Nicholas Kok studied at New College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music In both the concert hall and the opera house he has conducted numerous world and British premieres.
Opera productions include Orfeo, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse, The Fairy Queen, The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte, King Priam, The Country of the Blind and Twice through the Heart for English National Opera, The Nightingale's to Blame, Dido and Aeneas and Gluck Orfeo for Opera North, Don Giovanni for English Touring Opera, King Arthur, Gluck Orphée, L'incoronazione di Poppea, Hänsel und Gretel and L'italania in Algieri for Staatstheater Stuttgart, Le nozze di Figaro and Semele for Oper Koeln, L'elisir d'Amore in Porto, Agrippina for Teatro Sao Carlos Lisbon and Teseo and Cavalli's Il Giasone in Klagenfurt. He played a large part in setting up Almeida Opera where he premiered several new works.
Orchestras and ensembles he has worked with
include the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, City
of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Radio Sinfonie
Berlin, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony, RTE
National Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Halle, Strasbourg
Philharmoniqe, Gelders Orkest, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London
Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Orchestra of St
John's Smith Square and Orquestra Nacional do Porto.
Mark Heron is a Scottish conductor known for dynamic and well-rehearsed performances across an unusually wide range of repertoire.
He is the music director of the Nottingham Philharmonic, University of Manchester Symphony, and Liverpool Mozart Orchestras. As a member of the conducting staff at the Royal Northern College of Music, Mark works regularly with the full range of the College's orchestras and ensembles. As a guest conductor he has appeared with many professional ensembles including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia,Pori Sinfonietta, St Petersburg Festival Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Pärnu Philharmonic.
Dedicated to working with young musicians, in addition to his roles at the RNCM and Manchester University, Mark has conducted ensembles from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, Tilburg & Maastricht Conservatories, the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Israel, and many more.
Mark has a keen interest in contemporary music and has given world premieres of many important works. He has collaborated with leading composers such as Magnus Lindberg, James McMillan, Mark Anthony Turnage, Giya Kancheli, Unsuk Chin, Kalevi Aho, Detlev Glanert, Christopher Rouse, and Howard Skempton. In 2006 he gave the European premiere of American composer Daron Hagen's opera, Bandanna. To date he has recorded 11 CDs with the RNCM Wind Orchestra featuring contemporary wind repertoire on labels such as Naxos and NMC.
Mark studied at the RSAMD and the RNCM. Following a successful chamber music career and freelance work with many of the UK's professional symphony orchestras, he undertook conducting studies at the RNCM and has worked intensively in master classes with Neeme & Paavo Järvi, Jorma Panula, and Sir Mark Elder. In 2005 Mark was awarded first prize in the Neeme Järvi conducting competition and in 2006 he worked with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra as one of three young conductors selected by the orchestra for their mentoring programme.
Alongside his conducting engagements, Mark has a burgeoning reputation as a conducting teacher and students of his have achieved notable success, often at a very young age. As well as his work at the RNCM within the College's Junior Fellowship, Masters, and External Studies programmes he has developed an elite undergraduate conducting programme at the University of Manchester, teaches annually at Sherborne Summer School, is a visiting professor to the Royal Air Force and appears often as a guest at conducting courses and master classes.