American conductor Christopher Quentin McMullen-Laird will start the 2019-2020 season in his new post of Music Director of the Jæren Symfoniorkester in Norway. He started his career at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, where he prompted over 50 opera productions, working alongside Music Directors Kent Nagano and Kirill Petrenko. Christopher has conducted productions for Cape Cod Opera, Opera Providence, Opera Rogaland, Schlosstheater Rheinsberg, Tokyo Opera Association, and the education department at the Bayerische Staatsoper. He has also assisted on dance productions at the Royal Ballet and Rambert Dance Company in London.

In addition to his work in opera and ballet, Christopher enjoys a busy and varied concert schedule. He was previously Music Director of the Munich International Orchestra, the Bjergsted Symfoniorkester and the Phoenix Youth Orchestra, and has appeared as guest conductor with the Dartington Festival Orchestra, the Filharmonia Zielenogorska, and the Abaco Orchester. Debuts this season include the Surrey Mozart Players, Sandnes Symfoniorkester and Stavanger Amatørsymfoniorkester. He also currently serves as interim Music Director for the Kings College London Symphony Orchestra. Christopher has extensive experience working with amateurs and young musicians as a regular workshop assistant for BBC Learning and the Royal College of Music Sparks programmes.

Christopher was a Leverhulme Arts Scholar at the Royal College of Music London where he earned a Master’s of Music in Conducting. At the RCM he performed with all major ensembles and developed a particular interest in memorisation and performing music with movement. Christopher’s work in these fields won him the 2018/2019 Mercers’ Arts Award for combining theoretical knowledge with public performance.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA, and has held Fellowships at the Hochschule für Musik Weimar and the University of Stavanger.


Operas Conducted in Performance

Cherubini    Le porteur d’eau (world premiere of the new critical edition 2008)

Gershwin     Blue Monday/135th Street Blues (Jazz Opera)

Griffeath-Loeb, B.     Sicut erat (world premiere 2004)

Hamlisch    A Chorus Line

Humperdinck   Hänsel und Gretel (in German, excerpts)

Ishita, E. The Town in the Sky

Jenkins, K. Eloise, an opera for young people

Kleiberg, S. David and Bathsheba (first fully-staged production 2015)

Lehár     The Merry Widow (in English)

Purcell     The Tempest

Mozart     Bastien und Bastienne, La clemenza di Tito (excerpts), Le nozze di Figaro  (excerpts)  

Sibata     Forgotten Boys (German premiere 2011)

Weber    Abu Hassan

Operas Assisted & Prompted

Beethoven Fidelio

Bellini     I Capuleti e i Montecchi

Berlioz    Roméo et Juliette (Chorus master)

Bernstein    Candide (Chorus master)

Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Bizet     Carmen

Donizetti    L’elisir d’amore, Lucrezia Borgia, Roberto Devereux

Dvorák    Rusalka

Handel     Alcina

Henze     Elegie für junge Liebende (German)

Humperdinck    Hänsel und Gretel

Janácek     Jenufa, Vec Makropulos

Lloyd-Weber, A.    Evita

Mayr  Medea in Corinto

Messiaen    St. François d’Assise

Mozart     La clemenza di Tito, Così fan tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte

Mussorgsky Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina

Poulenc   Les dialogues des Carmélites

Puccini    La Bohème, Tosca, Turandot

Ravel     L’enfant et les sortilèges

Rossini   La Cenerentola, Il barbiere di Siviglia

Srnka, M. South Pole (world premiere 2016)

Strauss, J.    Die Fledermaus

Strauss, R. Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos, Der Rosenkavalier, Die schweigsame Frau

Tchaikovsky    Eugen Onegin

Verdi     Falstaff, Otello, Rigoletto, Simone Boccanegra, La Traviata

Wagner Der fliegende Holländer, Götterdämmerung, Das Rheingold, Lohengrin, Siegfried, Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Die Walküre, Oberon

Weber    Der Freischütz

Widmann   Babylon

Zemlinsky    Der Zwerg