As Music Director of Pittsburgh Opera, Antony Walker enjoys the distinction of serving as one of the youngest music directors of a regional company in the United States. A prodigiously gifted musician, Mo. Walker made his professional conducting debut in 1992 in Sydney, Australia, and has since that time, has conducted 200 operas, large scale choral/orchestral works, symphonic and chamber works with companies in Europe, the United States and Australia, in addition to performances and recordings of early works with the Orchestra of the Antipodes, a period instrument orchestra which he formed in 2001. He has led operatic performances for Welsh National Opera, Opera Australia, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Rome Opera, The Minnesota Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Arizona Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Vancouver Opera, and Cincinnati Opera. He has also appeared with leading orchestras including Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestre Colonne in Paris, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, Barossa Festival Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Sinfonia Australis, Orchestra of the Antipodes and Chatham Baroque, -Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, and Sydney Opera House Orchestra. Debuts in recent seasons include Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera. Return engagements in most recent andupcoming seasons include projects for English National Opera, Melbourne Symphony, Opera Australia, Pittsburgh Opera, Washington Concert Opera, and Orchestra of the Antipodes.
A prolific recording artist, Mo. Walker has recorded 30 CDs and DVDs of the works of Beethoven, Mahler, Mozart, Orff, Fauré, Puccini, Verdi, Purcell, Handel, Bach, and others. His CD collaboration with Teddy Tahu Rhodes garnered the ARIA award for Best Classical Music Album the Year and his DVD of the Emperor Concerto, on CD as part of the complete set of the Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5, won the international DVD Association Award for Music Excellence. Releases of Handel's Semele and Purcell's The Fairy Queen each won high praise in the esteemed International Record Review.
Acknowledged for his incisive interpretation and execution of the varied repertoire he has performed and recorded, as well as his exceptional reading of new works, Mo. Walker has led acclaimed performances of operas ranging from the works of Monteverdi to Ruders, Glass and Petitgirard. Operatic repertoire performed comprises Così fan tutte, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Rigoletto, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Traviata, The Queen of Spades, Mitridate, Idomeneo, Dardanus, Le Nozze di Figaro, I Pagliacci, Carmina Burana, La Bohème, the North American Premiere of The Handmaid's Tale, Nixon in China, Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, Vanessa, Die Zauberflöte, Il Ritorno D'Ulisse in Patria (with orchestra on period instruments), Roméo and Juliette, La Cenerentola, Tosca, Orlando, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Faust, and others. As Artistic Director of Washington Concert Opera, Mr. Walker has cast and conducted highly applauded performances of under-performed operatic works such as Béatrice et Bénédict, Stiffelio, Roberto Devereux, La Donna del Lago, Esclarmonde, Luisa Miller, Orlando and Tancredi. As Co-Artistic Director of Pinchgut Opera, he has led baroque and early works including Semele, The Fairy Queen, L'Orfeo, Dardanus and, most recently, Idomeneo with Sinfonia Australis and the Orchestra of the Antipodes (on period instruments).
Trained as a cellist, Mo. Walker developed an understanding of orchestral music at an early age and has since conducted and recorded much of orchestral and chamber works repertoire. Repertoire performed includes Beethoven Symphony Nos. 2, 4, and 9; the Triple Concerto, Opus 56; Mahler's Symphony No. 4; Brahms' Symphony No 3; Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony; Stravinsky's Firebird Suite; Tchaikovsky's Roméo et Juliette Fantasy-Overture; Prokofiev's Roméo et Juliette; Rachmaninoff's Variation on a Theme by Paganini; Dvorak's Serenade for Strings and the Cello Concerto; Haydn's Trumpet Concerto; Mendelssohn's Incidental Music from A Midsummer Night's Dream; Symphony No. 29 of Mozart and the Haffner; along with the works of Sibelius, Strauss, Weber, Williams, and others. Recent performances include Falkenberg's Edge of the World and Beethoven's Triple Concerto, the World Premiere of Falkenberg's Piano Concerto, Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Brahms's Hungarian Dances, and Copland's Appalachian Spring.
As a former tenor, Mo. Walker's understanding of the human voice has contributed to a particularly successful experience with vocal soloists and choral performers. As Musical Director of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs from 1993 to 1997, Mo. Walker led many large-scale works including Mendelssohn's Elijah, Mozart's Requiem, Bach's Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew Passion, Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette and Britten's War Requiem. He returns regularly to Sydney Philharmonia as guest conductor, where, most recently, he conducted Janacek's Glagolitic Mass and the world premiere of Nigel Butterley's Spell of Creation. Mo. Walker is the recipient of the distinguished Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Award, the Churchill Fellowship and the Queenís Trust Award and most recently received the Green Room Award for his conducting of Alcina for Opera Australia. Additionally, Mo. Walker was among five distinguished conductors nominated for the DORA Award in the category of Best Musical Direction following his acclaimed performance of Canadian Opera Company's Maria Stuarda.