Principal Guest Conductor
OUO took the decision during the coronavirus lockdown to appoint a Principal Guest Conductor who will return to conduct the orchestra annually. This appointment will allow a conductor to work with the orchestra on a regular basis and therefore to contribute to our long-term growth and improvement, whilst continuing the benefits of inviting guest conductors regularly.
We are delighted that Natalia Luis-Bassa accepted the invitation to be our inaugural Principal Guest Conductor. Her high-quality performances and relationship with the orchestra have led to Natalia being invited to lead us six times between 2012-2020, and together we have performed challenging symphonies by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Mahler. In February 2022, Natalia returned to our podium for her first performance as Principal Guest Conductor.
Natalia is a dynamic conductor and a passionate advocate for young musicians’ education, forming partnerships with many institutions like the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Leeds College of Music, Oasby Music Group and most recently with the Benedetti Foundation amongst others. She is also a record breaker as the first person to obtain a degree in Orchestral Conducting in her native country of Venezuela.
After completing her postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London, she held the RCM Junior Fellowship in Opera Conducting for two years. Her relationship with the RCM continues to this day as she is a Professor of Conducting there.
Natalia holds a Master’s degree from the University of Huddersfield where she is a part-time lecturer and has been appointed Elgar Ambassador.
Promoting the conducting craft and orchestra playing for young people has been a highlight of her career and she has held many successful workshops around the country.