band Association (Merthr Tydfil) Competition (Championship Section). Ian has been Principal Conductor of Lydbrook Band since 2009, with whom he has worked on a successful series of premieres and concerts in venues such as Colston Hall, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Speech House Hotel Royal Forest of Dean, and Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall, including collaborations with actors Robert Hardy CBE, Henry Goodman and Barry Farrimond. He has also toured to Spain including concerts at La Seu Cathedral, Barcelona and Murcia Cathedral. Most recently, he conducted 270 musicians aged 8-80 in a world premiere at St George's Bristol and directed the first ever performance of the award-winning South-West Open Youth Orchestra, the UK's first and only disabled-led orchestra for young musicians at Bristol Cathedral, featured on BBC The One Show.
Ian has regularly directed the University of the West of England Symphony Orchestra, conducted the Bristol Ensemble and was Musical Director of the Bristol Schools’ Philharmonia (part of Bristol Music Trust), conducting Holst The Planets and Mark Lawrence Home by Christmas for massed forces at Colston Hall in December 2014. Choral credits include Bernstein Chichester Psalms, Fanshawe African Sanctus, Jenkins The Armed Man and Requiem, Lambert Rio Grande, Mozart Requiem, Orff Carmina Burana, Verdi Requiem, Walton Belshazzar’s Feast. He is Musical Director of the 150-strong University of the West of England Singers, has guest conducted City of Bristol Choir, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Wells Choral Society, and in 2013 was offered the post of Musical Director with Treorchy Male Choir. He led the BBC Radio Bristol Workplace Choir in an inaugural performance for Children in Need 2015.
From 2008-2016, Ian was Director of the Centre for Performing Arts at the University of the West of England where his role included curating many large scale events including Colston Hall and Bristol Cathedral. He now enjoys a varied role as a freelance musician, often championing original music as a conductor and performer, and bringing musical projects to new audiences.